September is passport awareness month and the perfect time to get your passport renewed. It’s been nearly 10 years since the 2007 ruling that made it mandatory for U.S. citizens to have a passport or other approved documents to travel throughout North America. So if you rushed out to get one then, it’s time to start thinking about renewing.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative required a passport or other approved documents for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. As a result of this policy change, the State Department experienced a flood of applications for new U.S. passports to be made. In 2006 there were 12 million applications, which rose sharply to over 18 million the following year. Because of this deluge, 550 more passport service employees were added as well as 10 new passport agencies.
The easiest and quickest way to renew your passport today is by mail. All the documents and requirements are listed on the State Department’s website.
If you’ve never had a passport, this is the best time to get one. Many of the world’s most popular destinations have rarely been more affordable or accessible. Lower fuel prices and expanded flight options make hopping on a plane oh-so-easy. And with more and more destinations available, it’s high time you went exploring.