If you’re like so many others right about now, you have either booked or plan to book international travel. BUT, have you checked your passport’s expiration date lately?
I cannot stress enough that you do, because the renewal process “ain’t what it used to be.” Remember all those passport expeditors (even the USPS) who could easily get it done in a day or two for you?
Chalk up that absent service to another Covid casualty. I just booked a client on an Alaska cruise that embarks in Seattle. That means the ship encounters “international waters” en route — thus necessitating a passport. She hadn’t checked hers recently and it expired in February of this year. And then the fun began.
Expedited services at best still require 15 business days and some hefty fees. According to a Wall Street Journal column this week, the State Department indicates the process can take up to 18 weeks for renewals including mailing. In cases of a life-or-death emergency, there are some “very limited in-person appointments” that require either a death certificate or a letter from a hospital. No one wants to face that in a time of need.
So, what is the takeaway here? Like with all else in life, make sure your paperwork and required documents are in order and up to date. People have waited so long for travel to resume that you don’t want to be denied because of an expired passport.