Ask Your Agents

Dear Tammy and Cheri,

I’m starting to plan a trip for early next year and I may need to get my passport renewed. Also, my son was hoping to get more pages added to his passport as well. Could you please advise the best way to get this done?

Sincerely,

Katy Swanson

Dear Katy,

There are several important things you need to be aware of about renewing and obtaining a passport. Below are six helpful mentions:

If you are a frequent traveler and were hoping to be able to add extra pages for your passport, you’re out of luck. As of the beginning of 2016, travelers are no longer able to add additional pages to an existing passport. If you happen to run out of space, under the new rules you’ll have to buy an entirely new passport with either the standard 28 or the expanded 52 page option.

We recommend you verify your passport expiration right now. If you have eight months or less until it expires, get it renewed. Most passports are valid for 10 years; however, you actually need to renew it at least eight months in advance since many countries won’t let you enter their country if you have fewer than six months validity before your passport expires.

The cost for a passport is the same whether you buy a 28-page book or a 52-page book.

You can easily renew your passport by mail and avoid any additional processing fees as long as your most recent passport is undamaged, was issued when you were 16 years or older and the issue date is within the past 15 years. Even if you’ve legally changed your name, you can still do the entire passport renewal process by mail.

When you mail in your paperwork for renewing, you will be required to include your old passport. Don’t worry though, if it doesn’t get returned with your new one—then it will be returned in a separate mailing.

The State Department offers expedited service for a fee and your passport will arrive in three weeks instead of four to six. The exception to this if you are in an extreme rush, there is a five day turnaround if you apply in person at a passport agency and can prove your urgent need.

Here is the website link to the government site for more information, fees and complete details. If you have any questions you can also call the National Passport information center at 1-877-487-2778; https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html.

If you have a travel question or problem you would like to submit please contact Tammy Sikorski or Cheri Sigurdson at El Sol Travel-located at 10325 E. Riggs Road, Suite 105, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248. Call 480-895-9362 or email [email protected] or [email protected] View our website at www.elsolvacations.net.