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U.S. Passport Guide : Travel Advice and Passport Information

How to Take a Passport Photo Like Prince

February 22nd, 2016
Prince shared his passport photo on Twitter...and the Internet exploded.  Writers called it "sheer perfection," "game-changing" and even "so aggressively sexual it should be illegal." Mashable writer Jim Roberts tweeted "You'll never have a passport photo like this. So give up." But do you have to give up? Are the rest of us mere mortals doomed to carry around humiliating passport photos for the next decade? We say "No more!"  After analyzing Prince's Internet-famous passport pic to find out what makes it so special, and combing the web for advice from stylists and makeup artists, RushMyPassport presents: a 5 step plan to help you take a better passport photo. Step 1: Choose The Right Clothes for a Great Passport Photo In his photo, Prince sports a black brocade jacket ov


Entry Requirements for Schengen Countries, Or How Not To Ruin a Trip To Europe

February 16th, 2016
Planning a trip to Europe? Quick, check the expiration date on your passport! If it expires in 6 months or less from your arrival date, you'd better apply for a passport renewal now. I know what you're probably thinking: Why six months? I'll be long gone by then! I don't want to pay to renew my passport when there's still half a year left before it expires! Unfortunately, if you don't have enough extra time on your passport, you might not make it to Europe at all. You see, back in 2013, all of the countries in the Schengen Borders Agreement began turning back visitors if their passports expired within 3 months of the date they planned to leave the Schengen area and go home. Entry Requirements for Schengen Countries: What is the Schengen Agreement, Anyway? In a nutshell, the Sc


Passport Processing Time Increases: Here’s How To Cut in Line 

February 9th, 2016
How long does it take to get a passport? Longer than it did just a few weeks ago.  Will you get yours on time? And if you're in a hurry, can you get it any faster? As we previously reported, the State Department has been expecting a record number of passport applications to come in starting this year.  This flood of applications could increase passport processing time through 2018. And now, it begins. Last week, the State Department raised the passport processing time to 6 weeks for regular processing and 3 weeks for passports expedited through the post office. Prior to this, expectations were 4 to 6 weeks for regular processing and 2 to 3 weeks for expedited processing. Wait times are likely to get even longer as more applications pile up. According to ABC Eyewitness News,


Can You Buy Beer with a Passport? 

February 1st, 2016
Can you buy beer with a passport?  A passport is a federally-issued picture ID. It shows your birthdate. So it should be fine to use, right? In theory, yes.  In practice, it depends. Where Can You Buy Beer With A Passport? The drinking age is 21 in every state. That said, ID requirements vary from state to state and even from store to store.   Most states do allow passports to be used as ID when buying alcohol. However, these laws don't necessarily require passports be accepted. For example, in Maryland: Maryland state law does not require counties to accept passports and different counties have different policies...State law states only that businesses “may accept” driver's license, identification card or a military ID card. Even in areas where passports have been e


New Passport Technology for 2016

January 26th, 2016
This year, international travelers will see some new passport-related technology if they pass through certain airports. Here's the scoop on the new tech you might encounter, where you can expect to find it and what it means to you. Biometric Face Scanners Travelers returning through John F. Kennedy Airport in New York may have their faces scanned with a biometric face scanner as they go through Customs. The scanner matches your face with the passport photo that's stored on the RFID chip in your passport. The technology was originally tested at Dulles airport in Washington, DC last year. It is being used for foreign visitors coming from countries that participate in the visa waiver program and for random checks on returning US citizens, according to CBS News.  Why is Customs an


New Passport Requirements  for 2016: Know Before You Go 

January 20th, 2016
Did you know there are new passport requirements for 2016? The new year has arrived, and so have new travel requirements that could leave you stranded. Read on to learn more about these new passport rules and keep your travel plans on track: New Passport Requirements for 2016: No More Adding Pages Frequent travelers, take notice. Before 2016, it was a simple matter to add extra visa pages once you'd filled up your passport. Not any more. Effective January 1, 2016, once you've used up all your visa pages, it's time to renew your passport. Actually, it's best to renew before you've used up all your visa pages. Some countries like to make a statement with their passport stamps, which can take up more than one page.  Don't have enough pages left?  Too bad! Back to the US you go...


How to Get a Passport in New Mexico in 2016

January 11th, 2016
Trying to get a passport in New Mexico? You're not alone in your frustration. A flood of passport applications has overwhelmed post offices across the state.  Here's how to cut through the red tape and get your passport fast! The Real ID Act: Do You Need a Passport for Domestic Flights? Why is it so hard to get a passport in New Mexico all of the sudden?  On January 10th, the government was expected to begin fully enforcing the Real ID Act, a law passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks to make driver's licenses and state IDs more secure. New Mexico driver's licenses are not compliant with the Real ID Act. If the law were being fully enforced, a New Mexico driver's license would no longer be accepted to board domestic flights. At the last minute, on January 8th, the Dep


Flying in 2016? You Won’t Need a Passport For Domestic Flights

December 16th, 2015
UPDATE: No passports needed for domestic flights...for now. The Department of Homeland Security has announced they will not start enforcing REAL ID at airports until January 2018.  A passport for domestic flights? In 2016, your driver's license may not cut it at the airport. Read on to find out why and what you can do about it. In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act. In response to the 9/11 attacks, the REAL ID Act laid out the security standards that state driver's licenses and IDs would have to meet to be accepted for air travel. If you live in a REAL ID-compliant state, you probably noticed that you had to bring additional documents last time you renewed your driver's license. But not all states are compliant. In fact, several states have been playing a game of chicken w


How Safe Is Your US Passport? 3 Rules to Follow

December 5th, 2015
How safe is your US passport? The US has one of the most powerful passports in the world. As a result, it's also one of the most sought-after by criminals.  These 3 rules will help you protect your passport from thieves when you travel. Rule #1: Three Places to NEVER Leave Your US Passport Protecting your passport means keeping it somewhere defensible. NEVER  leave it in any of these places: Your back pocket: This is the easiest pocket to pickpocket. You don't have eyes in the back of your head. A backpack: See above, except at least you're a little more likely to feel someone getting frisky with your back pocket. Purse: It's surprisingly easy for thieves and pickpockets to separate you from your purse or to get into your purse without you realizing. (more…)


Passport Renewal Alert: Apply Now or Risk Delays Later

November 6th, 2015
Is there a passport renewal in your future? Apply now or risk delays later, according to the US Department of State.  Processing delays are possible through 2018. Here's what you need to know. Passport Renewal Surge Will Increase Demand Applying for a new passport or a passport renewal? Experts have always advised, "Apply Early." So what else is new? Why is the State Department making a special effort to get people to apply now? What's new is that demand for passport services is increasing. In 2011, 12, 13, 15 passports were issued. In fiscal year 2015, that number jumped to over 14.3 million. On top of all that, the demand for passport renewals is expected to skyrocket over the next two years.  Why? Because 2017 is the ten year anniversay of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiati