Summer is just around the corner! Have you planned your summer trip yet? If you're planning to go out of the country,  you better make sure that you have your valid passport with you, unless you want to start your summer adventure with a hassle. 

Imagine this: Your wanderlust is itching, you are all worked-up for a trip that is only a couple of days away, your bags are packed and ready, and your flight and hotel have been already booked. You then go and get your passport and you are slapped by an awful realization: your passport has expired and you have not renewed it yet. 

Ouch! Makes you want to flip out, right?

What’s worse is that in the year 2007, a new law was been passed in the USA, that required passports when travelling to the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda, and Canada. Furthermore, a handful of Asian countries like Bahamas, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Ecuador, and China among many others require six months of passport validity. Therefore, your 10-year passport is equivalent to just 9 years if you’re travelling to those countries stated above. 

With all the conveniences the online world has to offer, renewing your passport is unfortunately not one of them. However, it is relatively easy and would not take you all day. It would cost you approximately $110 and you can do it by mail, if you already have a passport. If you’re applying for a new one, though, you might need to make an appearance. 

Also, do it long before your planned trip. Due to the high influx of requests, you may receive your hot and fresh passport in about six to eight weeks, but it could be even longer. Yes, the stuff you ordered from China would probably arrive sooner. No worries, you can expedite it. You just have to pay an extra $60 plus $12.85 for overnight delivery in addition to the standard processing fees. Keep in mind, though, that you have to send your old passport together with your accomplished Form DS-82 and passport pictures. 
What if you lost it already? Go get dressed, buddy. You can’t do it by mail anymore.

A couple of other tips:
If you traveled frequently in the the past, you may have added more pages to your passport. Mailing in Form DS-4085 and your almost-full passport together with the fee of $82 would reinforce your darling blue book with an additional 24-page visa inserts. As of 2016, you cannot add pages to your passport as a security measure taken by the U.S. Department of State. We suggest considering ticking the box for a 52-page book when you renew. There’s no extra charge for this, by the way.
 
Lastly, the USA will be issuing passports with safety features sometime in 2017 or 2018. The new passports will be embedded with data chips, elaborate engravings, and color changing inks that would make them virtually impossible to forge. If you can put off travelling until then, we suggest that you wait for them first. 


There you go! Enjoy your next adventure! 

All of us at Hyke & Byke hope you have an awesome summer outing ahead! 
Daniel E.
Hyke & Byke LLC

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