The U.S. Department of State is expecting a drastic increase in the number of passport renewal applications it receives this year, and as a result has advised travelers whose passports are set to expire in 2016 to renew their passports as soon as possible.
Back in 2007, the United States implemented new passport law changes that required U.S. citizens to show their passports upon reentering Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Following the announcement of the new passport requirements, millions of travelers submitted passport applications between 2006 and 2008 in preparation for the new law.
This year and the upcoming next couple of years, those passports are beginning to expire, as per their ten-year validity. Therefore, the same surge in passport applications seen ten years ago is expected to resurface this year as those travelers begin submitting their passport renewal applications.
The Department of State is also expecting an increase in applications as a result of the REAL ID requirements for driver’s licenses, which requires travelers from certain U.S. states whose licenses do meet the REAL ID standards to show alternative identification (such as a passport) in order to fly within the United States beginning January 22, 2018.
Due to the anticipated increase in demand for passport processing during the next couple years, travelers are highly encouraged to get their passport renewal applications submitted sooner rather than later to avoid potential delays.
Read more about US passport renewal information.