Winter travelers, spring break planners, day trippers to Toronto, and even those planning on attending the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, crack open your passport book for the third annual "Passport Day in the USA" on Saturday, September 17. On Passport Day you can travel to the nearest passport agency or acceptance facility and apply right away.
Although U.S. passport books and passport cards for adults are valid for 10 years, check the expiration date. Some countries require your passport to be valid for up to six months beyond the date of your stay.
Without the proper validity, you may not be able to board the plane or could even risk being denied entry into the country. To avoid any last minute headaches, confirm that the kids are also ready to go. Passports for children under the age of sixteen expire after five years.
Passport Day in the USA makes it easy to apply for a passport. No appointment is necessary, and both routine and expedited processing services will be available. Visit travel.state.gov to find an agency or participating passport acceptance facility near you, or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TTY at 1-888-874-7793.
Navdeep Aujla works in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State.