Overseas travel on your horizon? Not so fast: Don’t forget to include a passport in your plans. Especially if you’re not sure when it expires: Some destinations require six months validity on your passport in order to enter the country; others require at least two blank pages for entry. But it can take a long time to get a new passport, especially during certain times of the year. And while you’re at the passport paperwork, you might want to peek at when your handy Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck expire, which can also take a very long time to process. Here’s a handy guide to all three processes, and where to get the information you need.
First, let’s start with the urgency of why you need to be thinking about renewing your passport, especially in and after 2020: Real ID.
As the October 2020 deadline for the Real ID Act looms, it’s vital for you to a) know whether you live in any of the states where current driver’s licenses don’t meet the new criteria; and b) go out and get a Real ID once your state offers them, so that come October 2020 you’ll be able to fly domestically with your license. Here’s a quick and easy guide to What You Need to Know About Real ID in 2020. And if you don’t have a Real ID in time for the deadline, you’ll need another valid form of ID, like a passport, to get past airport security.