Passport Use In 2016
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
U. S. Passport use will change somewhat in 2016, while some concerns about passport safety will remain. One major change comes from Congress while another comes straight from the State Department.
First, pay seriously delinquent federal tax bills. As we mentioned in a previous article, effective January 1, 2016, U. S. citizens with “seriously delinquent” federal taxes ($50,000 and above), may see their passport applications denied or their existing passports revoked.
Secondly, if you need extra pages for your passport, hurry and order them by December 31st. The old procedure whereby extra pages can be purchased by as many as 2 24-page packets will end as of January 1, 2016. As of that date, travelers requiring extra pages will have to renew the passport at a greater cost. The State Department asserts that the measure is for heightened security, as shown in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq-2q6mR7gE
Third, several months before international travel, check the State Department’s web site to see whether you will require a Visa for your travel. The web site can be accessed here: http://www.state.gov/travel/
Fourth, before international travel, ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 more months. Some countries will not allow entry if your passport is valid for fewer than 6 months, in case something unforeseen requires your extended stay.
Fifth, preserve copies of your passport’s most important pages, by saving a picture of your photo page and your signature page in your e-mail and/or on a USB thumb drive.
Sixth, leave a copy of your passport at home with someone you trust.
Seventh, if you’re out and about without your passport, keep it in the room safe or hotel safe while you’re out, rather than leaving it around your hotel room.
Eighth, while out and about with your passport, carry it in a hidden passport pocket close to your body; not in your pocket or purse.
Those several steps should help U. S. citizens traveling abroad, both in keeping abreast of the latest regulations and in keeping their passports as safe as possible.
DO’S AND DON’TS
DO pay seriously delinquent federal tax bills (of $50,000 or more) to retain the use of your passport, effective January 1, 2016.
DO order extra passport pages by December 31st. As of January 1, 2016, you must renew the passport if additional pages are required, for security reasons explained in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq-2q6mR7gE
DO check the State Department’s web site several months before your trip to see whether you will require a Visa for your travel. The web site is accessed here: http://www.state.gov/travel/
DO ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 more months before traveling, as some countries will require that for entry.
DO preserve copies of your passport’s most important pages, by saving a picture of your photo page and your signature page in your e-mail and/or on a USB thumb drive.
DO leave a copy of your passport at home with someone you trust.
DON’T keep your passport around your hotel room, in a regular pocket or in your purse while in a foreign country.
DO keep your passport in the room safe or hotel safe while you’re out, or carry it in a hidden passport pocket close to your body.
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW DOS AND DON'TS