Before you start planning your next vacation it’s important to to make sure your passport is valid and up to date. Did you know these 7 hidden secrets about your passport? Check them out below
The best season to renew your passport is the Fall.If you obtained your passport after age 16, it’s valid for only 10 years. According to the State Department, “Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip.” The best time to renew your passport is early autumn — that’s when applications are at a low before Thanksgiving and holiday rushes, the State Department says.
A passport card is cheaper than a regular passport. It’s wallet-sized, it and costs $80 less than a regular adult passport. However, you can only use it to “re-enter the U.S. from land border-crossings and sea ports-of-entry in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.”
Your passport is an all access pass. If you’re from the U.S., your passport affords you free access to 172 other countries.
All passports issued after 2007 has an electronic chip in it. There is a chip in the back of your passport that stores the same personal info printed on your passport’s photo page, and a biometric identifier . If you have one of these “e-passports,” TSA can use facial recognition technology to confirm the passport belongs to you.
You don’t have to pay to get passport photos taken.You can actually take it at home. The photo must be square, unaltered and on a white background.
You may not be able to travel with some airlines if your passport doesn’t have enough blank pages. According to the State Department website, “Some countries require that your passport has two to four blank visa/stamp pages,”Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement in not met.” Make sure you check the requirements for your specific destination before you go.
You can get a passport with 52 pages for no additional charge. A traditional U.S. passport comes with 28 pages, but you can request a 52-page one for free when you apply for your first passport or renew an old one. You can also add pages to an existing passport for an extra 82 dollars.