Is you passport valid until at least November 30, 2018?
Most tour companies follow the cautious rule of requiring that participant passports are valid for 6 months after the tour end date. This is because some countries require that your passport be valid for 3 to 6 months after your travel to ensure you don't overstay your passport's validity. So if your passport expires in 2018, it's best to get it renewed before our May tour.
Do you meet all of the criteria for renewing your passport by mail?
Many people with US passports can simply renew through the mail, but there are several conditions for this (and you have to meet them all).
- Your current or expired passport book must be undamaged.
- Your current or expired passport has to have been issued within the last 15 years.
- You have to have been 16 or older when you got your current or expired passport.
- The current or expired passport must be in your current legal name or you must have appropriate documentation for any name change (such as a marriage certificate or court order).
Is this your first time getting a US passport (or are you ineligible to simply renew by mail)?
To apply for a first or new US passport, you will need to do so in person at a passport acceptance facility (most commonly at a post office).
You will need to complete Form DS-11 and bring the following:
- Evidence of citizenship (This can be a US passport even if it is expired, US birth certificate or other certificate of naturalization or citizenship.) - You will need to also have a photocopy to submit.
- Identification (This could be a US passport even if expired, US drivers license, government ID, or US military ID. You can find the full list of acceptable ID online.) - You will need to also have a photocopy of both the front and back of your ID to submit.
- A photo that meets the passport photo requirements.
For detailed information on what to bring or other frequently asked questions, click here.
How soon do you need to apply?
Obtaining a passport can take as long as 8 weeks from when you first apply (though standard time is 4 to 6 weeks). So don't wait until the last minute. I've deliberately chosen this month to post about obtaining and renewing passports because if you apply now you can leave yourself plenty of time to take care of any issues that may come up.
Make sure your passport matches your information with our tour company!
Please note that your name on your passport must match your name on your ticket, so it must match the name our tour company has for you. Be sure to check that the information you gave when signing up matches your passport, and contact the tour company immediately to correct it if it doesn't.
Even if you're taking advantage of the "land only" tour and planning to book your own airfare, please ensure your information with the tour company is accurate.