By Linda Carter
Those entering by land or sea can get a lower cost passport card, but it is not valid for air travel.
U.S. citizens on a cruise that begins and ends in the same port, and travels to destinations in Alaska, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Bermuda can still travel with a drivers license and a U.S. state issued birth certificate, or certified copy; a certificate of naturalization; or a Consular report of birth abroad.
- Important Note: Canada has issued the following advisory for all U.S. citizens entering Canada. "Anyone with a criminal record (including a DWI charge) should contact the Canadian Embassy or nearest Consulate General before travel." Click here for more information.
If you are traveling in more than 3 weeks, use the US postal service overnight mail and mark it “expedite” include a self-addressed postage paid overnight air return envelope for a speedy return.
If you are located near of the 25 passport offices, you can schedule an appointment, at 877-487-2778 automated 24hrs a day, or walk in. Check policies before you go, since typically your trip must be within 2 weeks.
Closer still? Use a passport service. “Rush my passport” for example, charges $99 to provide your passport in 8 days, and for $299 for 4 days. Other services include: online passports, standard, 7 day, 24 hour, and sometimes if available same day service, for up to $399.
If you need to get a passport, do so in your maiden name, you have up to one year from the date of issue to request a free name change. After one year from the date of issue, there is a fee for name changes. Go to the passport services website and download the name change application, and mail it along with your passport for your free replacement.
For the most current information visit the Passport Service website.
Finally, remember that Passports must be valid for at least six months after the last day of travel.