If you have a United States passport expiring any time in 2016, the State Department has a message for you: Renew it now.
The department anticipates a surge in passport demand throughout this year, and officials hope to avoid a crush that could leave some Americans fuming in frustration with no passport in hand on the day they planned to travel outside the country.
Officials are expecting a flood of renewals of 10-year passports issued in 2006 and 2007. The latter was the year when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect, for the first time requiring passports for Americans returning by air from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. As millions of citizens scrambled to apply for their first passports, backlogs swelled and many were stranded.
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