I am the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. September is Passport Awareness Month. Ask me anything!
Hi! I’m Brenda Sprague, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services at the U.S. Department of State. We’re responsible for issuing passports to millions of U.S. citizens each year. This year we have issued 21.7 million passports - a record setting number! Whether you need your passport for a trip abroad or as an alternative ID to fly domestically if your state driver’s license or ID isn’t REAL ID compliant we’re here to help. I’m here today to answer any questions you have about U.S. passports. I cannot speak to individual cases, but I can speak about the passport application process and why we recommend you apply early.
More About Passport Awareness Month and the REAL ID Act:
This month I especially want to highlight upcoming changes to identification requirements for domestic flights. Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification to board their flight for domestic air travel. To check whether your state is compliant or has an extension, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s Real ID page. Passengers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is compliant with REAL ID (or a state that has been issued an extension) will still be able to use their driver’s licenses or identification cards. If it isn’t, we recommend using your passport book or wallet-sized passport card. Don’t have a passport yet? This is our slow season so now is a great time to apply.
Ask me (almost) anything!
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EDIT: Thanks everyone for your great questions. I’m signing off now, but keep in touch! You can call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 for questions about applying for your passport or a passport application you have already submitted. You can also visit our website at travel.state.gov, follow @TravelGov on Twitter or like us on Facebook. For questions about the REAL ID Act, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.