If your US passport is set to expire in the next year or two, you might want to jump the gun and send your forms in now. The State Department warns 17 million new passports and renewals will be issued in 2016—up 1.5 million from last year—and delays are expected. There was a surge in new passports issued in 2006 and 2007—when Americans started needing a passport to fly to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermuda—and those 10-year passports will soon expire. Officials tell the New York Times people should renew their passports as soon as possible, especially since some countries won't accept passports due to expire within six months.
Renewals, at $110 a pop, will take about six weeks, two weeks longer than they did in 2015. Expedited passports can arrive in three weeks, but there's an extra $60 fee, per Conde Nast Traveler. The six-week waiting period also applies to first-time applicants—who will pay $135—thanks to an increase in applications from Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, and American Samoa, where residents will need to show an approved form of identification, like a passport, when boarding domestic flights in 2018. State Department officials expect the increased demand to continue until that year, reports Mashable. (Read more travel tips stories.)