Stolen or Lost Passport Replacement

How to Replace Your Lost or Stolen Passport

One of the most exciting aspects of life, for some, is the expectation of travel. Nothing seems to stimulate the senses as much as that of traveling to a variety of destinations and being able to see and experience what those destinations have to offer. However one of the requirements for being able to experience such potential excitement is that of a passport. Obtaining a passport if a fairly simple process that many are familiar with, however, there are times when a person’s passport may become lost and they simply aren’t sure how to go about replacing it. Keeping that in mind let’s take a look at what you should do should your passport become lost.

While losing your passport is never convenient, if you’re going to lose it the best time would be when you have no immediate travel plans. The first place to start if your passport is lost is to report it lost or stolen; this is very important because once this is done your passport is immediately canceled so that it can’t be used by an imposter. Once you’ve reported the passport as lost or stolen it will immediately be cancelled and you can begin the replacement process. You simply need to get an application for a U.S passport, which is Form DS-11 and the Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport, Form DS-64 and submit them to your local Passport Agency or acceptance facility. Keep in mind that, is found, your old passport will no longer be valid once reported lost or stolen. Make certain that, once you’ve checked your passport’s status, if it doesn’t arrive within 10 business days you need to contact the National Passport Information Center to let them know you haven’t received it.

There really isn’t a good time to lose your passport; however, the worst possible time to lose your passport would be while you’re traveling. While this is problematic and a slightly more detailed process when abroad you can easily replace your passport. The first place to begin is to report the passport as lost or as possibly stolen to the proper authorities, especially since you will need the official report. Once you have done so your next stop is the U.S Embassy or Consulate to apply for a new passport. Depending on whether or not your identification was taken as well, you may have to undergo a detailed interview process to help verify that you are who you say you are. Once everything has been verified your passport will be issued as quickly as possible to help you keep up with your itinerary.

Although the Form DS-64 needed to deal with the passport process may seem intimidating at first, the truth is that you need only take them a step at a time and answer the questions as completely and thoroughly as possible. It’s important to keep in mind that should you need your new passport quickly, within 2 to 4 weeks of time that you will need to make an appointment to be seen at the Regional Passport Agency for faster service. Otherwise, you can simply fill out the form, as well as Form DS-11, and submit them to either an Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency to receive your new passport. However, if it is simply a case of reporting your passport as lost or stolen then you need only fill out and submit For DS-11. However, be certain that when you decide to travel that apply for your new passport with enough time to allow processing.


Expedited Passport Information

Expediting the Passport Application Process

To travel outside of the United States, a citizen will need a passport. They may get these from the US Department of State, via the various agencies they have all over the country. When applying directly to the Department of State, a passport application may take a month or longer from the point that the application is turned in to the point at which the passport is delivered to the holder. There are instances where people may wish to travel immediately. These can range from family emergencies in other countries to discovering that a passport is missing only a short time before a trip outside of the country. In such instances, they may not be able to wait a month to receive their passport. The best option is to expedite the passport application. An expedited passport application may allow the traveler to receive their passport in as short a time as 24 hours.

Expedited Passport Applications
Passport applications are not just for people who have never held one before. In some cases they may have owned a passport more than five years previous and allowed it to expire. The person whose previous passport is more than five years past the expiration date is in the same situation, legally speaking, as the person who has never had one before. Other reasons a person may find themselves needing a new passport include the fact that their present one has expired and they need a renewal. The application for a passport renewal is different from that for a new passport and will necessitate turning in the old one. Other reasons for applying for a passport include the fact that the present one has been lost or stolen. In the case of a lost, stolen or damaged passport the passport holder will have to supply a statement regarding the passport along with the other elements of their application. In all of these instances, the applicant may opt for an expedited passport application in order to speed up the process and to be able to travel.

Places to Get Expedited Passports
Travelers who wish to expedite their passport application may opt to apply for an expedited passport at any one of the State Department’s agencies, or they may instead choose any of the many passport expediter services available. There are passport expediters in major cities across the country and many expediters offer their services via the Internet for even greater speed in getting an application processed. Internet passport expediters can process an application in as little as 24 hours. In either case, the applicant will need a few vital pieces of documentation. They will need to be able to prove their identity and citizenship.

Applying for an Expedited Passport from the State Department
The applicant will need to download and print a DS-11 passport application form from the State Department’s website. They will need to fill it out correctly with a blue or black ink pen. They will also need to have two recent passport-sized photographs to accompany their application. They will need copies of their birth certificate or certificate of citizenship in order to prove that they are United States citizens. In the cases of passport renewals, the old passport will suffice as proof of citizenship.

Drawbacks to applying via State Department Agencies include the fact that wait times at these agencies can be long and made even longer if paperwork is not filled out correctly.

Using the Services of a Passport Expediter
A passport expediter will still need the above documentation, but many services provide a skilled and experienced agent to help applicants with the process. These agents will ensure that the applications are filled out correctly. Furthermore, the applicant may be able to fill out much of the information in online forms, and handle the application process online.

Passport Photo Requirements

Passport Photo Requirements

Getting a passport can be done online or in person. It can seem to be a long, drawn out process, but it is necessary if you want to go overseas. All countries require a passport and that passport must also include a current photo of the traveler.

If you are going to get a passport, one of the necessary items to send along with the application is a photo of yourself that meets several requirements. You need to ensure that the place that you go to have your picture taken knows that the passport legal photo requirements are the following:

  • Two identical color photos 2×2 inches in size.
  • Must be taken within the last six months showing how you look now.
  • Must be full face and seen from the front on a white or off white background.
  • There must be between one inch and one and three-eighths inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Must wear normal street clothing with no uniforms allowed or religious items unless you wear them every day.
  • Hats are not allowed that block your hair or your hairline.
  • You should wear normally worn items such as prescription glasses, a hearing aid, wig or comparable items.
  • No dark or nonprescription sunglasses are allowed except if required medically.
  • A person’s eyes must be opened in the photo.
  • You must be able to see the area from the top of your hair to your shoulders.
  • There can be no shadows on the face.
  • The person’s mouth must be closed and have a neutral look on their face.

Hints and tips for taking passport photos

You should not take a passport photo of yourself because the requirements are hard to meet and it’s best if they are done by a specialized passport taking place. You can go to many drugstores like Walgreens, FedEx, Kinkos, Sam’s Club, Costco, Rite Aid or CVS and they can take passport photos. Another good place is the post office as they can also do it for you. There are also other convenient places to have your passport photo done and they are easy to find. If you don’t have a photo that matches the above requirements, then your application could be delayed or not processed.

Places not to get a photo taken for a passport

Even though it is easy to find a place to take a passport photo, here are places you shouldn’t use as they will not meet the requirements:


  • Don’t get them at a photo booth, as these will not be correctly formatted for a passport photo.
  • Don’t use old photos you have on your hard drive since they have to be done within six months.
  • Don’t use cheap disposable cameras to take a passport photo as the resolution isn’t good enough.

All in all, if you follow the above rules, you should have no problems getting a passport photo for your next passport.

Passport Book vs Card

The Difference between a Passport Card and a Passport Book

There are many key differences between a passport card and a passport book in terms of purpose and design. First and foremost, the most important document for international travel is the passport book. Your U.S. Passport book represents your identity to the world and your status as a United States citizen when you travel to a foreign country.

All US passports issued after 2007 are biometric, which includes a computerized chip that contains all the personal identifiable information about the bearer including but not limited to fingerprints, signature, photo recognition and a computer readable barcode that presents more information. The passport book can be used for any type of international travel whether it is by air, land or sea.

On the other hand, passport cards are a wallet-sized card that can only be used to re-enter the United States at land and sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The main advantage of the card is convenience since the card provides a less expensive and smaller design for US Citizens who travel to these four areas on a frequent basis by land or sea.

It is important to note that the passport card, unlike the passport book, cannot be used for air travel to any type of country including the ones that we have just mentioned; the passport card can only be used for land and sea travel between these countries to and from the United States. Since a large portion of Americans travel internationally by air to many different countries, the passport book then becomes a necessity instead of a passport card.

US Citizens enjoy visa-free access to many countries around the world in Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Asia. All US Citizens who plan to visit a foreign country and use air travel as the form of transportation must carry their valid passports with at least 6 months of validity along with the respective visas and other documentation if they are needed or requested by the destination country.

Another key difference between a passport card and a passport book is their cost. Passport cards are a whole lot less expensive than a passport card currently costing a total of $55 including the execution fee imposed by the state department. Passport books have instead a total cost of $125 with any other extra expenses such as speedy services, overnight delivery and extra pages depending upon the request by each individual case.

Apart from differing in terms of cost and purpose, passport cards are quite limited in terms of accessibility to other countries when comparing it to a passport book. US Citizens may only travel to the few selected countries already mentioned and through limited forms of transportation which only include land and sea. Many US Citizens have erroneously thought that passport cards serve the same function as passport books and have been forced to cancel their trips or reprogram their entire travel schedule due to the lack of information about the difference between both of them.

For this reason, this article has clearly presented the main key differences between what is a passport card and a passport book. It is important to note these differences in order to effectively make a decision based on the destination country and travel transportation and avoid all misunderstandings, lack of documents needed and an unpleasant trip in the long run.





Passport and Visa Requirements for China

Passport and Visa Requirements to Travel to China for US Citizens


US Citizens that wish to travel to China must be aware and knowledgeable about all the requirements that are imposed in order to enter any city in China via any form of transportation as well as the requirements that are imposed in exiting China as well as their purposes of visiting that country during their period of stay. The first step that must be done in order to initiate the desired travel plans is to obtain a US Passport via any passport agency that are usually located within most metropolitan areas around the 50 states and territories.

The process of obtaining a US Passport can be effectively done very quickly at the passport agency or via mail. All the needed documents must be presented and several fees must be paid in order to obtain the passport with expedited services usually charging extra fees for this level of convenience. US Passports for adults are biometric, have 10 year validity and consist of 32 pages in total. The next step is to understand the process of obtaining a Chinese visa in order to enter China. If you are planning to travel to China for a vacation or simply for pleasure purposes, you will need to obtain a visitor/tourist visa from the Chinese Embassy or consulate within the United States. It is important to note that US Citizens cannot freely travel to China without a visa; a visa is required for any kind of planned activity for any type of US Citizen.

Obtaining a Chinese visa is not an extremely challenging process but it does take some considerable time to be effectively done. Since most US Citizens live outside of the Washington D.C. Area, the city where the Chinese embassy is located, it is required for US Citizens to send their passports via regular mail to their nearest Chinese Consulate in order to obtain the visa.

Proper documentation and payment in the forms of money orders is required in order to initiate the process of obtaining a visitor visa. If you are planning to visit China for pleasure, it is required to present a valid US passport with at least 6 months of validity, a letter addressed to the consulate general requesting the visa, your planned itinerary airline ticket, along with some other documentation and proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses in China. These funds can be presented in the form of bank account statements, proof of income such as tax forms, properties, assets, companies, credit cards or cash. Keep in mind that other types of visas such as work visas and student visas require different types of documentation and different fees.

Once the passport has been sent, the consulate general will receive your application, review the information and submit your visa depending upon your request. You have the right to request a visa consisting of one-year validity, single-entry visa, or a multiple-entry, one-year validity visa. Fees for multiple-entry visas with longer periods of validity usually involve more fees and their approval is entirely at the sole discretion of the consulate general.

If your visa is approved, you will be contacted by the consulate general personally and you will receive your passport with your new Chinese visa via regular mail. It is important to consider that your requested type of visa along with all the attributes will not always be approved by the consulate general for a wide variety of reasons. If it is not approved, you can follow up with extra documentation in order to comply with all the requirements imposed by the immigration laws of China.

When you arrive to China with your new visa, you will be allowed to stay in the country for the given duration of time placed on your visa and for the given purpose. If you travel as a tourist, you cannot work or establish permanent residence in China. You can opt for extending your visa depending upon its condition in China but the process has been somewhat challenging for most visitors and somewhat ineffective. If you overstay your visa in China, you will not be allowed to depart the country after the exit requirements have been satisfied. You must leave China in good standing with their immigration laws and have the proper documentation in place to your next destination or to your return to the United States.

Immigration policies in China are strictly enforced and the system within the country is highly bureaucratic and can become a costly affair if you do not comply with all the laws and regulations. Arriving in China without a valid visa or passport is an offence and you will be fined and put in a list of deportation until you arrive with the proper documents. Overstaying your visa in China is also a criminal offence where you can be detained, fined and deported back to the United States.

No matter what are your purposes of visiting China, always ensure to travel with all the necessary documents in place in order to avoid any kind of wrongdoing and an unpleasant travel experience.



Electronic Passports


Biometric passports are revolutionary technology present in today’s world that is effectively addressing many problems relating to many aspects of each individual’s life and his or her overall identity. The term biometric can be separated into the roots bio and metric which literally refer to life and measure, respectively.

The science of biometrics encompasses a new level of technology used in computer science to precisely identify humans based on their physical characteristics and traits, in which the same level of technology has been applied in the emission of passports since 2005.

Biometric passports, which are also called electronic passports, possess a chip containing all the computerized information about its owner. This information can include but is not limited to an updated, high-quality picture of the owner, all of his or her personal identifiable information fingerprints and signature. At the moment of issuance, this information is registered into a global secured database used by government agencies around the world in order to verify and authenticate the passport holder’s information whenever it is necessary.

Electronic passports bring a great deal of benefits for their holders that include safety, advanced recognizing technologies and convenience in many aspects.

Applied Technology

Apart from possessing a smart chip that contains all the personal information about the individual, electronic passports hold an applied computerized technology that combine both a paper and an electronic way of identifying the passport holder. All electronic passports possess a barcode that can be read on a global database used mainly by the police and immigration agencies in each country around the world.

This barcode effectively encompasses all the information that is also included within the chip, with the only difference that the barcode is readable through a scan on a computer while the chip cannot be scanned since it entails a contactless technology for greater safety.

Many airports and immigration authorities around the world have created automated machines and computerized systems in which electronic passports can be scanned through these machines and effectively be read and identified solely by the machine without any kind of human interaction. Once the passport is either scanned by an officer or a machine, an automated authentication of the passport occurs in which the securely stored identifiable information is verified along with the digitized image through complex algorithms and programming coding in order to ensure that the person presenting such passport is the actual person identified on that passport.

The level of automated identity recognition is not only limited to verifying the stored identifiable information about the person, but also to fully include the applied technology of biometrics including face recognition, fingerprints and an iris scanning. These three techniques can be effectively used in the technology of electronic passports in order to ensure that the person identified on the passport is the person who is presenting it.

Benefits & Advantages

The main benefit of electronic passports is their safety. Throughout the history of passports, many people around the world have been able to get hold of passports that are not theirs and effectively engaging in travelling with those passports that did not present the true bearer of the passport. Other individuals have been able to create and sell counterfeited passports to many individuals around the world in the past that were in need of a passport. Other cases also include the risk of identity theft by taking stolen passports and misusing the identity of the bearer to engage in illicit activities.

Electronic passports have been entirely designed and created in order to combat these issues and malpractices that have been occurring globally for several decades. Bearers of electronic passports enjoy a reduced risk of getting their information stolen and counterfeited by criminals engaging in this activity.

The second main benefit in electronic passports is their high level of convenience during international travel. Bearers of electronic passports can get automated identity verification, more efficient and quicker immigration inspections, and an overall greater security and peace of mind in knowing that their identity document is registered on a global computerized database.

Many electronic passports from many nations around the world do not need a visa to travel many countries in several continents, thereby saving the inconvenience and time of undergoing the process to obtain a visa to visit the specified country of their choice.

Worldwide Use

Electronic passports are inherently used by the majority of first-world countries and developed nations around the world. The entire European Union, United States, Japan and some countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia have effectively adopted the biometric technology into the passports of their citizens. Due to nature of technology of being relatively new in scope, not all countries around the world have been able to adopt the technology of electronic passports due to their costs, computerized systems’ infrastructure and other regulations.

However, with the advantage of the internet, research and development in computerized systems and databases, many other countries have expressed their future plans and interest in engaging in this level of technology for the benefit of their entire nation’s society. Experts agree that in less than 50 years from now, all passports of all countries of the world will be biometric with many more advanced features and safety precautions.


In summary, electronic passports offer an advanced technological system that enables effective identification and recognition. The benefits of obtaining an electronic passport far outweigh the costs of obtaining one. Automated identification recognition, secured information, high-quality picture and other advanced technologies should not be taken for granted in digitized era where everything is computerized and managed electronically.

If you are a citizen of a country that provides electronic passports, by all means consider in obtaining one whenever you need it for international travel or other purposes. Start enjoying the benefits of securing your personal identifiable information, have visa-free access to many countries around the world, avoid identity theft and effectively engage in the most advanced technology of biometrics present during the 21st century.



Passport Cards

The US Passport card can be very useful for many travelers. The purpose of the passport card over the passport book is the convenience. Instead of having to carry about the large book, you can simply carry this card in a wallet or purse. There are a few restrictions however – it cannot be used for international traveling via any sort of air flight. It can only be used with other modes of transportation. It also can only be used when you are coming back from Canada, Mexico, the Bermuda, of the Caribbean. Travel by sea to any of the aforementioned countries is acceptable use of the passport card and would not require a passport book.

All US Citizens can apply for a passport card. They are very inexpensive and have a number of very good security features in them. Firstly, the cards are equipped with state-of-the-art RFID chips. These chips however do not contain any personal information on them – they simply provide an identification that is transmitted to a nearby US border facility so that any information can be pulled prior to you crossing the border. This is a way that you can feel safe knowing that terrorists or dangerous criminals will not be crossing the border and can be apprehended quickly and safely. For your security against 3rd party data hackers, each card is provided with an anti-RFID slip that prevents unauthorized reading or tracking of the card at all.

This type of card went into production July 14, 2008 and so far over 2.7 million cards are in circulation.

The cost for a first time cardholder is $55 for adults and $40 for minors under the age of 16. For renewal fees, it will cost only $30.

The card was originally designed for border-states who had many residents crossing the border frequently and they requested a cheaper, faster, easier way to present their ID and cross the border. The card cannot be used for air flight because it would undermine the increased efforts to provide air security checks in this post-9/11 world. TSA regulations allow for this card as an acceptable form of ID to travel, although you need your passport book if you travel internationally regardless.

Application for the passport card is done in the same manner as applying for the passport book. Begin by filling out the form number DS-11. This is the actual application for the US Passport, but can also be used for the card. It can be completed in person or online. Ensure that you provide your social security number. If you do not include it, there will be a possibility that your request will be delayed and even denied altogether. Once the DS-11 form has been filled out, you will have to provide evidence that you are a citizen of the United States before the card will be sent out.

There is some controversy over the RFID chip that is contained in the US Passport cards. According to the US Immigrations office, the card is very safe and contains no personal information. An identification number is the only thing that is transmitted and then used to find your information via the US internal database. No outside sources have access to your personal history and information.

Passport Name Change

Changing your name on your passport is a necessary step if you have changed your name any time recently. If you plan to go abroad, it is very important to remember the fact that if you have had a name change in the recent past, but your passport still uses the old name; you could very possibly run into some serious trouble.

Also, it is very important to ensure that you do this in a timely manner in case you must leave the country for a family emergency, or a business trip. If left unchanged from the prior name, it may be close to impossible to reach the destination that you need to get to.

There are three different scenarios that you may have come into that would be cause for a need to change your name on your passport.

The first scenario is if you received your passport less than a year ago and since then you have had your name changed legally due to a court order or you got married. If this is the case, then you should mail in your current valid US Passport, the (DS-5504) form, which is the actual application for any sort of changes to a passport whether it be a name change or some form of data correction or a limited passport book used for replacement. You will also need the original or certified copy of your marriage license or certificate or the government issued document that shows evidence of any court order with a legal name change under either state or federal law. It may be required that you submit one recent color photo.

The great thing about a simple name change within the last year is that is free of charge unless you require the expedited service. Please use a traceable form of mailing and use a mailing packaging that is of suitable size and provides adequate protection for the documents inside.

When it comes to the photo requirements, they must be printed on photo quality paper and be 2 x 2 inches, or 51mm x 51mm in size. It must have been taken in the last 6 months taken in plain view without any sort of obscurities that would prevent your identification. You should wear your normal daily clothes along with any needed hearing aids, glasses etc. Hats are not permissible unless it is for religious purposes. Regardless though, the entire face must be visible and there may be no shadows casted on top of your face, for whatever reason.

The second scenario is if your passport was issued more than 1 year ago and since then you have had your name changed legally due to a court order or you got married. If this is the case, then you must mail in your current valid US Passport, the completed form (DS-82 as opposed to DS-5504) which is the actual application for a passport. You should NOT use DS-5504. You will still need the original or certified copy of your marriage license or certificate or the government issued document that shows evidence of any court order with a legal name change under either state or federal law. It may be required that you submit one recent color photo if you need to update the photo on file.

You are for the most part applying for a brand new passport. Due to the fact that you are filling out for DS-82, you must be pay the renewal fee involved with getting a new passport which is $140 for the passport and card, $110 for just the passport book, and $30 for just the passport card. Again, please ensure that you use a traceable form of delivery.

Renew an Expired Passport

If your passport is expired, it is practically the same process as applying for your first passport with only a few changes in steps.

The easiest way is by mail. If your current passport is not damaged and can be sent with your application, you were 16 years or older when the prior one was granted and the passport was issued in the last 15 years and in your current legal name (provide documents if you changed your name), then mailing is the best way. If you cannot provide the above documents, then you must get your expired passport renewed in person.

The correct form to fill out would be form DS-82. Form DS-82 is the renewal form and it can be sent by mail as long as you are currently in the United States. Please note that there will be delays in processing if any of the following have occurred: Your most recent passport has been mutilated in any way, altered, or damaged, the envelope that you used was not of adequate size to hold all documents required, if you are behind on child support payments, and the use of a non-standard form of traceable delivery.

If you have to apply in person, then you must fill out for DS-11. Ensure that you provide your social security number with this form. If you do not include it, there will be a possibility that your request will be delayed and even denied altogether. Once the DS-11 form has been filled out, you will have to provide evidence that you are a citizen of the United States before the renewed passport or card will be sent out. This will include previously used passports, a birth certificate, a birth certificate from another country, naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship and pay the fee of $95. That fee is for the passport book and passport card. If you just want the passport or the card it will be $80 and $15.

The normal processing times for standard delivery are roughly 5-7 days long and it can be tracked online also at the website. They are sent out via 1st class mail, and unfortunately cannot be sent out with overnight delivery so prepare just in case you need the passport urgently. If you do need it urgently, there are other options. As long as you are eligible, you can schedule an appointment at a one of the 24 regional passport agencies within the United States. Of course, if any of the aforementioned delays are present, the time it will take will increase.

Payments accepted are normal Credit Cards, checks, Money orders/Cashier’s checks, bank drafts and debit cards. Some facilities do accept cash payments, but ensure that you have a backup just in case. No cash payment through the mail. If the passport is for a minor, the photo must be a 2×2 that was taken in the last 6 months and both parents either must be present during the passport issuing, or the second parent must have a notarized document signed that states that they approve the passport for their child along with the DS-82 signed form.

Biometric Passports

Biometric Passports are the latest technology today in a world full of security threats and illegal border crossings. A biometric passport is a paper and electronic passport that has biometric information stored in it. These types of passports are also referred to as e-passports and they use a technology known as contactless smart card technology. The new passports basically contain a microprocessor that sends data out via a very small antenna to surrounding authorities to let them know and authenticate travelers.

To know if your passport, which includes many international passports, contains biometric information, there will be a logo of a rectangle with a circle inside and this represents that the technology is present inside that particular passport.

Each passport’s data is encrypted using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) that many routers use at home which makes it very difficult and time consuming to hack.

The biometric methods that are currently stored in each card are facial recognition, fingerprints, iris and slowly starting today is retinal recognition. In the US, the passports do not contain fingerprints, but it does include personal data, and a digitized image of the photo on the passport that is available for viewing as well as facial recognition. This is very important because with the use of facial recognition, nobody can steal or copy a passport of somebody else and use that to enter the country illegally. It both protects the real passport holder and the country from illegal aliens entering for any reason including dangerous terrorist acts.

Stolen and counterfeit passports/visas were a very large problem that the US Dept of Homeland Security was facing over the last 20 years with an increase every year. With the new identifiers included in the biometric passports, the possibility that the use by terrorists or others who might represent a security risk to the US has been greatly reduced. It really is quite a wonder that these simple little passports can do such a great thing in terms on national security; they can potentially save thousands of lives in the future, all from this one single creation.

The use of biometric passports came into use after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001. This caused a massive wave of improved security features and a switch over to this standard. These passports were bundled under the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act made in 2002 which appears to say that smart identity cards may be used when a visa isn’t available.

In the future, the US has been planning to use a separate check booth for citizens who use the older style passport without the security features. This would unfortunately allow for a longer wait time due to the heightened process to verify the identity of the person who is traveling; this would also serve as an incentive to upgrade your passport to the newer version, since nobody likes waiting at the airport.

Since the US believes that the use of biometric passports is not just a domestic item, but an international security improvement, many countries have since adopted the notion and more are in the process of converting to this model. In 2009, the FBI’s director traveled by private jet to Turkey to discuss with them why they had not implemented the biometric passport initiative. The FBI’s director was concerned over the use of terrorists using the loophole that turkey had by not having biometric passports which would allow them easier access inside the United States. The FBI director warned these Turkish authorities that the possibility of terrorist organizations using fake Turkish passports in their attacks is present.