New Passport Rules to Come in Force from November 2016 for USA Citizens

Citizens of USA, who are looking to get a new passport or renew their passport, will need to follow some new rules and regulations for the same. Rules regarding passport photos are changing and it will come in effect from 1 st November 2016. As per information obtained from AAA Northeast, candidates looking to apply for fresh US passport or passport renewal need to remove their spectacles while clicking pictures for the passport.

This step is being taken as it is getting difficult for the U.S State Department to verify the identities of various travelers. This happens because the spectacles might produce lens glare or lead to formation of face shadows etc. In many images, a portion of the eyes seem blocked or the eyes are not visible clearly. It has been reported that almost 200,000 passport applications got delayed last year as the Federal passport officials were not able to clearly identify the candidate with the spectacles.

The change in the passport rules will help in quicker identification of the candidates and hence the processing of passport application will get smoother and faster. Travelers will be able to move quickly through the various ports of entry in the US, when electronic verification of the passports will take place.

The month of September is considered as the National Passport Month and this is one of the main reasons why AAA Northeast is sharing the news with public. If you are a Premier or AAA Plus member, you will get passport photos done for free. For non-members and AAA Basic members, a nominal charge is taken. People who take photos on behalf of AAA Northeast are experts in the field and try their best to take high quality and clear photographs for passport applications.

Though the Federal regulations regarding passport photos are strict, there are some exceptions as well:

  • In case of a medical issue like surgery, the candidate might need to wear glasses for providing protection to the eyes. In such a case, the passport application should be accompanied by a statement that should be signed by a registered medical practitioner.
  • Travelers, who have their image in the passport with glasses, will not need to get a new passport until and unless the existing one expires.

For frequent fliers, AAA Northeast recommends enrolling in Global Entry Programs and TSA Precheck Programs. These are screening programs on expedite basis for travelers reaching or departing from US.

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