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@miguel avatar
UTC

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UTC quote
Our passports expired in early 2020. We didn't renew because I was sure we wouldn't be traveling out of the US for some time. Ms Miguel had her passport out for other reasons couple days ago. It prompted me to investigate how long it takes to renew a US passport these days. Turns out it's 18 weeks! So I sent them in today and hopefully will have them back by New Years. $110 if you have your old one and its less than five years past the expiration date. We're hoping it will be safe to go to Mexico in late February/early March 2022 for our annual track to Isla Mujeres in the Caribbean, a 20 minute ferry ride from Cancun on the Yucatán Peninsula.

Miguel
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Don't new US Passports have NFC chips inside? If so, take some care when you receive them?
OP
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UTC quote
Syd wrote:
Don't new US Passports have NFC chips inside? If so, take some care when you receive them?
Why??
Miguel
⚠️ Last edited by Miguel on UTC; edited 1 time
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My wife's passport was recently about to expire, and she is not one to be without a passport at the ready at all times. I did her headshot photo (according to the rather stringent instructions for size, framing, background, etc), printed them out, and she mailed in her old passport, renewal form, and paid the expediting fee. She had a new passport back in about 3 weeks.
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UTC quote
No fingerprints on your passports?

I once had an ICAO app on my Blackberry, which could read out some of the data stored on the chip via NFC. Turns out even though the headshot is printed in black and white, the digital photo is in colour.

You do need more than one token to read the data via NFC or the chip won't answer. It can't be accessed on the fly.
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UTC quote
When you renew your passport get the Passport card too. That comes in handy when you are out in another country, don't have to carry your passport for ID, leave it at hotel/home and take the card & use it for ID.
Cheaper to get it when you are renewing your passport than if you apply to get it separately
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Hello Baba

I am planning a trip to Brazil in October. How do I get an ID card? Dumb question?!
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UTC quote
jess wrote:
My wife's passport was recently about to expire, and she is not one to be without a passport at the ready at all times. I did her headshot photo (according to the rather stringent instructions for size, framing, background, etc), printed them out, and she mailed in her old passport, renewal form, and paid the expediting fee. She had a new passport back in about 3 weeks.
I am similar to your wife - not one to be without a passport ready. I also paid the expediting fee of $60 and had it back within 4 weeks. It is mentioned the expediting service may take up to 12 weeks. I also paid the extra $17.56 for the 1-2 day delivery of the new passport. Total out of pocket - $187.56. Well worth it for my ease of mind. Though the old passport arrived separately, about 2-3 weeks later from the new passport, was of no concern to me.
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UTC quote
My wife and I both renewed ours last winter and we both had them in less than a month.
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stickyfrog wrote:
My wife and I both renewed ours last winter and we both had them in less than a month.
Expedited?
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UTC quote
I've gotten my passport done three times. The first one, when it expired, and when I changed my name. It has never taken more than 6 weeks when I've done it, expedited and not. Maybe I just have good timing, I don't know.
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UTC quote
Miguel wrote:
Why??
Miguel
The information in your passport theoretically can be read when in your pocket, just like your credit cards, at least the Tap to Pay ones.

I own an RFID wallet to prevent scanning of my credit cards.
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UTC quote
jess wrote:
Expedited?
Nope. We didn't have any travel coming up so we didn't pay for that. We were both surprised. Maybe it's because of Indiana? It took much longer when we got them originally in Florida.
OP
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UTC quote
I agree with others that the 18 week renewal time is quite a bit longer than I remember too. I've had a valid passport for decades and this is the first time I don't have one. But since we don't anticipate leaving the US till Feb/March 2022, and even that is potentially optimistic, the 18 weeks works for us. I'm guessing the increase wait time is caused by a pent-up demand for passports and worker health precautions the State Department is taking because of Covid.

One of my brothers is an aircraft ground controller for one of the airlines at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC. He told me the airport is filled with people and the planes are stuffed. My sister is flying to Rome on Saturday. Nutty I tell her. But she doesn't listen to me.

Miguel
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@miguel avatar
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UTC quote
Max6200 wrote:
Hello Baba

I am planning a trip to Brazil in October. How do I get an ID card? Dumb question?!
Start here Max. We've never bothered getting an ID cards. Miguel
OP
@miguel avatar
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Der Blechfahrer wrote:
No fingerprints on your passports?
No fingerprints are required on US passports. Tho if they take them at an airport, its possible they could load them onto the internal chip.

Miguel
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@miguel avatar
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UTC quote
Syd wrote:
The information in your passport theoretically can be read when in your pocket, just like your credit cards, at least the Tap to Pay ones.

I own an RFID wallet to prevent scanning of my credit cards.
I've been dubious of this claim. The State Department says you have to be within 6" to read the card, the passport must be open and you need to have the decryption key to extract any info. So I've not worried about it. Just my opinion of course.

Miguel
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UTC quote
On the subject of passports I have a pretty funny story to tell. A few years ago when I travelled to the European Union from the United States at the airport in Portugal I saw them stamping my passport but when I got to the baggage claim area I opened the password and there was no stamp. Little did I know that the stamp was only visible under a blacklight.
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There is supposed to be a code - stamp on page x: watch this person, stamp upside down: frisk that guy thoroughly, etc.
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The US renewal system has never been a terrible problem for us, it just takes a bit of time and a careful reading of the rules. Since I also have a German passport I can tell you that the US system is a walk in the park compared to the requirements of the Germans. Renewal has required a visit to the Consulate itself, for which you must make an appointment for each of you, in advance (months in advance), and then show up with the completed application form, all supporting documents (in duplicate, original and a copy) and you will pay the fees in Euros on a credit card. The photo rules are VERY specific and they will send you home without any hesitation. There are NO copying machines at the office. If you pass that hurdle you will then wait months and months, only to be notified the passport has arrived in the office. If you paid in advance they will express it to you; if not it's another trip.
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UTC quote
jess wrote:
Expedited?
Mine too was expired. Actually expired last June but we weren't going anywhere so there was no hurry. I too expedited it and got the new one in about three weeks. I was surprised at how fast it got to me.
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UTC quote
Big_Boys_Mother wrote:
I am similar to your wife - not one to be without a passport ready. I also paid the expediting fee of $60 and had it back within 4 weeks. It is mentioned the expediting service may take up to 12 weeks. I also paid the extra $17.56 for the 1-2 day delivery of the new passport. Total out of pocket - $187.56. Well worth it for my ease of mind. Though the old passport arrived separately, about 2-3 weeks later from the new passport, was of no concern to me.
We had a similar turn around about a month!
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UTC quote
For entry most countries require a passport valid for 6 months so passports should be renewed when there are still 6 months remaining.
Quote:
As a general rule, passports must be valid for six months beyond the date the traveler will exit the United States, however, the U.S. has signed agreements with a number of countries to waive this requirement. When such an agreement is in place, the passport must be valid for the entire period of the visitor's intended stay, but the additional six month validity period is not required.
https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-905?language=en_US

Just sayin.
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UTC quote
What gets me is the requirement to have X number of blank pages left in your passport for stamps -
and then the officials go to a new blank page for their stamp, even though there is plenty of space on the previous page.
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Fudmucker wrote:
What gets me is the requirement to have X number of blank pages left in your passport for stamps -
and then the officials go to a new blank page for their stamp, even though there is plenty of space on the previous page.
I'm actually kinda bummed that the last three times I left the country, I didn't get a single stamp, even when I asked. No sneaky UV-only stamp, just none at all. Like, I don't usually plan to spend much on souvenirs, can't I get that one little freebie as proof that I was there?
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UTC quote
It takes much more time to get your drivers license renewed in MN that to get a passport. My last passport update was about 3 weeks. MN's DMV has been broken for a few years since they decided to write their own system SW. Bad idea.

I don't get the Real ID process I had to go through. I needed a passport and, I think, 4 other documents. With the passport I can fly into most other countries or any state in the US. But to get the real ID I needed the passport AND 4 other forms just to fly to another state???? Bureaucracy at it's finest.
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Witch wrote:
I don't usually plan to spend much on souvenirs, can't I get that one little freebie as proof that I was there?
Laughing emoticon

The first time that I travelled internationally was for work back in the '90s. I was such a newb, that I had no idea what to expect, and was extremely nervous. I flew from New York to Vienna, Austria, deplaned, followed the signs to baggage pickup, found a cash exchange machine, then followed the signs to ground transport, where a taxi took me to my hotel.

It was only after we were already on the way to the hotel that I realized that I did not go through customs! I have no idea how I missed it, nor why it was apparently so easy to do!

I met my interpreter/guide the following day, where we drove to the Austria/Hungary border (not too many years after leaving the USSR.) I was again nervous, as I had no proof that I had actually entered into Austria legally. Went smoothly, but the car in the next lane had all of its door panels off and several armed soldiers around. Whew!

Any travels since, I make absolutely sure that I go through whatever steps I'm supposed to follow, and double check that my passport has ben stamped!
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UTC quote
Steve wrote:
Laughing emoticon

The first time that I travelled internationally was for work back in the '90s. I was such a newb, that I had no idea what to expect, and was extremely nervous. I flew from New York to Vienna, Austria, deplaned, followed the signs to baggage pickup, found a cash exchange machine, then followed the signs to ground transport, where a taxi took me to my hotel.

It was only after we were already on the way to the hotel that I realized that I did not go through customs! I have no idea how I missed it, nor why it was apparently so easy to do!

I met my interpreter/guide the following day, where we drove to the Austria/Hungary border (not too many years after leaving the USSR.) I was again nervous, as I had no proof that I had actually entered into Austria legally. Went smoothly, but the car in the next lane had all of its door panels off and several armed soldiers around. Whew!

Any travels since, I make absolutely sure that I go through whatever steps I'm supposed to follow, and double check that my passport has ben stamped!
Ha, these things can happen!

I've traveled quite a lot in business, mostly inside Europe though.
Once, in the nightmare airport of Paris, Charles de Gaulle, I somehow managed to get out of the passanger area and completely outside the airport building. I had a bit challenges in convincing the authorities why I tried to access the terminal from there...

Not that long ago before covid I came to Stockholm, Sweden from outside EU in order to change planes to Helsinki. It was night and I was dog tired... I too somehow managed to skip customs and, again, wandered off to an area that was supposed to be closed. Again, a bit of explaining to get back to the right track...

I do like straighforward airports. Those I can take half-sleep. Often already the shape of the buildings set-up tells a lot. Angular buildings, like drawn by a boring engineer often works well. Round or otherwise daring shapes immediately rise my internal alert level to get prepared for confusions and time consuming internal transportations.
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UTC quote
stickyfrog wrote:
My wife and I both renewed ours last winter and we both had them in less than a month.
I was going to expire in Feb so sent in for renewal in December. It was about the same 3 weeks so I'm glad I did it then.
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UTC quote
Fudmucker wrote:
What gets me is the requirement to have X number of blank pages left in your passport for stamps -
and then the officials go to a new blank page for their stamp, even though there is plenty of space on the previous page.
If you travel a lot you can just have additional pages added.
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UTC quote
Max6200 wrote:
Hello Baba

I am planning a trip to Brazil in October. How do I get an ID card? Dumb question?!
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/need-passport/card.html
I believe you shall have your ID cards following those instructions.
Having the passport ID is great as I don't I have to carry my passport when I am out and about in the new country I am in and I need an ID to get into a place.
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UTC quote
ScooterRaton wrote:
If you travel a lot you can just have additional pages added.
U.S. Passport Holders Can No Longer Add Extra Pages

https://www.us-passport-service-guide.com/add-pages-to-passport.html
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UTC quote
Max6200 wrote:
Hello Baba

I am planning a trip to Brazil in October. How do I get an ID card? Dumb question?!
I sent one of my staff to Brazil a while back and he was having difficulty getting a business visa. The people at the company we were visiting kept saying "just get a tourist visa. Lie" after a couple more months of trying to get a business visa my employee finally broke down and got a tourist visa. Apparently lying to customs there is so common it's expected.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
lomunchi wrote:
I sent one of my staff to Brazil a while back and he was having difficulty getting a business visa. The people at the company we were visiting kept saying "just get a tourist visa. Lie" after a couple more months of trying to get a business visa my employee finally broke down and got a tourist visa. Apparently lying to customs there is so common it's expected.
Getting a Visa to come to the U.S. or to Western Europe from any non white majority country is a nightmare. Whether it is a tourist/visitor/student/business visa, one pays a hefty fee with no guarantees of getting a visa. Most people of these countries aren't aware of what the visa requirements are for people coming from those countries.
Hopefully you shall have a good visit to Brazil and who knows shall share some Vespa pics from there.
@max6200 avatar
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UTC quote
lomunchi wrote:
I sent one of my staff to Brazil a while back and he was having difficulty getting a business visa. The people at the company we were visiting kept saying "just get a tourist visa. Lie" after a couple more months of trying to get a business visa my employee finally broke down and got a tourist visa. Apparently lying to customs there is so common it's expected.
Brazilian authorities are just plain lazy. I am surprised they didn't offer you a lessaiz pass instead. They just don't want to go through all the red tape that a business visa requires. They offered you a visitor's visa because it requires the least amount of red tape and it's going to be processed right there at the airport without the participation of the consulates and the embassy. A business visa however has to be processed in a certain manner which requires and insurmountable amount of red tape. Keep in mind that Brazil is the capital of red tape.
@lomunchi avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2020 Honda NC750DCT
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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UTC quote
baba12 wrote:
Getting a Visa to come to the U.S. or to Western Europe from any non white majority country is a nightmare. Whether it is a tourist/visitor/student/business visa, one pays a hefty fee with no guarantees of getting a visa. Most people of these countries aren't aware of what the visa requirements are for people coming from those countries.
Hopefully you shall have a good visit to Brazil and who knows shall share some Vespa pics from there.
We do an significant amount of training at our MN facility for people all over the world. Especially Asia Pacific, China, India etc, and lots of European countries, some places that are very nasty for us to get visas. I've never run into a situation where one of those partners had difficulty getting visas to the states or had to push out training for delays (pre-covid). I've certainly never heard of them having to lie to get access.
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