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New regs require passports for all citizens traveling outside U.S.

January 21, 2009

Beginning June 1, 2009 the U.S. Dept of State will begin requiring a passport book or passport card for all U.S. citizens traveling outside of the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Security Web site, “Travelers who do not have the appropriate documents may be delayed while Customs and Border Protection officers attempt to verify their citizenship and identity.”

Those planning international travel after June 1 should make sure their documentation is up-to-date. Applications for new or renewed passports may be submitted through the U.S. Passport Acceptance Office, part of ASU’s Center for Global Education Services in the Tempe Center. Processing currently takes about three weeks. However, that time usually increases during the busy season, from January through May.

“We want to encourage people to apply early and beat the rush,” says Kim Foster, senior specialist and passport acceptance agent. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and serves students, faculty, staff and members of the community. While normal processing time for a passport or passport card is three to six weeks, expedited service is available for an additional fee.

The U.S. Passport Acceptance Office is part of the Center for Global Education Services in Tempe Center at 951 South Mill Ave., Suite 150, west of Coor Hall on the Tempe campus. For more information, call (480) 965-0877, or visit the Center for Global Education Services Web site or the State Department Web site.