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Need to Renew? Passport Day's Approaching

You're a SmarterTravel reader, so it's safe to assume you have a passport. But is it up to date?

Passport Day, the State Department's annual no-appointment-needed event, will take place in a few weeks. So now is the perfect time to take a look inside your passport and check its expiration date.

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On Saturday, March 9, U.S. citizens may stop by a passport agency or center unannounced to renew or apply in person for a first-time passport. This makes things super convenient for busy travelers, as it's normally necessary to set up an appointment in advance. If you think it's time to renew or time to get your first-ever passport (get one!), mark the date on your calendar.

Bring the kids if you have them. According to the U.S. Department of State, "Convenient Saturday hours ensure most parents don't have to miss work to apply for their child's U.S. passport. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to an agency or participating acceptance facility where there will be special activities for children."

Keep in mind that you may have to wait in line on Passport Day. To expedite the process, we suggest filling out your application ahead of time, printing it, and then bringing it with you, unsigned.

Make sure you have everything you need before you arrive on the big day, especially if you're applying for your first passport. First timers need to show evidence of U.S. citizenship and identification, and they must provide passport fees (a $110 application fee and a $25 execution fee for adults) as well as a passport photo. For more information on what first-time applicants need to bring, see the State Department website.

Know an aspiring globetrotter who has yet to get a passport? Spread the good news about Passport Day.

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