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Why you should apply for or renew your U.S. passport before January

Did you know that according to the U.S. State Department American passport renewal processing times are shortest between September and December? And the heat for passports typically comes in the new year and continues into summer.

So now is the best time for your passport to be renewed quickly.

In 2016 fiscal year more than 18 million passports were issued. That is a record. Moreover, the agency expects the number to hit 20 million this year.

There’s another reason to make sure you have a valid, up-to-date passport.

Something called the Real ID Act will go into effect in 2018. The law was passed in 2005 and it requires state driver’s licenses to meet certain security standards to be considered a valid federal ID you can use at airport security checkpoints. Unfortunately, California is one of the states whose driver’s license does not meet the requirements. If you have a license issued by a state that’s not compliant, a valid passport is your best bet for airport identification.

If it is your first time to get a passport, you must appear in person.

Original Story at Los Angeles Times.