10 years ago the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was passed making it a law that when American’s travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean they must present a passport to get into the countries. Because passports for anyone over the age of 18 last 10 years that means we are about to see over 47 million passports come up for renewal. According to Travel.State.Gov passports generally take 4 weeks for processing. Because of the massive amount of passport coming to their expiration dates the processing time is already up to 6 weeks. They only project it to get longer through 2018, so if your passport expires in the next two years it is a good idea to keep in mind your travel timelines.
When traveling outside the United States various countries have rules on how long your passport must be valid for travel. So even if you are traveling in 5 months and your passport doesn’t expire for 7 months, most countries will not accept it. Your passport needs to be at least 6 months from expiration whenever you travel. So with at least 6 weeks of processing time that means anyone traveling in the next 2 years needs to keep that in mind.
Learn more about renewing your passport here: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/checklist-us-passport-108035.html