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Passport Clarification Needed..

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So I'd like to just confirm what I'm reading now -- that regular (NOT expedited) service is running about 12 weeks. Is that right? (I thought it was taking longer.) Is that for new passports, or for renewals? (My wife needs to renew -- we've got over six months to do it, and she's going to do it this week [or else! :)] but I want to be sure we don't need her to go for expedited service.)

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We applies for renewals for our passports at our local post office. We applied for routine processing. Here is the time line:

Applied 4/24/07

Application received in Philadelphia 4/25/07

Check cleared bank on 5/2/07

Received passports today 7/25/07 (about 13 1/2 weeks).

 

I think it takes the same amount of time for new or renewals. The state department web site should be updated and state 14-16 weeks instead of

10-12 weeks. This seems more accurate.

I don't blame the people processing the applications. They are working under heavy pressure. I blame Congress for passing regulations and then not providing the funding and/or the personnel to operate the program properly.

 

So apply early if you need a passport, the backlog will probably only get worse as more people who didn't need passport before need them now.

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Congress is just doing our bidding. I sure don't want to pay a whole bunch more in taxes, do you? Many feel that way, and don't care enough about those instances of government inefficiency or ineffectiveness to prompt a greater willingness to pay more in taxes to provide more staff, or provide better technology to make processes more efficient, etc.

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We finally got our passports after 14 weeks.

 

For those of you who recommend making copies, which part do you actually photo copy? Just the picture page? Thanks.

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Congress is just doing our bidding. I sure don't want to pay a whole bunch more in taxes, do you? Many feel that way, and don't care enough about those instances of government inefficiency or ineffectiveness to prompt a greater willingness to pay more in taxes to provide more staff, or provide better technology to make processes more efficient, etc.

 

Why is it that problems are always blamed on government inefficiency? I am not 100% convinced all the laws passed by Congress are done at our (voters) bidding. The squeeky wheel gets the grease and those who yell the loudest usually get what they want and that is not necessarily to the majority's benefit.

I have just retired from 35 yrs of government service and I have witnessed many cases over the years where regulations (laws) have been passed and then we were told by the powers that be that they have no funds to do the enforcement. Everyone wants more service but not higher taxes. You can't have your cake and eat it too as the old saying goes.

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Over the past few months I have read with astonishment the problems you encounter in the US regarding the processing of passport applications.

 

In the UK the Identity and Passport Service aims to return renewal applications within 3 weeks and first-time applications within 6 weeks, first-time applications take longer because a face-to-face interview is required as part of the process.

 

It would be inappropriate for me to suggest either a cause or a cure for the situation you are experiencing but there would certainly be "Questions in the House" if a similar situation arose here.

 

My apologies if my post appears to be a that of a self-satisfied "Limey", I really just wanted to express my heartfelt sympathy.

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No one will raise the "Questions in the House" here, because the budgetary process is substantially bi-partisan, and there is a lot of compromise. With regard to this issue, both sides probably have more-than-ample tail-coverage, cases where they offered to boost funding to that office and the other side wouldn't accept it. Generally, no one here is willing to get up and advocate raising the budget for anything except for matters of life and death.

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From reading other threads, people are now receiving passports that they applied for 16 weeks ago. One woman finally got some action by contacting her US Congressman/woman.

 

jmla01 -- just the picture page and the page above it which has your signature.

 

Let's face it, cruisers, we're all going to need a passport sooner or later. There is no downside to having one; it's the best ID in the world. If you apply now, you'll probably have it by Christmas, and then you can move on to more interesting cruise issues. ;)

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I mailed the application for renewal of my passport June 6, not expedited. It came today, priority mail, from Portsmouth, NH. Almost exactly 2 months.

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Applied for my passport renewal on July 17, received the passport yesterday. Did not request or pay for expedited service. That under three weeks! :D Hope that means the State Dept. has their act together. Good luck to all.

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So I'd like to just confirm what I'm reading now -- that regular (NOT expedited) service is running about 12 weeks. Is that right? (I thought it was taking longer.) Is that for new passports, or for renewals? (My wife needs to renew -- we've got over six months to do it, and she's going to do it this week [or else! :)] but I want to be sure we don't need her to go for expedited service.)
Mailed my renewal July 27th, it showed up online as received on Aug. 6 (10 days) and today, Aug 10(14 days), I received an email that the passport renewal has been completed and my passport should be received by Aug. 14 (18 days, 2.5 weeks!). Standard processing.

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No you do not have to have passports. You do not need them for cruises until June 2008 unless your departure port is not in the US.

 

Yikes! Don't tell her that, it's not certain yet. That June 2008 part isn't official yet. In fact, it not specified as June 2008, only the vague date of "summer 2008". But, as of now that is only a proposed rule change, not yet official. It's not mentioned at all on the State Department website, but you can find it on the Department of Homeland Security website here:

 

http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1182350422171.shtm

 

Officially, you still need a passport for land and sea travel as of January 31, 2008. Until the new proposed rule is actually adopted, you can't count on it 100%.

 

My 13yr niece will be cruising with us in 3/2008. Does she need a passport?

 

Yes, your niece will need a passport.

 

Not necessarily. If the new proposed rules are indeed adopted she won't need a passport in March 2008. But unless they decide to make it official really soon, she'll have to apply for one anyway just to make sure she gets it in time in case the proposed new rule is not adopted.

 

I heard from my pvp from CCL that for cruise travel out of the US (round trip) that a passport wasn't needed until June of 2009.

 

Now that one is clearly not right. Even if they adopt the proposed new rule that would still only give you until summer 2008 before you need a passport for cruise travel, not summer 2009.

 

I'm surprised Carnival even gives passport advice, particularly since they don't seem to know the correct answers. Unless they have some inside information the government isn't sharing with the rest of us via their websites.

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... Even if they adopt the proposed new rule that would still only give you until summer 2008 before you need a passport for cruise travel, not summer 2009.
Maybe, maybe not. There is a permanent EXCEPTION to needing passports, still assuming the proposed rule is adopted, for RT cruises out of US to Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, for US citizens. (Its on page 36 of 114, section V of the NPRM, second blue link on that DHS press release link you gave above.)

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When will they (gov't) decide on if the proposed rule will go in to effect? Everything that I have read states that they will let you know in at least 60 days for RT cruise with US origin for US citizens that you have to have pp. I check the pp website every week to look for updates, but I haven't found anything yet.

THanks

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The minimum leadtime is that '60 day notice' they quote; in reality, it is more often 6-12 months. When they first instituted the WHTI there was all that discussion about whether to include land and sea crossings in the first 2007passport requirement. I think the shortest time frame came down to about three months(?) or so on that one.

 

The expectation (not a promise) at this time is that they will institute the second half land and sea crossing in the middle of 2008. The main holdup at this point is implementing the passcard system, and they want to make this all occur at one time. Passport or passcard for land/sea, permanent exclusion of specific WH cruises, one date for implementation. They also realize they need to give cruiselines several months to update rules.

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Maybe, maybe not. There is a permanent EXCEPTION to needing passports, still assuming the proposed rule is adopted, for RT cruises out of US to Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, for US citizens. (Its on page 36 of 114, section V of the NPRM, second blue link on that DHS press release link you gave above.)

 

Thanks for the correction. Though I'll have to take your word for it. I tried to look it up but was overwhelmed by that document.

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I am really concerned. I thought I would be smart and renew my passport early even though it doesn't expire until 4/2008. I mailed my renewal in on June 6th and it was received on June 8th. I checked their website and it has been posted an 'being processed' since mid June. I understand that the exception rule expires in September, is that correct? Our cruise leaves in November. We travel from the States to San Juan and return out of Acapulco, MX. My problem...my birth certificate has my birth name and I have been married 3 times. Does that mean I will need a copy of my birth certificate, 3 marriage licenses and 2 sets of divorce papers to prove who I am? I am freaking out!!! I have no idea where those papers are now. Can someone give me some advice?

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Calcruzer, I assume you will be flying back to the US from Acapulco, is that right? If so, then yes, you need a passport.

 

Its still too early to do much more than wait, but if you don't have your passport by exactly 14 days prior to your cruise departure, then call them to expedite it at the numbers listed on the website. You cannot get them to take this action until that 14 day window. But I think you will have it long before then. Try and relax....if possible.

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Thanks for the support. It's just all the negative feedback I've been reading. I can't even get excited about our cruise because all I can think about is not getting my renewed passport back and having to cancel our cruise. I will take your advise and try to relax. Hate dealing with any government agency.

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Thanks for the correction. Though I'll have to take your word for it. I tried to look it up but was overwhelmed by that document.

 

Here's the info about the PROPOSED permanent exception for cruiseship passengers from the link Cherlandtk was referring to....

It's from http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1182350422171.shtm, then click on USCBP-2007-0061: Land and Sea NPRM. I just did a CTRL F in this document and looked for Special Rules for Specific groups.

 

 

 

V. Special Rules for Specific Groups of Travelers Permitted To Use

Other Alternative Documents

 

Even though DHS and DOS have presented generally applicable

document requirements above, in reviewing the security and travel

considerations for the sea and land environments, the Departments

believe there are certain special circumstances for specific groups of

travelers that warrant permitting use of other documents. For these

specific groups of travelers, within these limited circumstances, the

Secretary of Homeland Security proposes that the delineated documents

be accepted for travel as discussed.

There are other groups of travelers that fall outside the scope of

section 7209 and are therefore not subject to these requirements. The

documents permitted for these populations under the foregoing special

circumstances are also explained below.

 

A. U.S. Citizen Cruise Ship Passengers

 

Because of the nature of round trip cruise ship travel, DHS has

determined that when U.S. citizens depart from and reenter the United

States on board the same cruise ship, they pose a low security risk in

contrast to cruise ship passengers who embark in foreign ports.

Although round trip cruises may stop in foreign ports (e.g., some

east coast cruises stop in the Caribbean and some cruises in the

Pacific Northwest may include land excursions in Canada), there are

reasons why U.S. citizens aboard these cruises pose a low security

risk. First, on round trip cruises, passengers who depart from the

United States would have their documents checked both when they depart

from the United States and when they return to the United States. Under

current Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) requirements,\51\

the cruise lines are required to check the accuracy of the travel

documents for all departing passengers. The passenger information is

transmitted to CBP well before the return of the cruise ship.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

\51\ See 19 CFR 4.7b (vessel arrivals) and 19 CFR 4.64 (vessel

departures).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

While on the voyage, the cruise lines also check the identity of

passengers as they return to the ship at various ports of call along

the voyage. CBP has worked with the cruise lines to establish proper

security protocols for these voyages and will continue to work with the

cruise lines on security protocols in the future.

When the cruise ships return to the United States, CBP officers

examine the documents of the incoming passengers as they would for

other cruise passengers. Because of the advanced passenger information

supplied to CBP upon departure and because of CBP's ability to check

this passenger data against the information supplied by passengers upon

return to the United States, the security risks associated with

allowing U.S. citizens to use the documents described below are low.

Accordingly, and in response to public comments, DHS and DOS

propose the following alternative document requirement for U.S. cruise

ship passengers. For purposes of the proposed rule, a cruise ship is

defined as a passenger vessel over 100 gross tons, carrying more than

12 passengers for hire, making a voyage lasting more than 24 hours any

part of which is on the high seas, and for which passengers

 

[[Page 35097]]

 

are embarked or disembarked in the United States or its

territories.\52\

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

\52\ For this proposed rule, DHS proposes to adopt the

definition of a cruise ship used by the U.S. Coast Guard. See 33 CFR

101.105.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

U.S. cruise ship passengers traveling within the Western Hemisphere

would be permitted to present a government issued photo identification

document in combination with either (1) An original or a certified copy

of a birth certificate, (2) a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by

DOS, or (3) a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship

and Immigration Services (USCIS), when returning to the United States,

under certain conditions:

The passengers must board the cruise ship at a port or

place within the United States; and

The passengers must return on the same ship to the same

U.S. port or place from where they originally departed.

All passengers arriving on a cruise ship that originated at a

foreign port or place would have to present travel documents that

comply with applicable document requirements otherwise specified in

this NPRM when arriving in the United States. For voyages where the

cruise ship originated in the United States, if any new passengers

board the ship at a foreign port or place, the new passengers would

have to present travel documents that comply with applicable document

requirements otherwise specified in this NPRM when arriving in the

United States. U.S. citizen cruise ship passengers that would fall

under this alternative document requirement are reminded to carry

appropriate travel documentation to enter any foreign countries or

stops on the cruise.

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Final comments are due Monday. Then they have to decide if it will go into effect or not, based on the comments and other considerations.

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Final comments are due Monday. Then they have to decide if it will go into effect or not, based on the comments and other considerations.

Thanks for the timeline.

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It seems that this proposed exception fails to address the need for a passport if a cruise passenger had to fly home prematurely from a cruise.

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My mom and I went and expedited our applications for first time passports on the 13th of August and we still have not gotten them. I hope that we get them intime for our cruise in November.

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My mom and I went and expedited our applications for first time passports on the 13th of August and we still have not gotten them. I hope that we get them intime for our cruise in November.

 

So much for their press release that they are finally caught up and expedited passports are returned 3 weeks :rolleyes:. ...which for you would have been Sept 3. Unless it has gotten lost, you should have them well before November. Good luck.

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My mom and I went and expedited our applications for first time passports on the 13th of August and we still have not gotten them. I hope that we get them intime for our cruise in November.
What does your online status show? Given that the passport agency is caught up from the overload, you should call them up and ask where yours are. And ask to get your expedited fee refunded.;)

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We applied on 9/11...just received in mail today 9/22...didn't even have to pay for expedition.....that has to be a record. The date effected was 9/17, just 1 week after application:D.

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A valid Passport is the best form of ID available. In today's world, it has become increasingly more important to have a valid passport in your possession...whether or not you plan to leave your country of origin. I applied at the Post Office on August 11, and received my Passport on September 10, without expedited service. It is the new Electronic Passport with integrated biometric chip.

 

My advice to anyone is to get the Passport NOW...before the cost does go up...it is good for 10 years...worry about the increased cost 10 years from now when you have to renew it!!!

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Here is an update from another thread from 'Ask a Cruise Question' ----

 

Agreed, see below for 'in writing' and latest government issued written status:

#1 State Dept. ISSUES the passport, but its really DHS and the Customs and Border division of DHS that decides--yes, 'in conjunction with the State Dept'--when to IMPLEMENT the requirement. For the lastest status, THAT is who you should check with. Not the cruiseline, and not even State Dept.

 

#2 Here is a link to the latest DHS status page, the relevant statement for cruises is on page 3 at the bottom.

 

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...hti_ls_faq.pdf

 

 

#3 What that link says is that for round trip cruises from a US port, for a US citizen, there is an exception to the passport requirement. You will still be able to travel with just a DL and BC. Even after the passport/passcard requirement for land crossing goes into effect sometime in mid 2008. What it means is, if you don't currently need a passport for your cruise, then you most likely won't need one even after the WHTI implementation.

 

#4 This change was added in June of 2007 as a result of the massive cruise industry response to the (former) proposal to require passports by 2007 (then changed to 2008 and now dropped). Squeaky wheel...grease..you get the drift. You would think they would be shouting from the rooftops, right? Well, instead they are taking their time about updating the websites until the latest change finally, actually, completely becomes law. After all, they have a more restrictive rule ('gotta have passports') listed on their webpages, so why bother updating it regularly? SIGH.

 

#5 The latest version, with the passport exception, has been published in the Federal Register, has completed its comment period and is pretty much just 'waiting to become law'. This will probably be at the same time as the passcard system goes into place. Best guess, mid-2008. Could be earlier. Could be later. Until then you can cruise on a RT out of the US with just a BC and DL. And after then you can cruise on a RT out of the US with just a BC and DL. :D

 

#6 Last but not least. My personal advice and opinion is to get a passport. Ease of travel, emergencies, missed departures, all of that. But the facts are that one is not needed for most cruises now or in the future. Be sure when reading these boards that you differentiate between the two.;)

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Hello all! I've been reading all your posts to see if my question was covered and I don't see it - hope I didn't miss it. If anyone can help me out I sure would appreciate it!

 

I got my passport in 2002 for a honeymoon trip so it was in my maiden name. In 2004 I had my passport amended for my married name for a second trip and have not traveled internationally since. I understand that in 2005 the rules were changed and passports will no longer be amended for name changes - you need to apply for a replacement passport.

 

We just decided last minute to go on a trip thinking our passports were all in order - but now I'm worried. Has anyone traveled on an amended passport since the 2005 rule change?

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Sundress, your passport is valid--so don't worry. You might have to point out the back page where the name is amended, but it is a valid passport until 2012.

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My husbands passport is up for renewal and I was considering a short December cruise. We have his old passport and it's in fine condition. I'm wondering. Is it any cheaper or faster to do the renewal as opposed to just submitting a new application?

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My husbands passport is up for renewal and I was considering a short December cruise. We have his old passport and it's in fine condition. I'm wondering. Is it any cheaper or faster to do the renewal as opposed to just submitting a new application?

 

We mailed our passports for renewal and they were received at the agency on September 20. The new ones arrived by expedited mail (we didn't pay for that, or expedited service) on October 4 -- two weeks on the nose. The fee was $67 each. Hope that helps you or someone else out there. :)

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