Military Passport Information for 2022: 5 Things You Need To Know Now

Every day, military families are willing to sacrifice, both large and small. Are you a member of the military? Is your spouse? The last thing you want is more headaches and stress. We have listed 5 crucial things you need to be aware of about the requirements for military passports for 2022.

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Military Passports vs Tourist Passports

Are you stationed abroad? It is necessary to have two kinds of passports. This is the same for dependents, should they travel along with you. The first kind of passport is a "no-fee" passport "no fee" passport. This kind of passport is given to military personnel and other government personnel who travel abroad under government instructions. As you might have guessed, the government gives this passport at no cost.

To get your no-fee passport, contact your Installation Travel Office.

However, don't just stop there. Your family members traveling together should also obtain regular passports for tourists. Yes, it can be costly. But, passports with no fees are intended for official travel. They shouldn't be used to traveling for personal reasons. This includes travel during time deployed overseas or even for emergency trips home.

Yes, some members of the military can use their free military passports to travel on personal trips. However, it's not a good idea. According to the U.S. Army website notes: "The convenience comes to an end when no-cost passports are utilized to travel for pleasure. Tourists could end up trapped in a border country trying to gain entry (or, worse, trying to exit).

A government-issued passport cannot be used for leisure travel. because "a government-issued passport is specifically for the execution of government orders and travel associated with those orders," said Edmund Snead, passport and VISA specialist at the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart passport office."

Apply Early For Passports in 2022

The passport processing process takes longer than usual in this particular year for families of military personnel and civilians. Make sure you get your applications in as soon as possible. If you delay, then you may have to pay higher expedite charges.

The Department of State has cautioned military families to apply as early as possible for the regular passports for tourists. The wait is now six weeks. It is likely to get longer in the summer, as many applications are expected to be received. The wait time is 3 weeks by paying an additional $60 for each application. There is, however another option that is faster.

To obtain a tourist's passport faster, there are two alternatives. Visit the closest Regional Passport Agency. It is also possible to use a private expediting service such as RushMyPassport to complete your application. Our team can assist you in securing the security of your U.S. tourist Passport by processing your application within 24 hours if needed. We can expedite the processing of child passports and adult passports, renewals of passports, and replacement passports if your passport gets damaged, lost, or stolen.

Passports for Military Families

Do you have extended family members? Do you have relatives who intend to visit you and your family members in the stationed area? Be sure to inform them that they must also apply for passports in advance! Any traveler who plans to travel outside the U.S. border must possess a valid passport. A valid passport must be valid for six months validity beyond the date you return. If you're planning to return in January, your passport will not expire before June (six months after your return home).

Military Passport Information for Children 

Dependent children who travel with you on official orders must be eligible for passports with no fees. Like adults, children should also have regular passports for tourists.

A passport application for children is different from applying to get a passport application for an adult. Children require the permission of both parents. However, having both parents sign the application personally with their child may be difficult for families with military members who might have limited time together.

What happens if both parents are unable to be present? In that situation, the absent parent can travel by themselves. They'll require an unsigned authenticated copy of Form DS-3053.

Passports As ID for Military Bases

Are you a base resident within the U.S.? Your guests may have to carry passports or other identity documents to be used as a backup. Military bases no longer accept driver's licenses and other state I.D.s from states which are not REAL ID compliant. 

Anyone who has Identification cards issued by these states has some choices. Anyone who has an I.D. card from the Defense Department card can escort the card. Certain states provide a unique security-assured Enhanced Driver's License. Other I.D.s that are acceptable include:

  • U.S. passports
  • Native American tribal documents
  • Defense Department or federal I.D. cards issued by the Defense Department or federal I.D.
About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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