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Is Question #19 ("Travel Plans") a required field on passport application form DS-11?

by Jay
(Indianapolis, IN, USA)

Question: I want to renew my passport but the exact date of departure and my length of trip are uncertain at this point. I don't understand why a document entitling me to travel abroad for 10 years requires details about a particular trip, since it may be the first of many I will take using this passport. Please explain.


Answer: You are not required to provide travel plans in order to apply for a passport unless you plan to expedite the process. Applicants who request expedited services are required to prove the need for emergency expediting.

Interestingly, this used to not be the case. An article in the June 11, 1957 issue of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette stated, "You may not ask for a passport just in order to keep it on hand, if you have no travel plans."

The U.S. government now realizes that emergencies and unexpected opportunities for travel abroad arise that require U.S. citizens to possess valid passports. The best policy is to have a valid passport on hand even if you have no immediate travel plans.

You can just write "NA" in the blanks for Question #19.

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