Passport Law Makes Travel Hard

By: Mindy Stone
By: Mindy Stone

This is always the busiest time of year to apply for passports with people planning spring break and summer trips. But this year, the demand is even greater since a new law went into effect back in January.

People need passports now for even more of their trips outside of the U.S. You used to not be required to have a passport to go in and out of some near by countries. But, now you do if you're traveling by plane.

Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Three popular vacation spots. But, you may not be able to get away without a passport. In Southern Colorado, folks are flocking to post offices to try and beat the rush before spring break and summer trips. "I'm having to apply for a passport just to go to the caribbean," said Vernetta Johnson. Since the new passport law went into effect more than a month ago. The post office has seen a high demand. "Since then, it's just been endless." Ron Perry with the U.S. Postal Service says travelers can apply for passports at 8 post offices in Colorado Springs. And each location has been taking in as much as $1,000 a day in passport fees. Vernetta Johnson is planning to go on a cruise next month. "I totally forgot about the passport law." "Had I thought about it. I would have been here sooner." And now paying more for her mistake. "It was kind of expensive because I needed to expedite it." "Hopefully I will make it in time before I need to leave which is April 23rd."

As early as next year, the new rules will apply if you're driving or going by sea to another country.

If you need to get a passport, you can avoid long lines at the post office by going to a special passport fair. It will be held tomorrow at the cadet station on the Air Force Academy from 8 am to 3 pm. And later this month, another fair is scheduled for Saturday, March 24th from 8 am to 3 pm at the Cimarron Hills post office.

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