I was cleaning out my travel bookmarks and saw this Jan. 30 story in Forbes: Record Number Of Americans Now Hold Passports. The State Department says that now one-third of Americans — 110 million — now have passports. Forbes notes that 48 million citizens had passports in 2000 and a mere 7 million had them in 1989.
I got my first passport when I was six, when we were moving to England. My passport lasted until 1979, and I didn’t get another one until 1990. I love having a passport. It’s a form of ID that is never questioned, and there’s something about being able to leave the country.
And now our friends at the State Department are making it easier to get a passport. Saturday, March 10 is Passport Day In The USA. Under this program, you can apply for your U.S. passport at a Regional Passport Agency without an appointment, with either standard processing (4-6 weeks) or an additional $60 for expedited processing (2-3 weeks, door-to-door). The cost for a passport is $165, plus whatever it costs to get your photos.
So to quote an old AirTran tag line: Go — there’s nothing stopping you!