Should you update your travel documents? Here’s the why and the when.

When you travel are your documents up to date? Because a government issued ID is required to board a plane, it’s important to keep your state ID updated and if traveling internationally, your passport as well.

When life changes happen, what do you need to update?  How critical is it to update them after a significant life event? Can it wait? Here are our top tips.

Because your name should match across any methods you present for travel as well as your travel reservations, you should first update your state ID or driver’s license; check with your state’s policy. You may also need to update your social security card and certified copies of other documents such as your marriage certificate.

Request a Passport name change. A name change is pretty easy if requested within one year of your passport’s issue date. In fact, there is no fee unless you request expedited processing. Simply complete a form DS-5504 with an explanation of the name change, a passport photo, and legal documentation of the change such as marriage or divorce.

If it’s been over a year since your passport was issued, you can apply and pay the applicable fees instead to renew with your change. This requires your latest passport, a form providing legal proof of the name change, form DS-82 and a recent photo.

Sometimes you don’t meet the qualifications to renew/change by mail so you’ll need to apply for a NEW passport in person. You’ll still need proof of identity, but you should be able to get by with proof that you’re a U.S. citizen via a birth certificate, a driver’s license, and a recent passport photo.

When getting married, do not submit the paperwork until AFTER your honeymoon! For your honeymoon, the woman travels under her current name as shown on her active passport. Remember this name is also used on ALL your reservations (not your new married name).

Are you TSA PreCheck? If you’ve enrolled in PreCheck or Global Entry prior to changing your name, you’ll need to update that as well. Otherwise, you’ll need to enter security using the standard TSA lanes. You will lose all benefits until the name change is completed.

Don’t forget about rewards accounts. Travel rewards are one of the best parts of traveling. Think about lounge access, hotel discounts, and airfare credits. Every program has a different process, but oftentimes you can update your account using the app. You can also contact customer service to merge accounts under your new name.

To maintain your travel benefits, make sure to keep your government ID’s and account names updated including your name! Providing you with invaluable assistance, contact us for your next getaway!

About Denise

My goal is to simplify travel-planning through an equal exchange process where I acquire your ideas and expectations for your trip relieving you of the worry, hassle, stress and time that accompanies Do-It-Yourself planning.

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