I walked into the library and made my way down the hall to the county office. A cheery, middle-aged woman staffed the desk and assisted me with my residency paperwork. While she printed something off for me to sign, she shared a piece of advice that went something like this: “Whenever you get a chance, get your passport. If you ever have to establish residency elsewhere, it makes things so much simpler. I remember when I lived in New Jersey you had to have something like nine forms of ID, but a passport could take the place of seven of them.”
I signed the paper she printed, thanked her, then forgot about getting my passport for several years. Then one August, with no trips abroad planned, I finally applied for my passport and was amazed when it came back in ten days! The next year, an entire family I knew applied for theirs around the same time and had a similar turnaround.
So if you don’t already have one, get your passport in August. My theory is that everyone has already taken their summer vacations abroad, so there isn’t a huge backlog of applications waiting to be processed. But who knows. If I’m wrong, just consider this blog post to be a friendly nudge to do something you’ll be glad you took care of.