A Guide to Travel Registration for US Citizens

The Department of State advises US citizens to register their travel destination whenever they travel abroad. What does travel registration involve and is it really necessary to register your trip before you leave the country?

Registering Protects You

Travel registration allows you to record travel information about an upcoming trip. Once you have registered your travel plans, the Department of State can assist you if you require help during an emergency. Americans who are moving abroad for military, diplomatic or other purposes can also receive routine information from the nearest US embassy or consulate that serves their host country.

While millions of Americans travel abroad each year and encounter no problems during their travels, some do require assistance after falling victim to crime, serious illness or some other emergency. During an emergency abroad, US citizens who have registered their trip abroad will be located more easily if the consular officers have your personal information to hand.

How to Register

Travel registration is voluntary and does not cost a thing. If you are interested in registering your travel plans, go to this page and then create an account by clicking on the “Create an Account” link. Choose a username and password so that you can access your travel data at any time. The information you enter will be saved and can even be used for subsequent trips abroad. As well as providing your own personal details, you will also be asked to include the contact details of an emergency contact who will not be accompanying you, in case they need to be notified of an emergency.

How the Embassy or Consulate Can Help

US consular officers can provide a variety of services to US citizens who encounter difficulties during their time abroad. Consular officers cannot act as your legal representatives, but they can help out in a number of ways. For example, they can provide the contact details of lawyers, doctors, or offer loans to those who are left destitute. As well as providing emergency assistance, consular officers also help US citizens who need to register with selective services, need advice about federal benefits or when filing a US tax form.

Travel registration is a voluntary service that is provided free of charge to Americans who will travel abroad in the near future. Once you have entered your travel details, consular officers can provide you with assistance if you run into difficulties, or need routine consular assistance while you are abroad.

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