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Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Your Foreign Travel Safety-net

Are you aware of the little-known Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the acronym STEP, offered free of charge by the U.S. Government?

Offered to U.S. Citizens traveling or living abroad STEP’s primary mission is to protect U.S. Citizens while traveling abroad

Before you leave the U.S. you should take advantage and register for this program that offers very useful benefits. 

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As an enrollee you’d receive the latest security updates from the closest U.S. embassy or consulate on an ongoing basis.

As a matter of fact, it could potentially save your life someday, should you travel to countries with political unrest!

A one time registration

Simple to use, you register for the program one time only.

Then, prior to every trip, you simply enter your trip information. After entering your trip information you can automatically receive updates and messages of importance to you.

At the completion of your trip you can delete that trip’s information. Add a new trip when you’re ready to travel again. 

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Benefit details

Your information

Enter your upcoming destination(s) and receive up to date reports on security threats and the social climate where you are headed. Simple to use, you register for the program one time only.

Then, prior to every trip, you simply enter your trip information. After entering your trip information you can automatically receive updates and messages of importance to you.

At the completion of your trip you can delete that trip’s information. Add a new trip when you’re ready to travel again. 

During your travel 

Since social climates and security threats are always changing around the world STEP will send emergency messages and country updates directly to your email while you travel.

Lost, Stolen or destroyed passport services while abroad

Registering for STEP will securely store your passport and identification information with the State Department. 

Although your information will already exist in the State Department’s system when they issue your passport they claim that U.S. Embassies around the world can better expedite and assist you in any kind of emergency if you register with STEP.

Evacuation assistance

Since time is of the essence in a time of crisis it’s important that you can receive help as soon as possible. 

By entering the country you will be visiting into your Smart Traveler Enrollment account you’d be included in a database of U.S. Citizens visiting that country.

In the event of a security threat or a natural disaster the U.S. authorities will be in a position to help you directly, since they know you are in the affected location. 

Passport notice for travel

Emergency situations where U.S. Citizens have received help in the past include evacuation assistance after tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and civil unrest.

If there is a crisis in the U.S. while you are abroad

The STEP program also works to notify you you of urgent information if there is an emergency in the U.S. while you are abroad. This feature would allow U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to get a hold of you in a timely manner, to convey important crisis news from home.

Where to enroll in the STEP program

You can enroll in the free STEP program HERE.

The STEP app is not recommended

STEP also has an app available. However, this app is getting bad reviews, due to its alleged unreliability of not functioning as designed. Hopefully this is a problem that will be improved upon in the future.

More information

For more information about STEP and other services offered for U.S. Citizens abroad, check HERE.

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