Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
In the event if an attack or natural disaster occurs while you are abroad, it is important that you know what resources are available to you. One recommendation is that you register your trip in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals who are traveling or living abroad. STEP allows you to enter information about trips abroad so that the Department of State, via the embassy and consulate, can better assist you in an emergency by providing important safety and security information. You can also subscribe to receive email updates with travel alerts and other information for a particular country.
To enroll, visit https://step.state.gov/step/ It only takes a few minutes to create an account and register your trip.
Benefits of Enrolling in STEP
- Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
- Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
- Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
How can the embassy or consulate assist me while I am abroad?
Consular officers assist U.S. citizens and nationals who encounter serious legal, medical, or financial difficulties. They can provide the names of local attorneys and doctors, provide loans to destitute Americans, and provide information about dangerous conditions affecting your overseas travel or residence. Consular officers also perform non-emergency services, helping Americans with absentee voting, selective service registration, receiving federal benefits, and filing U.S. tax forms. Consular officers can notarize documents, issue passports, and register American children born abroad. In a crisis situation such as a natural disaster or severe political instability, the Department of State often takes an active role in providing information and assistance to U.S. citizens in the affected area. Visit the website of the closest embassy or consulate for more information.
If I don't enroll, but I need assitance while I am traveling, will the embassy still help me?
Yes, but they will not be able to proactively contact you if the embassy or consulate has important information about safety or security conditions in the area you are traveling. If there is a crisis or an emergency, it is much easier for them to assist travelers who have previously enrolled their trip information with STEP.
Information you provide the U.S. Department of State is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act (5 USC 552a). This means that the Department of State will not disclose your info or email to any third parties unless you have given them written authorization to do so, or unless the disclosure is otherwise permitted by the Privacy Act. They will not share your email or personal information and will only contact you as part of this STEP enrollment. You may update your country alerts or enrollment preferences at any time via the mobile website or the STEP link at https://step.state.gov/step/