So my passport expires in March and everyone said you better get one before I go to New York on Xmas day. I looked online and it clearly says you just need a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay. So I left my passport as is and applied for my esta (visa waiver program) on Friday night. 7 days before, they take 72 hours and I've had one before on this actual passport so I know you apply and that's it sorted. Nothing is that simple for me, when I put in my issue date it says that I am not valid for an esta because I don't have a electronic passport. I filled it out anyway and was told by the UK passports office that I should speak to the U.S. Embassy this morning but it should be a problem. They informed me today that it was indeed a problem!! They changed the law in the last few months to say that your passport has to be electronic for you to get an esta and not have to get a visa but it is too late for me to get a visa now anyway. So this has left me with a 3 hr round trip to Peterborough tomorrow, a same day passport issue appointment, 4 hr wait and exactly 72 hrs to apply for another esta. People that know me will know that I often cut things fine but this is taking the piss.