10 Things You Need to Know When Applying For Your Passport
In order to travel outside of the United States of America, you need to have a passport. I didn’t obtain my passport until about a year ago, and I am so happy I did. As someone who travels a lot, I am not sure why I hadn’t secured one before then, but that is another story for another time. I think one of the roadblocks of me getting my passport was that I heard that the process to obtain one was difficult. I pictured a lot of red tape and bureaucracy, which scared me. But when I finally did the research on my own, I saw that applying for a U.S. Passport wasn’t hard at all. In fact, it was a pretty easy process. So I’ve come up with 10 things you need to know when applying for your passport.
1. Speed up the process
You can speed up the process by filling out the U.S. Passport paperwork online. You cannot apply online, but you can complete the paperwork and print it out to bring with you when you apply. Doing so will speed up the process while you are at the passport office, and can make it easier on you.
2. Copies, please
When applying for your passport, you are going to be asked for copies of your Social Security Card, your state issued license or photo ID, and an original copy of your Birth Certificate. The original Birth Certificate copy must have the seal on it and can’t be a duplicated copy (meaning copied on a printer or scanner). Once your application is sent in and processed, they will send you the original Birth Certificate copy with seal back to you. So if you only have one Birth Certificate on hand, you will need to order another one since you are going to have to send it with your application (unless you don’t mind not having your Birth Certificate for 2 to 3 months).
3. Red tape
If you owe child support or have been convicted of a felony, you will not be able to obtain a U.S. Passport.
Many cities have a passport office, but they can really be busy. Some United States Post Offices have passport service within their location, which can make the process easier. Check here for a list of USPS offices that offer passport service. Click here for more information.
If you have children traveling internationally with you, they must also have a passport with the same requirements that you have.
To obtain your passport, it currently costs $140 for adults and $95 for minor children. These fees must be paid at the time of application.
It can take anywhere from 3-6 months to receive your passport after approval. You can get your passport expedited for an additional $60.
You will also need to take a passport photo at the time of application. The USPS can take your passport photo during the application process.
If you need assistance with applying for your passport, you can make an appointment at a National Passport Information Center. You can call 24 hours a day: 877-487-2778.
You have to renew your passport if you have a name change due to marriage, etc. You may be able to renew by mail.
Don’t let the process deter you from getting your passport. It’s an important document to have and will give you the ability to travel the world when you want, where you want. It’s a traveler’s best friend.
For more information on obtaining your passport, click here.
Do you have your passport?