Needs a Passport?
If you are an
American citizen and will be leaving the country you now need a
passport. This new law includes Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. The
process to get a passport is not difficult but it is frustrating,
especially at this point in time when everyone in the United States now
needs to get one. I just went through this process with my family and
I was really nervous that the passports were not going to arrive before
our trip. However, they did – two weeks early.
This page will explain
how long it takes to get a passport, where to get one, what documents
are needed and what the fees are along with
suggestions to help ease this process.
How Long Does
It Take to Get a Passport?
If you do not have plans to travel abroad in the near future you may
still want to consider getting the passports so that you have them ready
when they are needed. You must allow
a great deal of time
processing. The earlier that you can go the better.
which are an additional cost, are
taking approximately 5 weeks and standard processing is taking months.
The passport offices are extremely busy.
Where Do I Get A Passport?
You can apply
for a passport
in many Federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public
libraries and a number of county and municipal offices.
However, not all locations do passports so
must check to see exactly
what facility is available in your area. The best thing to do is to
check the National Passport Information Center at
Once you are on this site you can select the following options to find
a location near you:
have determined your location be sure to call the facility to find out
the time that they are open for passport applications.
A week day will be less
crowded than on the weekend. You should attempt to
arrive at the facility when they open.
You have to wait in line to signup, and if you are one of the "X" number
that they will process for the day then you can return at the estimated
scheduled time later that day.
Again you should return early for your appointment.
all locations are equipped to take passport photos. So you should
verify that passport pictures are taken at the location that is nearest
to you. We chose to take pictures at an outside location and we
actually saved money. My family went to our local CVS and had our
pictures taken and printed while we waited. Some other locations that
you can try for photos are FedEx Kinko stores, Sears photography center,
Motophoto, UPS store and local photographers.
Applying for a Passport?
applying for a passport for
first time, you must do so in person.
You must also apply in person if your last passport was damaged or
stolen or if your previous passport has expired and was issued more than
15 years ago, when you were under the age of 16, or under your old name
and you don't have a legal document formally changing your name.
Otherwise, you can apply for passport renewal by mail.
documents will I need?
that you are a U.S. citizen, you must bring a undamaged passport,
or a certified birth certificate (a copy is not acceptable). Be
advised that when you submit your application they will also take
your original birth certificate and return it to you with the
Proof of Identity:
You will also need proof
of identity. A previous, undamaged passport, naturalization
certificate, certificate of citizenship, current driver's license,
government ID, or military ID are all acceptable. Otherwise you can
bring a combination of documents, such as your Social Security card,
bank card, credit or library card, along with a U.S. citizen who has
known you for at least two years and will vouch for your identity.
Social Security Number:
In addition, you will need to
provide the social security number of each person applying for a
must be two identical,
color photos that are 2x2 inches in size. They must be taken on a
plain white or off-white background and should be full face, front
view pictures in street clothes
The fee is $97
for individuals 16 and over and $82
for those under 16. For an additional fee
plus the cost of overnight delivery, you can get your passport
expeditied. For more information, visit
Payment is made in two steps:
fee is paid directly
to the U.S.
Department of State and this
be paid by personal check, money order, cash or bank drafts. NO
CREDIT CARDS are accepted for this portion of the fee.
The application fee for individuals 16 and over is $67 and for those
under 16 it is $52.
execution fee will be paid to the
facility executing the application (i.e. post office) and they will
accept money orders, bank drafts, and personal checks. Cash and
credit cards are accepted at some locations but not all. The U.S.
Postal system will accept credit cards.
This fee is $30 per person regardless of age.
I Get the Application?
It is beneficial
to download an
application and fill it out prior to going to the passport agency.
This will save time and will also allow you to fill out the forms at
your leisure. Forms can also be obtained from any passport agency.
Applications can be printed from
Select the Passports for U.S. Citizens option and then
Applications and Forms.
must apply in person for their passport. If you're getting a passport
for a child under the age of 14, you'll need proof of the minor's
citizenship and proof of your relationship to the minor, such as a birth
certificate, adoption decree, or court order establishing custody. Both
parents are required to be present for a child to obtain their
passport. If one of the parents can not appear, you must have a
notarized statement of consent authorizing issuance of the passport or
the parent or guardian who appears must have proof that he or she is the
sole guardian. Proof could be a birth certificate that lists only one
parent, a court order granting sole custody, or a death certificate of
the other parent.
that these tips help with your passport process --- Have a terrific