2013 Year In Review

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Passport Renewal in Washington, DC

Depending on how quickly you need your passport renewal processed, there are a few different passport renewal possibilities. Let’s take a look at the different options that Washington, DC residents have for renewing their passports so that you can determine which option is the most appropriate for your situation.

 

The first option is simply to send in your passport renewal form by mail. You can apply for passport renewal by mail as long as you have not lost your current passport or had it stolen, it is undamaged, it is less than 15 years old and as long you have legal records to support any name change requests.

 

To renew your passport by mail, use passport renewal form DS-82 and send it in along with your old passport, 2 passport photos, and supporting legal documents if your name has changed since your last passport was issued. Also send a check for the associated fees.

 

Renewing your passport by mail means that you’ll have to wait a while for your passport. If you don’t request expedited processing, it’ll be about 6 weeks. If you do request expedited processing and pay the additional $ 60 fee, it’ll be about 3 weeks.

 

But wait a minute…this is Washington, DC, where the entire Federal government is headquartered. Surely you can get a passport in Washington in less than 3 weeks, right? Actually, yes you can, as long as you can show that you’ll be leaving the country in the next 14 days and don’t have one. Just make an appointment at the Washington, DC passport agency office, located on 1111 19th Street, N.W.

To make an appointment, call 1-877-487-2778.

 

If you can’t make it down to the passport agency office but you need your passport in a hurry, your final alternative is to use a private passport expediting company to submit your passport application for you.

 

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.

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How to Get a Child Passport

Kids need passports just like adults, but getting them can be something of a challenge. The Department of State has issued a special set of rules and procedures for children under the age of 16, and it’s important to be aware of the extra steps you’ll need to take before you apply. Here’s what you need to know to get a child passport:

 

Photos

 

You’ll need one passport photo to submit with your child’s application. As long as your child is old enough to understand instructions and you can bribe him to be still and not make faces, this shouldn’t be a big deal. For infants, however, child passport photo requirements can cause a good deal of consternation. First of all, the child has to be awake for the photo, looking at the camera and not crying. Second, neither the parents’ arms, a chair, nor any other means of support can be visible in the photo.

 

Fortunately, you don’t have to levitate the little darling- just place baby on his back on a plain white bed sheet, and pray he cooperates.

 

Documents

 

When you apply for a passport on behalf of your child, you must do so in person at a post office or other passport acceptance facility. You’ll also need the following documents:

 

Proof of identity for you, like a driver’s license. Bring both an original and a plain photocopy.

Proof of your relationship to the child, like the child’s birth certificate, an adoption decree or a court order giving you guardianship.

Evidence that the child is a US citizen, such as a birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

Proof that both parents are okay with the child being issued a passport.

The easiest way to prove parental consent is for both parents to mosey on down to the passport office. However, if this is not possible, one parent can go with a notarized “permission slip” from the other parent giving consent.

If you have sole custody of your child, you may bring one of the following: a copy of the other parent’s death certificate, a copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption decree with only your name on it, a court order awarding sole custody to you or permitting you to travel overseas with the child, or a court order declaring the other parent incompetent.

A copy of passport application for DS-11, which you will fill out on behalf of your child.

 

Once you’ve gotten everything together, simply go to the post office, pay the required child passport fees and the passport agent will send your child’s paperwork to the Department of State for processing. The new passport should arrive in about 6 weeks for regular processing and about 3 weeks for expedited processing.

 

 

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.

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More About The Passport Application Process

You should have a passport. It not only help you when you travel outside the US but make your life easier also. To get a passport, you first have to fill out a passport application. There are two options, one for those applying for the first time and one for those just renewing.

 

Hard copy applications can be obtained at your local library and most post offices. Some post offices also have set hours when they process applications including taking the required two pictures for placement in your passport. To find out if a post office near you offers these services, call ahead or research the internet. All you need to do is type in your zip code and a list of available locations and service options will appear on your screen.

 

If you don’t want to leave your home or office, you can download an application to your computer, print it and fill it out. It is as easy as searching for United States Passport on your internet search engine. Government sponsored sites will be listed as well as commercial websites. If you are on a government site, downloading an application and instructions will be free. There are other sites that will offer you extra guidance to fill out the application and submit it, however, they will charge you a fee to download their instructions and application.

 

First-time applicants and those who are under age 16 need to submit applications in person. Review the instructions for a list of items you will need to bring with you including two photos, picture identification and an original birth certificate. Do you have a passport that is soon to expire, or already expired? You may be able to renew by mail. As long as you have the expiring or old passport to send in with your application, your name has not changed and it has not been longer than 15 years since it was issued, you can save a trip and won’t have to wait in line.

 

There are several levels of processing depending on when you will be traveling. If you don’t have to travel out of the country for a month or more, you can pay the standard fee and follow the routine process. It generally takes between four to six weeks to receive your passport and possibly longer during summer when more people travel. If a trip abroad came up unexpectedly and it is less than four weeks away, apply under the expedited process. This will require an additional fee for overnight delivery with tracking capability. Your passport will be sent to you within two or three weeks and arrive at your home or office via overnight delivery. If a family or work emergency requires you to travel even sooner, you must set up an appointment at a passport agency. These are located in most major cities.

 

All applications, routine or expedited, first-time or renewal, require a fee. Once issued, your passport is valid for 10 years if you are over 16 and five years if younger. Traveling has become more and more complicated today and having a passport will make things much easier. Even crossing the border to Canada or Mexico, flying to Bermuda or the Caribbean, you need a passport.

 

When you have to travel quickly, expediting or fast-tracking your application will cost more. It is best not to wait till the last minute to apply. If your company requires you to go on a trip or conducts regular business outside the U. S., there may be an administrative person dedicated to getting your application processed. If a federal employee, your agency will likely have someone on staff to assist you. You may also notice that your passport cover may be a different color than the those of regular citizens. If you have to handle the process by yourself, ask for fee and picture cost reimbursement for approved work travel.

 

An additional plus to being able to travel outside the country whenever you want is that your US passport often makes it easier when you are applying for jobs, or need to show identification to verify your citizenship. Since you need to produce a birth certificate and other forms of identification to obtain a passport, having this form of identification in your pocket is sometimes all you need. After all is said and done, for reasonable cost and a small amount of time, applying for a passport is a great idea.