Many people postpone trips overseas because they do not want to fill out a US government passport application. What they don’t know is that the application process is actually simple. Even if you are not planning to leave the country any time soon, it is advisable to get a passport just in case.
Finding the application: The US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website should be the first place you visit. It has all the information you need about applying for a passport. At this website, you can print out the application. You can also type in your address and find passport offices in your area.
Submitting the application: If you are a minor, are applying for your first passport, got your last passport more than 15 years ago, or do not have your current passport for any reason, you will need to go to a passport office to submit your application. If you have your current passport and it is less than 15 years old, you can submit your application by mail.
How long it takes: If you have a time-sensitive situation that requires a passport, you will need to turn in your application very early. It generally takes about four to six weeks to get your passport. Try to plan ahead so that you do not have to worry about getting your passport in time.
Expedited passports: You can get your passport application expedited if you are in a hurry. If you opt to do this, your passport will arrive in two to three weeks. There is an additional $ 60 fee to use the expedited service and you will have to pay overnight shipping costs.
Photographs: When you fill out your application, you will need to submit two photographs of yourself. There are very specific requirements for the photographs.
It is a good idea to have these done by a professional photographer or the passport office to make sure the requirements are met.
Form DS-82: If you want to submit your passport application by mail, you will need to fill out Form DS-82. Follow the instructions carefully and write clearly. In addition to the form, you will need to send the two photographs, your old passport, and documentation of name changes.
Form DS-11: If you have never had a passport before or are completing the application on behalf of a minor, you will need Form DS-11. In the case of minors, both parents and the child need to go to the office. This form cannot be submitted by mail. You will need to bring your passport photographs, proof of US citizenship, and proof of identity.
Completing a US government passport application is an easy and beneficial process. You never know when you are going to need to leave the country. It may seem like a lot of information to think about, but it is actually quite simple. If you need to get a passport, make sure you plan ahead and apply well in advance so you get it in time. Once the application is completed, your part is done and they will send you your new passport.
C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some. She has also traveled extensively and now writes about travel destinations around the world for Family Vacation Spots and Best Vacation Getaways