Common Queries Regarding US Passport – Important Questions and Answers

We all know that for traveling to a foreign land, having a passport is mandatory. And people who do not have their passports need to get them done before their international travel. Passport is one among the most important national identity documents for any person. The Department of State issues the passport to US citizens. There are many formalities that need to be completed to obtain the passport in US. Along with this, people have various kinds of queries regarding US passports. It is recommended to get answers to all the queries and questions before filling the application for getting new US passport.

1. I am planning a foreign trip with my family. Will I need passports for all members including senior citizen parents and my 1 year old toddler?

Yes, you will need passports for all members of your family before any international trip. Whether you are traveling by air, waterways or by road, having a passport is mandatory as it is your national identity document and it will prove that you are a US citizen.

2. I do not have a US passport. How and where to I make an application?

For making a new passport, you have to make an application with form DS-11, which you can download from the site http://travel.state.gov/. Fill in the application duly with all the required details and furnish the documents that are required along with the passport application fees.

3. I want my passport within few days as my travel plans have come up suddenly. What to do?

If you are in a hurry to get your new passport, you can choose expedite services for the same. Everything else remains the same; just the amount of money you need to pay will be slightly more. Usually through these services, the passport reaches the person within 7-8 days. However, there are many passport agencies offering same day services to customers, where they get their new passport within a day. The charges that they take are little higher, but if there is an emergency you can always check them out.

4. I applied for my passport few months back and there is no news regarding the same. Where can I get information?

You can check your passport application status online at http://travel.state.gov/ website. For checking the status, you will need to provide your date of birth in MM/DD/YY format, your last name and the last four digits of your social security number. On entering these details, you will be able to see the current status of your passport. The time given by the State Department for obtaining passports is based on rough estimates. It takes almost 8 weeks for passports that are processed on regular basis.

5. My passport got damaged in a fire accidentally. What do I do?

You do not need to worry about your damaged passport. As soon as your passport gets damaged, you can apply for a fresh passport by filling in the right form for the same. Submit all the required documents and also provide reference of your damaged passport along with the fee. You will have your new passport within the stipulated time period.

6. I have to visit a foreign country in the coming month and might need to stay there for some time. But my passport’s validity will be expiring in the next three months. Is it good to get the passport renewed in advance?

Yes, it is highly recommended to get your passport renewed before you go for your foreign trip. DS-82 is the form that needs to be filled up along with important documents, photos and renewal fee. If you are in a hurry, avail the expedite service of the passport agency by paying additional fee.