A passport is a document of identification for everyone, people of all age groups and all genders. Like all people, transgender people in United States need proper identity documentation. Identification issued by the government of the country is important for applying to college or for a job, for financial transactions, interactions with law enforcement and even for going through airport security checks. Continue reading
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Most of the time, passport applications get processed without a hitch. Oh sure, it takes awhile – about six weeks for regular processing and three weeks if you expedite your application. However, if you’re patient, your new passport should turn up in the mailbox within the appropriate period of time.
Unfortunately, sometimes your passport application can get “stuck” in limbo as the Department of State needs more information before they will process it. Here are some of the most common passport application roadblocks, along with strategies for dealing with them.
Back Child Support
If you owe more than $ 2,500 in back child support, the government will not issue you a passport. However, the State Department will hold your application for 90 days to allow you to pay your account down below that amount. After 90 days, you have to reapply and pay the application fee all over again.
Even after you pay up, the hold on your passport will not be lifted automatically. Instead, you must contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement for the state in which you owe child support. Some states will require you to pay the entire balance before they’ll release you, even if you pay enough to owe less than $ 2,500.
After your state Office of Child Support Enforcement has released you from the program, you should receive your passport within seven business days.
Birth Certificate Issues
Birth certificate issues are another potential problem. These can range from easily corrected issues (like sending the wrong type of birth certificate) to problems that are more difficult to handle.
Most birth certificate issues can be prevented by carefully checking your birth certificate prior to sending it. It must be issued by the state you were born in (not the hospital) and it must have a raised, embedded, embossed or multi-colored seal. Also, make sure it has both of your parents’ names on it and that it was issued less than one year after you were born.
If your birth certificate was issued more than one year after you were born, you may need to include additional evidence that you were born in the US. If your delayed birth certificate lists the documents used to create it and includes a signature from a birth attendant, you may be able to submit it alone. Otherwise, you’ll need as many early public records as possible. These could include a baptismal certificate, hospital birth certificate, census record, doctor’s record or early school record.
All US citizens are entitled to a passport, but when it comes to proving your citizenship, the government places the burden of proof on you. Occasionally, if they suspect that your birth certificate may have been falsified, they may refuse to issue a passport unless you provide a great deal of personal background information. This usually occurs to people delivered near the US border by physicians or midwives with a previous record of falsifying documents. That doesn’t mean that your documents were falsified, but it does mean that you may not be able to get a passport unless you can provide all of the supporting information that the government requests.
If this happens to you, submit as much of the requested information as you can get. If you can’t get everything that the Department of State asks for, submit what you do have and explain why you can’t get the rest. If you continue to have problems, contact your congressional representative and ask for assistance with your passport application.
Other issues can include not making out the check or money order correctly or not completing the application properly. These issues can generally be corrected easily by contacting the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or by re-submitting your application.
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.
Image by Ben Ward
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Home to Lady Liberty, The Guggenheim and The Museum of Natural History, New York City is a travelers dream come true. With no shortage of places to visit, things to see, and souvenirs to buy, NYC welcomes over 50 million visitors every year.
Traveling to New York City, or to most major metropolitan areas in the U.S. comes with many new rules since the tragedies of 9/11. Boarder patrol and airport security has become increasingly tighter, making it more even more important than ever for travelers to ensure that all their identification is in order.
If your do not have a passport and will be traveling to NYC from outside of the country, completing your passport application online or in person is required. Travelers without a valid passport will not be permitted to enter, or leave the United State of America. If your passport is about to expire, completing a passport renewal form is the best way to ensure you don’t get stuck in NYC with an expired passport.
Because of its size, a list of “Must-See” things is the best way to tackle the city. There are all the obvious “must-see” places like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Ground Zero. But there are so many other gems in the Big Apple that you won’t want to miss. It’s always best to do your research, make a list, and accept that you will not be able to see it all within your first visit. A tour bus is always the the best and most convenient way to see all the highlights without the stress of a taxi.
There is no need to book your bus tour in advance. There are plenty of men and women selling bus tours all over Times Square. The best tours will offer you “Hop on, Hop off” privileges and will allow you to see the city from an open top deck.
New York City is one of the most exciting and energetic places in the world. It is overflowing with history, art, and culture. It can be expensive so its best to be prepared, organized and plan ahead. It’s not the place to gets stranded waiting on a passport renewal. With your passport in hand, take a bite of the Big Apple and get ready to have the time of your life.
Image by moppet65535
For a while I was reading to Laurel from The House At Pooh Corner. Then I read to her for a bit from the US Passport application. Then Mouse came over and lay down on the application, which was more or less the end of that.