Visiting the US government passport office is the first step you need to take in order to get a passport. It is important to have a passport in case you need to leave the country for any reason. Contrary to popular belief, going to the passport office can be easy and hassle free as long as you are prepared.

Finding a passport processing office: The first thing you need to do is go to the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website. The Bureau of Consular Affairs is the main government office and has everything you need regarding passports. The site has an option where you can enter your location and it lists nearby passport offices. These offices are usually housed in government buildings, such as post offices, clerks of court, or public libraries.

Who should go to a passport office: Minors, people who do not already have passports, or people who have lost or damaged their passports a required to visit the passport office to get a passport. When you get there, you need to show identifying documents and fill out all the necessary forms. With minors, both parents need to be at the office with the child.

Who does not need to go to the passport office: If you are over the age of eighteen and already have a passport, you may not need to go to the passport office. You may be able to renew by mail. As long as your passport was issued less than fifteen years ago, you are eligible to do this.

What to bring to the passport application office: You are required to bring two color photographs of yourself, money for fees, proof of identity, and proof of citizenship to the office so you can get your passport. In the event of a name change, you will need to bring documentation of that as well.

Photographs: The requirements for the two color photographs that must be sent are very strict.

Most passport offices can take your picture for a nominal fee of $ 15. This is usually good because it ensures that your picture meets the qualifications.

Hours: The hours for passport processing offices vary. It’s generally a good idea to check when your local office hours are so that you don’t go when the office is closed. Most passport offices are open sometime during business hours, but rarely after then.

How long it takes: If you are leaving the country, plan ahead and visit the passport office at least a couple months before your trip. This process takes a while and you will most likely wait between four and six weeks to get your passport. If you need it before then, you can ask the employees at the office about expediting the passport. With this process, you can pay a $ 60 fee to get your passport in about two or three weeks.

The US government passport office is not as much of a hassle as most people think. A passport is often necessary, but as long as you plan ahead and get together all of the necessary documents, you will have no problems getting your passport. After the paper work is submitted, the hard part is over and you just have to wait for your passport to come in the mail.

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

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