1) Apply early!
Apply for your passport months before your trip. This way it gives you time if there is a mistake on your application and has to be sent back to be reprocessed. Many countries you travel to may require you to have A VALID passport at least 6 months BEFORE the time of entry.
Routine service(Non-rushed)- Approximately 6-8 weeks from the time of application, including mailing time.
Expedited Service(Rushed)- Approximately 2-3 weeks from the time of application, including mailing time.
2) Fill out Passport Application.
Print out a passport application online and fill it out with BLACK INK! Another option to get an application is from a post office that has passport acceptance services.
Print out and fill out the online application form.
3) Find a post office located near you.
Not all post office have passport services. Many post offices had limited hours to apply for your passport. However, most post offices do allow you to call ahead of time to make an appointment.
4)Collect your supporting documents.
• Citizenship evidence such an original birth certificate or certified copy. Your ORIGINAL birth certificate will be mailed out with your application and sent back with your passport. Copies are not accepted!
• A“2 by 2” two passport size colored passport photos.
• Photo ID. Your photo ID must be your current state and address for the state you are applying in.
• Passport fees. Scroll down to see passport fees.
• Proof of relationship for children under the age of 16. This can be a birth certificate with your name on your child's birth certificate.
Expediting your passport.
In a hurry? Request and pay a faster application to and from the U.S Department of State. At the post office you can expedite the process to 2-3 weeks. For urgent travel for less than 2 weeks or the same day application, you must schedule an appointment at Department of State passport agency near you. In order to get a passport for urgent travel, you must show proof that it's a life or death situation or that you're traveling in less them 2 weeks!
Things you should know when applying for a passport.
• If you are applying for a U.S passport for the first time you must be present when applying. You will not be able to apply online or mail in an application. • If you are under the age of 16 you must be present when applying.You will not be able to apply online or mail in an application. • If your previous U.S passport was stolen, lost, or damaged you must be present when applying.You will not be able to apply online or mail in an application. • If your previous U.S passport was issued more than 15 years ago you must be present when applying. You will not be able to apply online or mail in an application. • You have the option to apply for a passport card as well. A passport card is smaller and more convenient for those who travel frequently to destinations that ARE accessible by land or sea such as Mexico and Canada.
Passport fees are nonrefundable.
• A child’s passport book and card are only valid for 5 years. Both parents/guardians MUST be present when applying for a passport. If both cannot be present you have to fill out a consent form and get it notarized.
Print out and fill out the online consent form for notarization.
• Cash, checks, and money orders are payable to “U.S Department of State”. Credit and debit cards CANNOT be accepted.
The $25 execution fee must be paid separately.
Reasons for being DENIED a U.S Passport
• If you are behind on child support payments over $1,500 or more
• Probation, felony issues, currently summoned to appear in court, currently in jail, wanted on an arrest warrant, your passport may be denied. • Your passport photo must be taken correctly. When applying for a passport in the passport office, ask if your photo meets the requirements. A passport must be taken in front of a plain white background with no casting shadows. Do not wear a hat, have your ears showing with a neutral face, AND with both eyes open. Your passport photo must have been taken within the last 6 months.
Most importantly apply for a passport with loved ones to enjoy the experience of the "new" world together!