How to Get a Passport


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us-passport4Here is what you need to know about how to get a passport. In fact, we are your passport and visa headquarters. Not only will you find information on obtaining a US passport and visa, but you will find information on countries that require visitors have a visa before traveling to their shores. Whether this is your first time applying for a passport or you need information on renewing a passport, we have the information you need. So, let's get started:

How to Get a Passport

Owning a passport used to be something many people didn't think about, unless they were frequent overseas travelers. But security issues throughout the world have tightened travel restrictions along with the need for this important document for all United States citizens. You'll want to be well versed on how to get a passport, including all the documentation requirements, so that you'll have it in time for your next trip.

Passports are handled by the Bureau of Consular Affairs which is part of the United States Department of State. A passport is the document which verifies your U.S. citizenship and confirms your identify. Since passport qualifications are very strict, it's a document that is accepted worldwide.

First-time passport applicants must apply in person. There are over 8,000 authorized passport acceptance facilities or agencies to choose from so finding one nearby shouldn't be a problem. s, U.S. State Department offices as well as city and town government buildings all qualify and have the means to issue a passport. For help in finding a location near you, visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Anyone applying for a passport must fill out found at one of the facilities noted above or downloaded from the internet. This document is the key to speeding your passport application process. If you download and print the form at home, make sure your copy prints clear and crisp. Blurred or illegible forms will be rejected immediately. When filling out the DS-11 form, only use black ink pen. Print carefully, as any items which are questionable can be cause for rejection and you'll have to start all over. One important note is to be sure to not sign the form in advance. Your signature must be witnessed by the person taking your application.

Since a passport verifies your citizenship, you'll need one of several documents. Any one of the following will suffice: A certified Birth Certificate, a Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship or, for renewals, a prior U.S. Passport which is undamaged. Any documentation submitted with your application will be returned back to you when your passport is mailed to you.

A passport photograph is also required at the time you submit your documentation and completed form. This can't be just any picture you have of yourself, but must meet very specific requirements. Many passport agencies, such as the , are set up to take passport photographs. You'll need two photographs and the cost runs between $10.00 and $20.00. You'll be also asked to verify your identification when the photo is taken so have a valid id ready such as a driver's license, school ID card, etc.

Expect to pay at least $97.00 in fees when submitting your final application. It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks to receive a passport, but if you need it sooner, you can pay an extra $60.00 for "expedited" service. Overnight delivery fees also can run an additional $20.00 to $50.00.

This list of items is a good overview of how to get a passport. If you have specific issues that are not covered here, such as problems obtaining citizenship verification, visit the to find out more.

Visit often to learn more information from our updated How to Get a Passport.

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