Typing " how to get passport " into a search box would generally return results about how to obtain a US passport. Passport application can be a pain with all the forms, documents and strict guidelines. However, if you follow certain instructions, obtaining your passport would be a relatively simply process.
When to apply: The first step would be to consider when would be the best time to apply for your passport. Processing times are listed on the State Department website as 4-6 weeks, or half that time if you choose expedited service, but delays are not uncommon. The best time would be to apply at least two months before you fly, in order not to be held up by any delays that might happen.
The forms: First time applicants or minor applicants must fill up Form DS-11. All other applicants can fill up the form DS-82. Both forms are available off the State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/, or from your nearest passport agency. You can also check where your nearest passport agency is through the same website.
The documents: Three separate sets of documents must be submitted. The first would be the evidence of citizenship, and this can be in the form of photocopies of your birth certificate, Certificate of Citizenship or your Naturalization Certificate. The second set would be a proof of identification. A photocopy of this must accompany the application packet, and the original must be presented when lodging the application in person. Examples of this include driver's licenses, military IDs or governmental IDs.
Finally, two copies of your passport photograph must be attached to the application. These must be 2x2 inches, against a white background and taken within the last 6 months before your application. It must show you full-faced and without obscurities such as hats or sunglasses, and both photos must be identical.
Cost: Passport application and processing costs come up to US$100 for adults and US$85 for minors.
Applying in person: If you are a first-time applicant, or are a minor under the age of 16, then you must make your application in person at a travel agency. Other than that, applications can be made via mail.
Tracking and checking: If you are sending your application in through the mail, then tracking the application is recommended. You can check the status of your application, regardless of whether you applied through mail or in person, through the State Department website about a week after you lodge the application.
Now you have learned how to get passport, and have actually applied for your passport. With that done, you can wait for your passport to arrive through the mail. Be sure to flip through the pages to check if your passport had been damaged in the handling process, and enjoy your vacation!
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