If you want a passport you will need to visit a US government passport office. It is important to get a passport since you are not permitted to leave the country without one. Visiting the passport office can be a painless and hassle free experience if you are knowledgeable about the process bring all the correct documents.
Finding a passport office: To find a passport office, go to the website. This is the government's main office for everything you need to know about passports. On the site, there is a page where you can enter your address and zip code. The site will provide a list of nearby passport offices. Passport offices are usually contained in other government buildings. For example, they are often housed in post offices, clerks of court, or public libraries.
Who should go to a passport office: If you are under the age of eighteen; have never had a passport before; or you do not have your current passport due to damage, theft or other reasons, you will need to go to a passport office. You need to produce identifying documents and fill out the proper forms there. If a minor is applying for a passport, both parents must accompany them to the passport office.
Who does not need to go to the passport office: Some people may not need to visit the passport office to get their passport. This is the case for people over the age of eighteen who already have a passport. Their passport must not have been issued more than fifteen years ago. If you fit these criteria, you can renew your passport by mail.
What to bring to the passport office: To apply for your passport, you need two color photographs of yourself, money to pay the fees, proof of identity, and proof of citizenship. If your name has changed for any reason, such as marriage, you need to bring documents that confirm the change.
Photographs: You need to submit two color photographs of yourself for your passport. The requirements for these photographs are very stringent. Passport offices will take your picture for you in exchange for a small fee, normally around $15. It is generally a good idea to do this in order to make sure your photographs fit all the requirements.
Hours: The hours for passport offices vary from office to office. Always check when they are open so that you don't make an unnecessary trip to the office only to find that it is closed. Most of the offices are open Monday through Friday sometime between eight and five.
How long it takes: You should go to the passport office well in advance of when you will be leaving the country. It often takes a while for the application to be processed and approved. You should expect to wait approximately four to six weeks to get your passport, so try to plan ahead. If you are worried about getting your passport in time, you can ask about the expedited process where, you pay a fee of $60 and get your passport in two to three weeks.
Visiting the US government passport office may seem difficult and time consuming at first. Make sure that you plan ahead and go to the office a few months before you need your passport, since it does take a while for the government to process the applications. Once you fill out all the paperwork, you are done and just have to wait for them to mail it to you.
Visit often to learn more information from our updated US Government Passport Office.