If you are looking for a US passport office, then it is likely you are getting ready to apply for your first passport. Possibly you've decided you need a passport for your upcoming trip to France or Italy, or maybe it's just a budget trip to Canada. Either way, you'll want to know what's involved in the process and where to find a passport application/processing office.
It's comforting to know that there are over 8,000 authorized passport offices in the United States. The most common, which you've probably driven by many times or frequented, is the U.S. Post Office. If your town has a library or other government buildings, these are also considered authorized for passport processing.
Since applying for a passport the first time must be done in person, and you also need 2 passport specific photographs taken, the is the most popular choice, as most post offices take care of both. Plus, you can buy a strong envelope, one that's waterproof because you never know, and even take care of mailing. Check with your local post office and find out if they take appointments, as sometimes the lines for passport applications can be long during busy times.
To get the necessary application form, again visit a passport office or bring up your computer web browser and surf over to the website. There you'll find lots of good information plus the link to download and print the form . Take your time filling it out carefully as any errors can mean instant rejection. Don't sign it until you're ready to turn it in so the passport official can witness your signature and check your other ID such as your driver's license.
Since a passport verifies your citizenship, you'll also need to include an original Birth Certificate, Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship. No photocopies are accepted. If you're unable to locate yours, see the web page of the Center for Disease Control - National Center for Health Statistics or the U.S. Immigration department as applicable.
Your passport photo also must meet strict standards which mean a specific size and setting. Be sure to wear what the Department of State calls "normal street attire". That means no uniforms, hats or anything that may interfere with a clear picture. Passport agencies who take these photos will help you if you're not sure.
The price for a first time passport runs around $100.00 at this writing, but could change so always ask at the application office. That price is a combined fee for the State Department and the processing center and doesn't include the photograph costs. Nor does it include the mailing envelope or postage fees. If you're looking for "expedited" service, expect to pay more.
Once you've visited your local US passport office, had everything verified, paid and sent it all to the Department of State, wait approximately 3 to 4 weeks to receive your passport. It's good for 10 years for adults, plus renewal is much easier. You'll soon be the proud owner of your own passport and ready to travel the world!
Visit often to learn more information from our updated US Passport Office.