Are you a traveler and wanting to expand your horizon overseas or a regular cruiser? If so, it’s a great idea to get your passport.
For cruising, if you are leaving and arriving a US Port, a passport is not required. A Birth Certificate and Valid Photo ID will suffice. But its recommended to have a passport because if for some reason you must fly back from a foreign port, you will need a passport to do so. Plus, it does make getting through customs easier and less to lose.
To complete an application, you can visit the Department of State website or pick up a copy at your local post office. If you visit the website, you will have the option to print out an application and fill it out or simply fill it out online and print it filled out. The ladder is to me the easiest.
You will need some information you might not expect. Your parents’ names, dates and place of birth. If you are married, your marriage date, spouses name and date of birth. And if you are divorced you will also need your divorce date. Why, I have no idea.
Very important, DO NOT SIGN THE APPLICATION UNTIL TOLD TO AT THE PASSPORT OFFICE.
Also, read the first 4 pages that print out because they are instructions. I did not read the complete sentences and found out when I arrived I need not only my birth certificate and drivers license but a photo copy of each
You will need to make an appointment at a local post office that offers passport services. There is one number you call and you must leave a message. You will find the location and phone number on the Department of State website
Prior to your appointment date, make sure you have your birth certificate and valid drivers license. Valid is very important, the ID cannot be expired. Also, the birth certificate must be a certified copy. You will know its certified by the raised seal. And a word of warning, they do send the birth certificate off with the application and send it back to you so don’t use an original. And as I mentioned above, you will need to bring copies of these documents. Additional documents you might need are marriage licence or divorce papers. Best to ask the person who calls you to make the appointment.
In addition, you will need a passport photo which you can have taken there (check before) or at CVS, or AAA. I recommend getting it done before you get there since the price is the same. I got a call the night before letting me know the camera was down so I would have had to leave and come back.
For a new passport, its $110.00 plus a processing fee of $25.00. If you want it expedited, 2-3 weeks, it’s an additional $60.00 Payment can be made by check, money order, cash or debit.
Once you are in front of the passport representative, they will take your paperwork and your payment. You will need to attest to an oath basically saying the information your provided is truthful and you are done
Your normal processing time is 6-8 weeks but with expedited, its 2-3 weeks. If you have an emergency and need it even quicker, you will be able to locate an official passport office on the Department of State website. You will get your passport in the mail and then your birth certificate will arrive separate.
Keep in mind, this information pertains to new passports and not renewals. Renewals can for the most part, be completed by mail. No matter what type you are getting, I highly recommend you visit the Department of State website for the most up to date information.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.