Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pick Up Your Passport!

Pick Up Your Passport!

Imagine that all of your friends are planning an impromptu trip to an exotic locale like Bali, Greece, Portugal, or even Jamaica, to depart in the next week, but you can't go. Yes, you can't go because you don't have a passport. You think to yourself, "No problem, I can get one in the next week without a problem"- but it is a problem. Obtaining a passport on short notice (while possible) is expensive. Most people don't realize the cost until they are attempting to get a passport expedited to them in the course of a week; oftentimes less time than that. Currently, receiving your passport can run 4-6 weeks, sometimes longer if there are a glut of applications that are received and need to be processed (excluding expedited passports).

Here is the information you will need in order to obtain a passport, as well as the costs:
  1. You need to get passport photos (2);
  2. Verification of identity is required which can include one of the following: Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport, Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state, Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship;
  3. If applying in person the following information can be used as identification: Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport, Naturalization Certificate, Valid Driver's License, Current Government ID (city, state or federal), or Current Military ID (military and dependents);
  4. If you are providing Secondary Identification, you must provide a photocopy of the front and back of each document presented with your application. Example of secondary identification would be: Social Security Card + Credit Card + Employee ID + Library Card *these items are not acceptable as secondary identification when presented alone;
  5. There are special requirements for All Minors Under Age 16 and All Minors Ages 16 & 17 - you will need to review those requirements, and any information, as they are subject to change at any time;
  6. An Adult Passport is $110 + $25 execution fee = $135. The Adult renewal is $110;
  7. A Minor Passport is $80 + $25 execution fee = $105;
  8. Expedition costs are $60 per application plus overnight delivery costs, as well as other fees that can be associated too. Check the fine print.
I would strongly recommend checking out this website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html, so that you are prepared whenever you are going to obtain your passport, as it is a wealth of information, and any information can change at their discretion in respect to pricing and fees. Also, keep in mind for those of you who are sitting their smugly thinking that you are o.k. because you have your passport; if you are traveling, and your passport expires in less than 6 months of your return date, then you will need to renew your passport prior to your travels too.

Don't be left behind - get or renew your passport today!


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