Passports are essential travel documents. They allow individuals to travel internationally and prove their identity. In this article, we’ll look at steps to follow to get a passport.
Step One: Gather Required Documents
The first step towards getting a passport is to gather all required documents. These documents include:
- Birth certificate or certificate of citizenship
- Social security card
- Driver’s license or government-issued identification card
- Two passport photos taken within the last six months
Make sure all documents are originals or certified copies. Photocopies won’t be accepted.
Step Two: Fill Out Passport Application
The next step is to complete the passport application. The U.S. Department of State website has a form filler wizard to help you fill out the application online. If you prefer a paper application, you can print one from their website and complete it by hand.
The passport application requires personal information such as your full name, date of birth, and contact information. You’ll also need to indicate the type of passport you’re applying for, such as a traditional book or a card.
Step Three: Visit Passport Acceptance Facility
After completing the passport application, the next step is to visit a passport acceptance facility. These facilities are usually located in post offices, courthouses, or libraries. You’ll need to bring your completed application, required documents, and passport fees.
The acceptance facility will verify your identity, review your application and supporting documents, and collect payment. They’ll also ask if you want expedited processing if it’s available.
Step Four: Wait for Your Passport to Arrive
The final step is to wait for your passport to arrive. Standard processing time is four to six weeks. If you need your passport sooner, you can request expedited processing for an additional fee.
When your passport is ready, it will be mailed to you. Make sure to check your mail regularly and provide a secure delivery address.
Renewing a Passport
If you need to renew your passport, you can do so by mail if your most recent passport:
- Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
- Was issued when you were 16 or older
- Was issued within the last 15 years
- Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change
If you don’t meet the above criteria, you’ll need to apply for a new passport in person.
Getting a passport is an important process for individuals who plan on traveling internationally. Follow the simple steps outlined in this article to ensure a smooth and successful application process. Remember to provide all necessary documents, complete the application correctly, visit a passport acceptance facility, and wait for your passport to arrive.