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Passports, Passports, Get Your Passports!

Updated: 4 days ago

Last time on the blog, I explained the streamlined way to renew your passport once it has expired. I promised I would circle back around to all of you out there who are applying for a passport for the first time. After all, why should all the seasoned travelers be the only ones to have fun? Although the steps are slightly different, the process is still, relatively painless. You will also find information here about minor passports for those who want to create those amazing core memories by giving your children, grandchild or any other special kiddos in your life the gift of travel. It is, after all, the best gift you can get!

STEP 1 - MAKE SURE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A UNITED STATES PASSPORT

There are very few requirements to be eligible for a passport, so this step should be a breeze! To be eligible to apply for a passport within the United States you need to be:

  1. A United States citizen by birth or naturalization

  2. A qualifying U.S. non-citizen national (i.e.: legal permanent resident)

The above requirements are the same for everyone, minors included. See, I told you the first step was easy! Moving on!

STEP 2 - GET ALL THE NEEDED FORMS TOGETHER

Just like renewing your passport, getting it for the first time comes with forms you have to fill out. The forms needed for applying for a passport for the first time are the same forms you will fill out for a minor applying for the first time. Those forms can be found here. Remember, you can fill out the form online if you would rather not hand write it, but make sure you print the copy when you are done. DO NOT SIGN THE FORM YET!! That step comes later.

STEP 3 - PROVIDE PROOF OF ELIGBILITY

This step is a fairly easy one as well. If you are a US citizen with a State issued driver's license, you will only need a copy of your license, front and back. If you don't have a license or are applying for a minor, you will need an original raised-seal copy of your birth certificate as well as a copy. If you fall into the category of a legal permanent resident, I suggest you look through the requirements here as they vary based on individual situations. If you are applying for a passport for a minor, make sure both parent's names are listed on the birth certificate. If for any reason the current parents/guardians for the child are different, you may need additional documentation. More details on that can be found here. After all, you don't want your kiddo leaving the country without you...I mean without your consent...right?

STEP 4 AND STEP 5 - PHOTOS AND FEES

These two steps are the same for everyone. Visit my last blog post here to review the requirements. Make sure you check the current processing times here to see if you will need to expediate the process or not.


STEP 6 - APPLY IN PERSON

This is the biggest difference in applying in person verses being able to renew by mail. Once you have all your documents, forms, fees and photos ready to go, schedule an appointment at a local passport acceptance facility. Most of these facilities are located in the post office or local library. You can find the closest one to you and make an appointment online by clicking here. If you are applying for a passport for a minor, both parents must be present at the appointment with an ID as well as a photocopy (front and back) of that ID. If for any reason one parent cannot be present or you have sole custody, please refer to this page for a lot of detailed information about how to move forward. The passport agent will advise you when to sign your paperwork. YOU MUST sign the form in front of the agent, or it will not be valid.

STEP 8 - CONTACT ME AND LET'S GET STARTED PLANNING ALL THE PLACES YOUR NEW PASSPORT WILL BE STAMPED IN THE UPCOMING YEAR! I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHERE YOUR FIRST INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURE TAKES YOU!



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