Traveling expands your life more than anything else, whether domestically or internally. The US is a beautiful country, and there is plenty to see and do, but if you want to travel internationally, you must have a US passport. If you already have a US passport, take a minute to check its expiration date. You must have at least six months of validity on your passport to travel. If you don’t already have a US passport, here are the steps to making sure you have one.
The first step.
If this is your first time applying for a passport, you must apply in person. You can find an application on the US Department of State website that can be downloaded in a PDF or filled out and downloaded online. In addition to the application, you will need proof of citizenship, an original ID and a copy, a recent photo, and payment. If you renew your passport, you can complete the process online unless you are under 16, you got your passport when you were under 16, your passport was lost, stolen, or damaged, or if your passport was issued more than 15 years ago.
The first step in getting information for your passport is looking up the US Department of State, travel.state.gov. Here you will find all the information on what to expect if you are applying for your first passport, renewing your passport, or need to get an appointment at a passport agency. Many services will charge you a fee to process the passport application, but the application is simple and requires the same information you would provide to a service.
Due to Covid, the timing to receive your passport varies. The Department of State website currently estimates 8 to 11 weeks for a routine application. You can have an expedited service; the timing is at 5 to 7 weeks. To get a passport within three days for a life-or-death emergency, you must have an international travel itinerary within three days, and you must complete the application at an agency by appointment only.
Passport fees for an applicant over 16 are currently $130 for a passport book and $30 for a passport card. If the applicant is under 16, the price for the passport book is $100, and the passport card is $15. To get your passport faster, you can pay $60 for an expedited fee. There is also an option for quick delivery by first-class mail for $18.32 to have your passport delivered in 1 to 2 days after the passport has is ready for delivery. Payments can be by c personal, certified, cashiers, or travelers check. You can use credit and debit cards except for expedited services. Always check with the agency to confirm payment options.
Whether you plan to travel or not, I highly suggest getting your passport. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. In addition, consider a passport card. It’s better to walk around with your passport card than your actual passport. I hope this information helps and encourages you to either get your passport or make sure it’s valid or renewed. Please let me know if you find this information helpful.