ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Obtain a Passport?

Updated on May 17, 2009

If you, as an American, want to travel abroad, even to Canada, you'll need a passport these days. To obtain a passport is a straightforward process and every American citizen is entitled to one.

It will cost not much more than $100 to obtain one. The fee for the passport itself is currently $97, passport photos cost around $10 or less. US passport is valid for 10 years, so try to obtain one even if you don't need it right away.

First step, the documentation.

You can obtain the the documents to obtain your first passport or renew your old passport online at the Travel.State.Gov website.

Simply download the pdf, fill it out and print it. Alternativelly, you can print the documents and fill them by hand. Another possibility is getting an application at your local post office, if you don't have access to a printer.

In all cases, fill all the information that you can, to the best of your knowledge. It's specially important to fill your address and SSN correctly. Don't sign it yet. The documents must be signed at the passport agency (see step 3 below).

Second step, the photo.

You need two equal frontal pictures of yourself. The pictures must be exactly two inches x two inches. The paper must withstand 225 degrees.

If you let a professional take the picture for you - what is recommended - it won't cost you too much and it will be ready within a couple of hours or less. Tell him explicitly that you need passport photos. He'll know what you need. Only do the pictures at home if you know what you are doing, since you'll have to pay the fee anyway if your pictures get rejected.

Third step, go to a passport agency.

You won't have any difficulty finding one near you. There are 10,000 passport agencies around the US. Any post office serves as a passport agency. And the same is the case for many federal buildings.

To obtain a passport for the first time, you must apply in person and sign the documents from step 1 in person. Minors must go with their parents, and their parents must be able to identify themselves. Take the filled out form of step one, the pics of step two and an original birth certificate.

Take also with you any other form of identification with you like your driver's license, government ID - city, state or federal - or Military ID. The fee for this process, as explained above, is currently $97. If you want to have your passport rushed, you can pay an extra fee of about 60 dollars.

The price in both cases includes shipping. Just make sure you wrote your address correctly at step one.

Beware of any private agency that promises to get you a passport upon the payment of any fee. The fees for that are mostly heavy and the results nearly non-existent.

The process of obtaining a passport is pretty straightforward and you can easily do it yourself.

Fourth step, wait.

The expected wait time is something between two to three months. If you chose to pay the extra fee for having your application rushed, the wait time will be between 2 to 4 weeks.

You can check the status of your application at the travel.state.gov web-site, however, they need about 10 days to reply to any inquiry.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dextermichaels profile image

      dextermichaels 

      9 years ago from Birch Bay, Washington

      Ugh, one of the most painful processes of my life was waiting in line to get my picture taken for the PP. Then, I didn't even use it until two years later! God Hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)