How to get your US Passport (For NEW Adult applicants 16 and older)
I don’t know if you’re like me, but getting a passport initially stressed me out. I didn’t feel prepared, and I was worried about doing it right. You've simply got to have this right in order to get out of your country, but most importantly, BACK IN! So here is the easiest way to obtain your US Passport…
Gather the documentation you will need and head to a processing facility;
1. An original copy of your birth certificate (if you need to get a copy, see capsule below)
2. A valid current license or state ID.
3. Complete the DS-11 page online using the link below
4. A valid passport photo (has to be within the last 6 months), can be done at CVS, Walgreens, Post office, or Library (usually for a small fee).
5. A checkbook or money orders, that is the only type of payment accepted for the fees and processing
Complete the DS-11 Form, and print it out. If you must manually fill it out, use BLACK INK only.
Getting a copy of your birth certificate;
You can get a copy of your birth certificate from various vital statistic locations. You will need to turn this in with your application, when your passport is mailed to you, it will be returned. You should not typically pay over $20-25.00 for a copy.
How to get the copy:
- Birth Certificates | Obtain Birth Record Copy - VitalChek
Obtain official birth certificates online for passports, visas, school, employment or driver's license. Securely order a copy of your birth record from VitalChek.
When you Apply;
You will need to turn in the completed DS-11 form, the original copy of your birth certificate, and your passport photo, they will also make a copy of your license. You will need to pay by check or money order for associated fees.
The best locations to get the processing done;
· Your local library, Google libraries near you and verify they will process your passport. They can do your photo onsite and are usually open late. They will also mail it for you at no charge
· Your local Post office. You will need to call for an appointment. Which is a big hassle, so don't bother. See previous statement above.
I’ve found the Library is the fastest, and easiest. My local branch did not require an appointment
Processing times and Fees;
· Un-expedited processing typically takes 4-8 weeks. So apply in advance when possible, and definitely before making travel arrangements.
· 2013 the fees for a NEW passport run $110.00 for the passport only (no book, which you don’t need unless you like the convenience of a land travel card that will fit in a wallet)
· $25.00 Processing Fee, payable to the location that processes it for you
· And anywhere between $11-$25 dollars for photos, unless you do them yourself. If you do them yourself make sure you follow the guidelines to avoid application rejection.
· New adult passports are valid for 10 yrs from issue date before renewal is required
Estimated expected fees - $175.00 (grossly inflated, my passport was $135.00 total)
$25 processing fee
$20 birth certificate copy
$11-20 passport photos
Fancy Luggage for your travels!
Expect your US Passport to be mailed within 4-8 weeks, and enjoy your travels for the next decade!
© 2013 Rebecca