Everything You Should Understand About American Passport Agencies

by erin on September 21, 2010

Passports are documents that are issued to travelers by their home governments before they can visit other countries. For international travel, the items are mandatory and must state both the holder’s identity and nationality. Although they date back before medieval times, passports weren’t regulated internationally until the mid 1980s. Today, a passport from one country can greatly differ from another with a rough standardization. In the United States, citizens can’t obtain one until they apply at any of the American passport agencies around the country.

Traveling internationally is not possible unless one is issued a passport in their name. If you’re planning a European trip or have a vacation to the Bahamas planned for spring break, make sure that you give yourself some time to apply. Especially since obtaining the documents can take three or more months often, lately.

Locating a passport agency in your city is the first step. The post office tends to serve out this function in most American cities. Check online or call yours ahead to make sure that this is the case. You could check the agency’s website for outlets that are around you. While you’re there, fill out and print off a DS-11 form and bring it with you when you apply for your passport.

Two photograph copies of yourself will be needed to be inserted into the document. These can often be taken at the very same location as the rest of the passport process, although sometimes it can’t. You may need your picture taken for a fee at another location and just bring it with you.

When you show up to apply for the government document, you’ll need to be sure and bring a number of things with you. Before you can be approved, you’ll have to first prove your U.S. Citizenship. Bring your original birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, or a previously obtained passport with you.

To confirm your identification, you will have to take with you an updated driver’s license or United States military id. Just like with the confirmation of citizenship, a previous passport of yours will be acceptable, too. You might also be required to bring confirmation of your social security with you too.

When you arrive to sign up for the passport you will be required to pay some fees before your passport application will be taken. The passport fee is fifty five dollars for all American citizens over the age of 16 and the execution fee is thirty. Many states also charge an extra few dollars for security.

After all of the papers have been taken care of and fees completely squared away, your U.S. passport application will be mailed off to one of the U.S. passport agencies for approval. Usually, it takes one to three months for you to get accepted and get your document. Anyone who needs their passport a little faster can pay expedited service fees and get theirs in only about 2 or 4 weeks instead.

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