Different Ways To Obtain Passport Pages And The Costs Of Each

by erin on June 3, 2010

It is no secret that traveling internationally requires the use of a passport. The secret comes in when one needs to figure out how to apply for this item. The Internet holds all of the answers in the form of documents and instructions on the U.S. Department of State Web site. The information is provided in a systematic fashion and is easy to read. Those who visit this site will also learn that they need to refill passport pages when blank sheets are running low.

The passbook may be replenished with pages when there are four or less blank sheets remaining. If this happens before the passbook is scheduled to be renewed, the additional sheets will be added to the existing document. This should be done before traveling to more destinations in order to prevent the authorities from running out of areas to stamp.

Requesting additional sheets is not a complicated process and it can be done in several ways at varying costs. The passbook holder should go to the Web site for the Department of State and download form DS-4085. This form may be printed and legibly completed by hand or it may be filled out online and then printed. Mail is the only way to submit the completed form because electronic means are not currently accepted.

Passport holders who do not have access to a computer with Internet service will need to visit a local Passport Agency or the site of an Acceptance Facility to obtain form DS-4085. Both this form and the valid passbook will need to be mailed to the government in order to get the additional passport pages. This is where the different costs come into play.. Having the information processed by the government using its standard service will not cost the passbook holder anything. The only charge will be for a traceable mail delivery service that the government recommends.

The government is currently working within a four to six week turnaround time for processing additional sheets. If a passbook holder needs the updated document within two to three weeks, he or she can pay a $60.00 fee for expedited government processing. To ensure that the item is provided expedited handling, “expedite” should be written on the outside of the envelope. The package should be sent using an overnight mail service.

Passbook holders who need to receive their updated documents sooner can have the processing done by a private company at a higher cost. Actual charges will vary with the turnaround time requested, but the three to four business day service usually costs several hundred dollars in addition to mailing fees and the government expediting charge. Using a private company is usually an option attractive only to travelers in a rush.

The forms required by the private company include the DS-4085, an authorization document, and possibly proof of travel. The authorization form serves as verification that the passbook holder has allowed the private company to handle the processing of the documents directly with the government. Proof of travel is required only of those who request less than a seven business day turnaround for the passbook. It includes either a verification letter from an employer regarding business travel, travel itinerary, or copy of the plane ticket.

Passbook holders have several options when it comes to getting extra U.S. passport pages. These include the government’s free service with a turnaround time of six weeks or its $60.00 expedited service with a three week turnaround period. Individuals have one additional option if they are willing to pay more money in order to get the updated U.S. passport within as little as 24 hours and that is using a private company.

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