Getting a Passport

The first step involved in getting a passport  is to gather all the necessary items that you need to process the request. The very first thing that you need to do is fill out the form DS-11. This is the actual application for the US Passport and should be completed online or by hand. You won’t be able to sign the application until it is allowed by an Acceptance Agent; you must also tell them your social security number. If you do not include it, there will be a possibility that your requests will be delayed and even denied.

Once the DS-11 form has been completely filled out, you will have to provide evidence that you are a citizen of the United States. This will include previously used passports, a birth certificate, a birth certificate from another country, naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

The above are considered the primary evidence that you are eligible. If you do not have these then there are a whole host of other things that you can use as evidence to prove that you are eligible for receiving a passport. Just call ahead and ask what you can use to prove this, and the chances are pretty good that you will have at least one of the listed items that can be used (there are roughly 10). Unfortunately voter’s registration cards, army discharge papers and your social security card are not acceptable forms of identification.

If you are completing your passport in person, you must bring an acceptable form of identification such as a previously used passport, certificate of naturalization, a valid driver’s license, and last but not least a current Government or Military ID.

When arriving, bring a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document that you are providing – It must be using standard 8+1/2 x 11 paper showing both the front and back of each card or document. Ensure that you do not place both the front and back on the same side of the paper. Each card side must be on a separate piece of paper, whether that be a different sheet, or the back-side of one sheet. It is permissible to increase the size of a photocopy, but never to decrease.

If you are disabled and someone is providing your information on your behalf, they must present their ID when they appear also.

Once all the information has been filled out, all copies made, the fee must be paid. The typical fees for a passport are $110 for the application and $25 for the execution. If you wish to also get a card along with the book, expect to pay $140 + $25. For just the card, it is $30 + $25.Renewals are the same prices minus the execution fee of $25.

The normal processing times for standard delivery are roughly 5-7 days long and it can be tracked online also at the website. They are sent out via 1st class mail, and unfortunately cannot be sent out with overnight delivery so prepare just in case you need the passport urgently. If you do need it urgently, there are other options. As long as you are eligible, you can schedule an appointment at a one of the 24 regional passport agencies within the United States.

If you do need the passport urgently, the cost for expedited service is $60, so it would be wise to try and think ahead of time when you need to get your passport for the first time or have it renewed.


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