Our Advice

Passports

You need them to travel the world. But not only are they a necessary document, they are a collection of stamps from different countries.. almost a scrapbook of adventures. 

While Ben and I are new to the international adventuring and have no stamps yet, I am BEYOND excited to fill it up! I wanted to share with you how to get a passport here in the United States..

1. Click the link below:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html
This website is the official site on how to apply for a passport. Now, please keep in mind you will need to print the application off, fill it out in BLACK INK, and have NO mistakes! Luckily, the post office will have applications on hand if there is a mistake. 

2. Necessary documentation

While the application is necessary, you will also need the following:

  • Your original birth certficate
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • Your driver’s license or photo ID
  • A copy of the front and back of your ID
  • A colored photo

 Now, I went to Walgreens to get my photo taken and printed for the low price of $0.78. Worth it. Just let them know you want your photo taken for a passport. 

3. Fees

Now, to apply for a passport it costed me $135. $110 went for the passport itself. Check or cash is most accepted. However, some establishments will accept card. $25 went to the post office as a fee for processing it. This can be paid cash, credit, or check.

4. Acceptance locations

Post offices accept passport applications. However, not all post offices are acceptance locations. And not all acceptance locations allow walk-ins. In order to find out the nearest location to you click the link below:

https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/DefaultForm.aspx
5. Processing times

Below I have copied the chart from the state travel website 

When do you need your passport?

When? Why? Service Where to Apply
Right now I have a life or death emergency  Expedited See the “Life and Death Emergencies” page
Less than   3 weeks I’m traveling within 2 weeks or need a foreign visa within 4 weeks  Expedited Make an appointment at a passport agency or center
Less than   6-8 weeks (No reason needed)  Expedited Apply at an acceptance facility or renew by mail*
More than   6-8 weeks (No reason needed)  Routine Apply at an acceptance facility or renew by mail*

*If you qualify to mail in your application (renewal, correction, etc.), please mail it in. Do not go to a passport acceptance facility

The wait time at the post office in our city was 1.5+ hours, so I HIGHLY recommend scheduling an appointment. Also, facilities stop accepting people 1 hour before the close time listed on the site!

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