How to Apply For a Passport and Start Traveling Today
If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling abroad, then what are you waiting for? Click here to learn how to apply for a passport so that you can get your traveling pants on and get out there right away.
Do you need to know how to apply for a passport?
Travelling is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself and your family. Only one-third of Americans have a passport, which means that most Americans don’t even leave the country.
They’re missing out on incredible opportunities to explore other languages and cultures.
You don’t want to be one of them. You want to explore and experience everything the world has to offer.
The U.S. State Department received around 19,000,000 passport applications in 2017.
How can you be sure that your application gets approved?
Read on to learn how you can apply for a passport and start your travels.
Check Your Status
The first question to ask yourself is if you’re getting your first passport or renewing. If this is your first passport or renewing a passport that was issued more than 15 years ago, you’re going to have to apply in person.
You’ll have to apply in person if your previous passport was lost or damaged. If your name changed and you don’t have legal documents to prove it, you have to apply in person.
Getting a passport for kids is a little more complicated. Children under 16 are also required to apply for a passport in person.
You can mail in your application if it’s in your current legal name and you have documentation to prove it, or it was issued 15 years ago or less, or you were 16 or older when it was issued.
How to Apply for a Passport
Once you figure out if you have to apply in person or you can mail in your application, you can then start to gather your documentation.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- Correct Application Form
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship
- Two Passport sized photos
- Social Security Number
- Proof of I.D.
- Application fee
Which Application Form Do You Need?
If you want to know how to apply for a passport correctly, you have to know which application form to use.
The U.S. State Department has several different forms for applying for a passport. Here’s a brief rundown of the different forms.
Form DS-11: This is for new passport applications.
Form DS-82: This is the application form for renewals.
Form DS-64: Is the form you’d fill out for replacing lost or stolen passports.
Form DS-3053: This form is for parents of minors to fill out in case they’re getting a passport for a minor without the other parent or if they have sole custody of the child.
How do You Prove Citizenship?
For many people, the big question is how to prove citizenship. If you were born in the U.S., then all you need is a certified copy of your birth certificate.
If you weren’t born in the U.S., you’ll need either a Certificate of Citizenship or a Naturalization certificate.
What Forms of I.D. Are Acceptable?
For your proof of I.D., you’ll need a current and valid driver’s license, or government issued I.D., or Military issued I.D.
Your previous passport can serve as I.D. as long as it’s in good condition. Otherwise, you’ll need a Certificate of Citizenship or a Naturalization certificate if you don’t have a government or military issued I.D. or driver’s license. a
What are the Passport Fees?
The passport fees vary depending on renewals or first-time applicants and the age of the applicants.
There are two fees to be paid, the application fee and the acceptance fee. These are paid separately.
The standard fees for first-time adult applicants are $110 for the application fee, $35 for the acceptance fee. For children, it’s $80 and $35.
For renewals, there’s only the application fee of $110.
How do You Find Your Passport Office?
If you’re not in a hurry to get your passport, you can go to any passport acceptance facility. These include libraries, post offices, and clerks’ offices.
Click here to find enter your zip code and find yours.
If you have an immediate travel need, schedule an appointment with your nearest passport agency.
Once you’re done with the process, you don’t have to go through it again for another 10 years.
Keeping Your Passport Safe
You always want to keep your passport safe, but there are moments when it gets lost or stolen.
That’s why you always want to keep at least two copies of your passport with you.
Keep one copy with you while you’re in your destination playing tourist. It’s good to have just in case there are any emergencies.
You can leave the passport in a hotel safe while you’re out for the day.
You should have another copy of your passport at home. If something should happen, it becomes much easier to get a replacement because you have proof of your initial passport.
Don’t Wait to Renew Your Passport
If you plan on traveling and you still have a few months left on your passport, renew your passport before you leave for your trip.
In Costa Rica, your passport can’t expire within 30 days of your arrival.
You’re safe if you’re traveling to the United Kingdom for a short trip before your passport expires. They allow you to stay for as long as your passport is valid.
However, traveling to Europe and most other countries is a different story.
Traveling to the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen area require that your passport is valid for at least six months before you enter the area.
That’s the same with a lot of other countries, too.
You’ll especially need to be aware of this rule if you’re traveling with kids. Their passports are only valid for five years, not ten years like those over 16.
You don’t walk up to immigration after a long flight only to be denied entry.
Start Your Travel Adventures Today
Traveling around the world is a dream for many people, yet few actually do it.
You can take the first step towards living your dreams by applying for a passport. It can be a long, time-consuming process.
Once you know how to apply for a passport and what to expect, the process becomes easier.
If you want more great travel tips, take a look at this article to get ideas for your next family vacation without busting your budget.