From Passport to Paradise: How to Apply for a U.S. Passport
Updated: Jun 22
FROM PASSPORT TO PARADISE:
HOW TO APPLY FOR A U.S. PASSPORT
All Booked, Time For A Passport
There’s packing, planning with a travel agent, picking your destination, and then actually going on the most amazing vacation ever. However, there’s one important item that’s essential to do in the midst of all the planning and preparing: grabbing your passport. Far too many people wait too long to get their passport in order. To help, our team put together an easy step-by-step for you to follow to make the passport process way easier. Our mantra with this process is, “the sooner, the better!”
Early Bird Gets The…Passport
No matter where you plan to get your passport from, you will want to book that appointment up to 6-months in advance of your vacation. This is because processing can sometimes take longer than expected and this amount of time allows a rather large grace period to make sure you get your passport before the big trip. If you plan to travel in August, you should make an appointment to get your passport no later than February, an appointment in February gives you the optimal window of time to make sure you have your passport ready!
Documents, Documents, Documents
In order to travel abroad, you have to prove you are who you say you are. It may sound kind of backwards but when you arrive at the post office or local passport provider you will fill out a form called the DS-11. This is just your basic application for your passport. Therefore, before you head to the post office, be sure to gather important documents like your birth certificate, social security card, certificate of citizenship and/or any other documents that are required to prove your identity.
For CHILDREN: When your child is a minor, both parents will be required to provide documentation on identification for their first passport and be required to attend the appointment. The 6-month period is sometimes what it takes to gather everything needed for a passport with your minor child/children.
“...the sooner, the better…”
There is a list of special circumstances that can sometimes hinder or alter the passport process. This can be child support you owe, your initial passport was lost or stolen, along with other potential scenarios. Before you book your appointment, read through this list and see if you fall under any of these special circumstances.
But First, Let Me Take A Selfie
One of the MOST important things about your passport is the photo that goes into it. In some instances, you will be asked to provide the photo yourself, while some passport providers take the photo for you. Regardless, a specific passport photo is required for any new passports. Make sure to inquire when you book your appointment whether that be with the local post office or the CVS around the corner.
A Fee Here, A Fee There
This expense is worth it. Once you are out on the beach you won’t even be worried about paying for your passport. But, as you budget we thought it would be helpful to see the full list of fees from The U.S. Department of State’s website: Passport Fees. Please remember that the application fee and the acceptance fee are processed separately.
Ready To Travel!
You did it. You gave yourself enough time to make sure you could successfully receive your passport and are off to paradise with nothing but sun to worry about in the near future. Once you have paid your fees and your passport is submitted, you can expect processing to take approximately 12 weeks.
If a trip abroad is on your radar this year, make sure you connect with our travel advisors to get the most out of your trip. You’ll want to go ahead and get your passport process started. Book your appointment through the USPS, right here.
Feel free to reach out to us regarding your upcoming travel plans.