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How To Get A Passport

Given the new passport rules, I thought it might be helpful to give some helpful instructions on how one goes about applying for and getting a United States Passport.

What You’ll Need

Where To Go

Your best bet is to go to a post office but there are a whole bunch of official places you can go to including courthouses, some libraries and a few county and municipal offices. There are also regional passport agencies and 1 Gateway City Agency, which can do a rush job if you need it for travel in two weeks – those require appointments. If you’re renewing, you can just mail it in, new applicants will have to appear in person.

How Much Will It Cost?
$97 if you’re over 16, $82 if you’re younger, only $67 if it’s a renewal – you can pay with credit, debit, check, etc. If you want it expedited, it’s an additional $60.

How Long Will It Take?
6 weeks normally but 2 weeks if you get it expedited (at a cost of $60). Some have stated that applying during a slow period (September or December) may get you your passport faster than six weeks – your mileage may vary.

Expiration Dates…
If you are 15 or under, the passport will be good for five years. if you are 16 or older, the passport will be good for ten years. Lastly, while this isn’t part of the process but worth mentioning – some countries require that your passport’s expiration date be at least 3 to 6 months past the date of entry or exit. If your trip puts you within that six month expiration window, call up the embassy/consulate of the nation you’re visiting and see what their special expiration rules are.

Good luck and remember to send me a postcard!

Source: State Department [9]