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Pittsburgh Wedding and Event Planners

Painless Passports – How to Apply for or Renew a Passport April 21, 2015

Filed under: Hello Travel — Hello Productions @ 10:51 am
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Before you travel abroad – whether it is for a honeymoon, destination wedding, or vacation – you will need to make sure you have a current passport.


The U.S. Department of State has a very helpful U.S. Passports & International Travel page (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports.html) that will walk you through the process of either applying for a passport or renewing one.


Keep in mind that once you submit your application, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to receive your passport. Make sure you submit your application well in advance before your trip. If you do need one sooner than that, you can pay to have it expedited (approx. 3 weeks) or have an agency expedite for you (approx. 8 days).


Steps to Apply for a Passport


All first time applicants must apply in person at a Passport Agency, an authorized Passport Application Acceptance Facility, U.S. Embassy or Consulate.


Visit: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports.html.


Fill out the form: DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport. You can fill it out online and print it, or you can print a blank form to fill out by hand.


Obtain a photo. You can submit your own photo that meets their requirements or have it taken at most drugstores like CVS or Walgreens. Most local courthouses will do it for you also. (Learn about the photo requirements at: http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotoreq/pptphotoreq_5333.html)


Have your money ready. Figure out what fees you will need to pay ahead of time using their fee calculator: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/fees.html.


Submit your application at an authorized passport acceptance facility. (locate one here: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/)
Acceptance facilities may include post offices, libraries, or municipal offices. Note that some passport acceptance facilities see customers by appointment only, and some accept walk-in customers.


Renewing a Passport


As long as you have your passport (undamaged), you were age 16 or order when it was issued, and it was issued within the last 15 years, you can renew it by mail.


Visit: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports.html.


Fill out and print the form: DS-82: U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals (By Mail).


Put it in an envelope with your current passport, recent photo, and check for fees. (Figure out your fees: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/fees.html and your photo requirements: http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotoreq/pptphotoreq_5333.html.)


Mail to:
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155


For expedited Service (an additional fee), mail to:
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955


You can check the status here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/status/status_2567.html.


BONUS: Traveler’s Checklist

A trip requires careful planning.  Here is a great checklist (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/go/checklist.html) to review before you travel outside the United States. In addition, you can search for your destination to view more specific information about that country or area.