How to get a Passport in 3 easy steps
Who doesn’t dream of taking off and seeing the world?
Whether it’s swinging a hammock on a tropical beach or catching a view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, everyone has something on their travel bucket list.
So how come so few Americans have or even know how to get a passport?
According to the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, there are currently a little over 14 million American passports issued.
While the number of U.S. passport holders has gone up significantly in recent years, the 38% of Americans who own a passport still trails far behind other countries. As one of the most populous, most powerful, and most affluent nations in the world, that number should be higher.
A passport isn’t just a government document. A passport is a ticket to see the world.
As you venture out into the great wild yonder, your passport will become your story – every stamp and visa the lingering memory of a full and rewarding life outside your backyard.
American passports in particular are very powerful and can grant you a visa to a whopping 172 countries.
But more importantly…you’ll need a passport to GET BACK HOME.
Even if you’re not about to step on a plane, procuring a passport now could save you time and money in the future. Not only will you be opening the door to a future international vacation, with a U.S. passport in hand, you’ll be prepared to visit friends and relatives who move abroad or to take a job that requires international travel.
Because it takes an average of four to six weeks for a U.S. passport application to be processed, not having a one could mean turning down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
While a new U.S. passport currently costs $135, there’s no guarantee that fee won’t increase in a few years. By spending the money now, you’ll save time and upfront costs when you are ready to test your traveler’s mettle.
Ready to make the leap?
Here’s how to get a passport. It’s an easy 3 steps.
First: Fill out a DS-11 Passport Application
Confirm your eligibility to apply for a U.S. passport with the State Department and print out a Form DS-11 (Application for U.S. Passport) or complete it on-line and then print it out. You must bring a completed DS-11 Passport application with you when you apply.
Wait To Sign It!
You must sign your application in front of the accepting agent.
A DS-11 is included with all passport photo services offered by 007passportphotos.com.
Second: Get Passport Photos
You will need to bring one compliant passport photos with your application when you apply.
This goes for new applicants and renewals.
U.S. Passport photo requirements are 2″ x 2″ on matte or glossy photo quality paper against a white or neutral background.
Make sure you have nothing covering your face (hair or excessive makeup). No hats or crazy big grins.
Keep it casual and natural.
Bear in mind, non compliant photos can be a cause for passport application denial.
Not to worry. 007PassportPhotos.com covers all your bases and offers as many retakes of your photo as necessary to get you on your way. Our 150% back guarantee says so.
Third: Drop off application
An acceptance facility will typically be a post office, clerk of court, public library.
A passport agency will be a official devision or arm of the U.S. Government and can assist in expediting your application. A acceptance facility can not.
Because of this we recommend applying at a passport agency.
The State Department has a handy online tools above to help you find the facility most convenient to your location.
In addition to your application, you will need to bring all of the following as proof of citizenship:
- A birth or naturalization certificate
- A photo ID (Driver’s license or military ID)
- Photocopies of BOTH of these forms of identification.
You will also need to pay application fees.
For U.S. Passports books: $135
For U.S. Passport cards: $55
Be prepared to wait in line. You are, after all, relying on federal bureaucracy.
But you can save time by taking a few small measures to escape the crowds, like visiting at a slower time of day or driving to a smaller or less central office.
And viola! That’s it!
Depending on when you applied, processing times can be up to 4-6 weeks. So plan ahead. Current Passport processing times can be found Here.
In a nutshell:
Fill out an application – Get yourself a photo – Drop both off at a office – Pay $135
You can’t use a passport if you don’t have one.
Take the steps above and get your ticket to see the world.
Where will you end up going?
Where are some of the most fantastic places you have ever been? Let us know below.
For us, it’s the Galapagos!