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  • Wandering Soup

Passporting 101

You got yours? I got mine or rather a temporary "mine" courtesy of Greece. In the next two months or so I'm going to change that from temporary to the typical 10-year one. Preparing for that made me think of the steps needed to actually get one, and I figured, why not pass on what I've learned?

Let's assume you don't have a passport and you have a trip coming up in 8 months. There was this great sale to Malaysia on Qatar Airlines that you saw in my travel discount group and you jumped. Which is really what you should always do. Take that trip, live your best life!

But now what? Well now it's time to get that passport!

1. Apply in person to your local passport agency or facility.

a. Have a completed DS-11

b. Bring proof that you are a citizen: Birth certificate, certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship. Bring the original and a copy.

c. I.D. : Driver's License, Govt ID. (original and a copy)

d. Get a passport photo. Walgreens or CVS will easily take a pic of you for a small fee.

e. Money. U.S. Passport fee is $145 (Application and Execution fee) for routine processing. Price went up this year.

f. Submit!

2. Make an appointment. Don't have all of the above and just show up and think a passport will magically happen. Unless your uncle is the passport guy--then go ahead.

3. Don't get the passport card. It's not worth the extra money and can't be used for flying internationally. It's cute but that's it.

4. Do get a passport book. It can be used as ID for most anything, including travel internationally and domestically. And honestly it's a motivator. Fill up those pages!

5. It takes time to get your passport back. Routine is about 4-6 Weeks, expedited runs 2-3 Weeks and expedited at the agency can take up to 8 Business Days. Don't stress; you can also get it in a day or two. It's gonna cost you an additional $60, possibly more for same day.

6. If you are behind on child support ($2,500 or more)... well pay up because you can't get a passport without being current. Do better.

The above sums it up for the basic person attempting to apply for a passport for the first time. If you have an expiring passport, a foreign passport, are under the age of 16 or between 16-17, different rules apply.

Anyone have any passport horror stories?


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