Tips & Tricks

USPS Offers Passport Application Tips

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This time of year begins a spike in international travel for Americans. If you are one of them, here are some passport application tips spot-on for happy adventurers.

First as you make your foreign travel plans, don’t forget to check your passport’s expiration date. And be sure to check your family’s passports too.

The passport application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to apply for your first-time or renewal passport as soon as you know you and your family will need them.

The good news is Postal Service has thousands of locations around the country that can accept passport applications on behalf of the United States Department of State. It’s easy to find one by using the USPS Locator for a list of Post Offices near you that process passports.

Participating Post Offices accept first-time passport applications and passport renewal applications for those not eligible to renew by mail (see ‘How do I renew my passport?’) below.

Here are some common questions USPS passport acceptance clerks are often asked regarding passports.

Q: How do I apply for a first-time passport?

First-time passport applications must be submitted in-person at a passport acceptance facility (e.g., U.S. Post Office).

Here’s what you’ll need to do at a Post Office facility:

Complete Form DS-11: Application for A U.S. Passport

Submit evidence of U.S. citizenship

Present state-issued identification

Submit a photocopy of the identification document

Pay the applicable fee

Provide one passport photo

At some locations, you can have your passport photo taken on-site for an additional fee.

Q: How do I renew my passport?

You can apply for a passport renewal by mail if the following apply to your passport:

Undamaged and able to be mailed with your application;

Was issued when you were age 16 or older

Was issued within the last 15 years; and

Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change.

If you meet the above criteria for a mail-in renewal request:

Complete Form DS-82: Application For A U.S. Passport by Mail

Include your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card

Include a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order if your name has changed

Pay the applicable fee

Provide one passport photo

Mail your application to the address on the form

If none of the above passport criteria apply, then you need to apply in-person. See the USPS Locator for a list of Post Office locations that process passports.

See more information about passport renewals here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/renew.html

Q: I’m not currently in the United States, how do I apply for a U.S. passport?

See here to apply for a U.S. passport while outside of the United States: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/applying-for-a-u-s–passport-from-outside-the-united-states.html

Q: How long does it take to get my passport?

Passport processing takes between four to six weeks, however, if you choose an expedited service*, you can get your passport in as few as 3 weeks.

See here for expedited passport application information:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/services/expedited.html

There is a $60 fee for expedited requests.

Q: Where do I find general passport information?

Information, a list of fees and instructions how to apply for a U.S. passport is available at http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html. U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone, in English and Spanish, by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

Or you can always stop in at your local Post Office® and ask us in person, were happy to help. Finally we would like to wish you and yours happy travels this summer wherever your journey takes you.

Bon Voyage- Aloha-Cheerio- Farewell-Out!

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