What to Bring for a Passport Application
Whether you’re planning to renew your existing passport book or apply for one for the first time, getting all the documents you need to bring in may throw you for a loop. The forms and paperwork for a government agency aren’t necessary easy to manage, so Travel Visa Pro is here to lay it all out for you.
What to bring for Passport Renewals
Passport renewals can be handled in person at a regional passport agency or by mail. No matter what method you choose, there’s one essential document for this process: your undamaged expired passport, issued within the last fifteen years. In addition, you should bring Form DS-82, a $110 check or money order for fees, and a passport-sized photo.
When you’re printing out Form DS-82 from the Department of State website, you’ll probably notice there are six pages. Only two are required for passport renewals. The form is fairly straightforward, requesting information like your name, address, travel plans, previous passport information, and an emergency contact.
If you’ve recently gotten married or had another reason to legally change your name, you’ll need to bring a certified copy of an official name change form. In some cases, it may even be necessary to present evidence you no longer owe child support or back taxes.
Travel Visa Pro staff can bring in anything you need for a passport renewal on your behalf. Simply supply our staff with two authorization forms, and nothing else will distract you from your future travels. In addition, our offices can handle expedited applications for passport books and cards.
What to bring for first-time Passport Applications
When you’re applying for a passport for the first time, it must be submitted in person at a regional passport agency or through an authorized party like Travel Visa Pro. Bring in a completed Form DS-11, proof of US citizenship (e.g. birth certificate), one color passport-sized photograph, and a photo ID. Naturalized U.S. citizens may present a Certificate of Naturalization in lieu of a birth certificate, which is also an acceptable photo ID.
Like renewals, first-time passport applications cost $110 to process, in addition to a $35 execution fee. However, cash or credit cards may also be accepted at some regional passport agencies — no need to pay for a money order!
Unless you authorize a third-party agency like Travel Visa Pro to file your passport application on your behalf, all of the above must be presented in person. Don’t forget: most regional passport agencies require you book an appointment prior to coming.
What should you do once you receive your Passport?
If all goes well and you receive your passport in person or by mail, don’t be in such a rush to fly — there are still a few things to take care of.
First, remember to sign the information page in pen and write your address in pencil. You should also confirm your new passport information matches what you have entered for existing flight and hotel reservations. If the name, expiration date, or number is different, it could cause problems checking in.
In addition, make sure any visas you have reflect the information in your valid passport. Some countries will accept valid visas in expired documents, but many request that the stamps be officially transferred at a consulate or embassy. This can also be done at a local immigration office if you’re a U.S. citizen living abroad.
Travel Visa Pro can help bring in the documents for Passports
Don’t underestimate the importance of applying for a passport well in advance of your trip. Your passport book is your only form of valid ID when outside the United States. Being recognized as a U.S. citizen can not only help you at border crossings, but also with local embassies and consulates.
As the Real ID Act starts taking effect in 2020, remember that many state IDs issued prior will no longer be valid for domestic air travel. A passport book or card is a sure way to give yourself the means to fly anywhere without replacing your driver’s license.
Whether you’re looking for a second passport, a passport book for the first time, or a passport card for your child, Travel Visa Pro can help. We’re here to demystify the application process and have you leave on your trip feeling confident.
If you have any questions about what kind of documents you need for your passport application, contact your nearest Travel Visa Pro office.