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Applying for a Passport

by Katie Legg on 08/06/18

Are you planning a honeymoon or vacation that will take you out of the country for the first time?   While you are planning your trip you should also be thinking about applying for your Passports.  Don’t wait until the last minute.  Passport processing takes approximately 6-8 weeks, unless you expedite the process for an additional fee.

If you are applying for the first time, you will need to fill out a DS-11 form, show proof of US Citizenship and proof of identity.  Click here to visit the US Department of State – Bureau of Consumer Affairs website for more information regarding apply for a US Passport.

Here is information and a few tips which will help you when you are applying for your Passport.

DS-11 Form - Print off the form or fill out the form online and print.  If you are applying for a Passport for the first time you MUST apply in person.  Click here for the DS-11 form.

-Complete the form using a black ink pen, not a felt tip.

-Complete the form using full names (no abbreviations, initials or professional titles)


Tips – Do not use White Out on form or heavy scribbling over mistakes.  Simply draw a single line through the errors and make correction.

You will need supporting documentation when applying for a Passport. 

-Proof of US Citizenship (A Certified copy of your Birth Certificate or a Naturalization Certificate)

The certified copy of your Birth Certificate must have the Name of the Applicant, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, File or Registration Date (within one year of birth), and a raised or embossed seal.  Your Birth Certificate must have parents name on it.

-Proof of Identity (Driver’s License, Pilot’s License, Military ID, Federal, State or Municipal employee identification card)

A State ID card or College ID may be used, but you must have (4) forms of secondary identification.  You must also be accompanied by a person who has known you for at least two (2) years and has acceptable ID. 

-Recent Color Photograph (2x2 in size) 

You may obtain a Passport photo at the US Post Office, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Walmart or any business who offers Passport photos.  Vending machine or school photos are not acceptable.

Processing Fees:

Passport Book:

$110 for Adults (16 and older)

$80 for minors (under age 16)

Execution fee - $35 

Expedited Services - $60 

1-2 Day Delivery Service Fee - $15.89

The passport application fee and the execution fee are non-refundable.

The passport application fee, security surcharge, and expedite fee may be paid in any of the following forms:

Checks (personal, certified, or traveler's) with the applicant's full name and date of birth printed on the front; major credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover); bank draft or cashier's check; money order (U.S. Postal, international, currency exchange).  All fees should be payable to the "U.S. Department of State".  When applying at a designated acceptance facility, the execution fee will be paid separately and should be made payable to the acceptance facility. NOTE: Some designated acceptance facilities do not accept credit cards as a form of payment.

*Please verify acceptable payment methods with the acceptance facility ahead of time.

Make sure you have read and understand the application before applying and have filled it out correctly.

To find a Passport processing center near you, click here.  

To check on the status of your Passport, you can check on-line at the US Department of State.   Enter your last name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security number or call 877-487-2778.  TDD for hearing impaired: 888-874-7793

Before you travel, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with information specific to the country you are visiting.  You can learn more about your destination by clicking here.   You can learn Country Specific Information for every country of the world. You will find the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, information about whether you need a visa, crime and security information, health and medical considerations, drug penalties, localized hot spots and more. This is a good place to start learning about where you are going.  

**Resources used for this article are from the US Department of State – Bureau of Consumer Affairs and the US Portal Services.

Happy and Safe Travels,

Katie Legg

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