Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How To Get A Passport In 7 Easy Steps (USA)

Passports are internationally recognized documents which authorize and identify you for travel abroad. A passport is a must have travel document absolutely crucial for entering and returning to the US from most countries. Learn how to obtain your US passport quickly and easily.
  1. The first thing you need to do is get your hands on the government forms you'll need for a US passport. You can get a hold of these forms for free at your local US post office or you can download them at the US Department of State's website.
  2. Second, just follow the instructions on pages one and two of this form. If you downloaded this form, (recommended) just print and complete page 3 and be sure to read page 4. Make sure when you print the forms that you print in black ink on white paper and that you use standard 8 ½ by 11 inch paper with no holes or perforations.
  3. Now you need some proof that you're a US citizen. Any of the following would work according to the US Department of State:
    • Certified US birth certificate issued by the city, county or state (you will need to get an official version with a notary's seal.)
    • Records of birth abroad
    • Naturalization certificate
    • Certificate of citizenship

  4. Get photographed. You will need to have two photos taken. Word to the wise, wear your normal, everyday clothes. Don't wear uniforms or anything on your head. You can get these photos taken at any local post office or even convenient stores.
  5. If you have your Social Security number memorized, great, otherwise you'll want to write it down and add it to the passport application materials you have put together. You are going to need this during the application process.
  6. Gather the money you will need to pay for the US passport application and execution fees. These figures change on occasion, so check the amounts online for updates.
  7. Get your passport! Find the passport office nearest you and provide them with your departure date. You can expect to receive your passport in about two weeks to two months. For an additional fee of around $60 bucks you can rush through this process and potentially receive your passport on the same day you apply.

By Aaron Leonard

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