How to get a US passport
If you want to go on a vacation to US anytime soon, you will quickly realize a passport is needed. Even if this is inconvenient, the process of getting an US passport is pretty easy to go through.
First of all, you should know why you want to get a passport. When you travel outside the US, you will probably need to show the passport to customs. Maybe you don’t want to go on a vacation or trip right away, but having the passport will make things easy for you whenever you want to travel. Many countries have their own requirements about what a passport should entail. Some countries even ask travelers for a passport that is valid for 6 months to come. Depending on where you will travel, you may also need a visa so pay attention to the laws of the country you will visit.
The next step is considering whether you will need a passport of a passport card. While these look similar, there are a few differences to be kept into account. While a passport lasts for 10 years and can be used pretty much everywhere, a passport card can only be used in countries like Mexico or the Caribbean. So, having a passport card is more restrictive than a passport as it does not allow you to travel wherever you want.
In order to get a passport, you will first need to apply for it. Make sure to download the application and check the requirements. Furthermore, you will also need to show proof of your US citizenship with a passport card of certificate of naturalization. You will also have to pay the fee related to obtaining a passport and a sending fee if you choose the mail.
Passports also include a photo and you will need to bring one with you. The facilities do not offer photo taking services, and the photo must adhere to specific guidelines. Search for a place that offers passport photo services in order to fulfill the requirements. Your photo should have a standard size, and show your face fully when not smiling. The photo should also be clear enough and in color.
If you already gathered all of your papers, the next step is applying for a passport. You can do that at any facility near your area, but if you need to travel very soon you can visit a passport agency. Keep in mind that a passport agency might require proof of travel in order to process your papers. If you are simply renewing your passport you can have your papers delivered by mail.
Passports generally take from 4 to 6 weeks to be reviewed and processed, but an urgent service can give you one in only 2 weeks. Make sure you have enough time to get your passport processed and delivered to you before you travel.
Once you have your new passport, you should keep it protected just like you would your driver’s license. Keep it together with your other papers and make sure it is not getting lost.