There was a time when one could travel between the Untied States, Canada, and Mexico without many restrictions. Sadly that time has passed. A Passport is now required for all international travel. So before you plan Spring Break in Mexico, or viewing of the Northern Lights in Canada. Get your papers in order, and head for your nearest Passport Agency.

Things You Will Need

* Passport Application Form

* Original Birth Certificate with raised seal

* Government ID or Drivers License issued longer than 6 months prior

* 2 identical 2"x2" photos

* Fees

* Time 4-6 weeks


Step 1

United States PassportIn order to apply for a United States Passport you will need to fill out a Passport Application Form. This can be done a couple of different ways, however I found it easiest to open the file at travel.state.gov and fill it out online. The application requires personal information such as your Social Security Number and your Parents Date and Place of Birth. After the form is filled out you will need to print two copies, one to file, the other for your personal records.

Step 2

When filing you will need to have a original copy of your Birth Certificate. This must be a state issued Birth Certificate with a raised seal and, registrar's signature on it. If a state issued Birth Certificate is not possible a combination of early public record is acceptable. They would include a combination of ,
  • Baptismal certificate
  • Hospital birth certificate Stat Issued Birth Certificate
  • Census record
  • Early school record
  • Family bible record
  • Doctor's record of post-natal care

Step 3

You will also so be asked to provide your Drivers License or Government Issued ID. This ID must have been issued 6 months prior to the application being filed. In addition to presenting your ID you will need to submit a black and white copy of your Drivers License or Government issued ID. The copy must be the same ID that is provided at the time of application, and must contain front, and back images on the same side of the paper.

Step 4

Your Passport is going to require a photo. Depending on where you apply your photo maybe taken at the same time for an additional fee. You will need 2 identical color photos measuring 2x2 inch. They need to be full face photos with no hats, scarves, or sunglasses. Taken in normal street attire, and they must have been taken within the last 6 months.

Step 5

There is a fee for applying for a Passport. That fee is different depending on where you apply. If you apply for your Passport at the International Affairs Passport Facility, the Count Clerk of Courts, or USPS the fee for a first time Adult Passport Book will be $75.00 Application fee and a $25.00 Acceptance fee. USPS will also take your photo for $15.00 and you can expedite your application for an additional $60.00. There are many other variables which would affect your final cost such as getting a Passport Card instead of, or in addition to a Passport Book, and if the applicant is a minor.

Step 6

The last thing you will need is time. The normal wait is 4 to 6 week from the date the application is accepted. The procesReady to Gos can be expedited, in that case you would have your passport in 2 to 3 weeks.

Getting a Passport is a must if you are plan to leave the country. The process is not fast, or

inexpensive. To avoid undo stress get your Passport Application Form, and all required documents together, and apply for your Passport at least 8 weeks prior to travel.

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