According to the U.S Department of State 21,103,475, individuals were issued with passports in 2018. Out of this number, 2,812,691 of these were passport cards. A passport card is a type of U.S. passport that is the size of a driver’s license or a credit card and serves as a way for you to identify yourself as an American citizen.
They are different from the passport books that many are accustomed to.
Despite these numbers, it is a fact that many Americans still do not own a U.S passport. You need a passport to enable you to leave and return to America from other countries. Even if you have no travel plans in mind, it is important for you to own a passport because some travel plans happen abruptly.
U.S. passport application is not a tough application if you research on how to go about it.
Here is a complete guide on how to go about the U.S. application process.
1. What You Need
Before you begin your passport application process, you will need to put together a number of important things. First, you will need evidence that you are an American citizen. Secondly, you will need to show proof of your identity.
Other things you will need are two current photos, your social security number, the passport application forms, and lastly an application fee that you will get to learn about in this article.
2. Get the U.S. Passport Application Form
The first step of the U.S. passport application process requires you to download the necessary government forms. These application forms are easily available online and you can get them then print them out from wherever you are. This is the best part of this application process.
You get to access the forms from anywhere and you can fill them from the same location too.
The government advises you to print the forms in black print on a white paper. You are also advised to use an 8 and a half inches by 11 inches paper that has no holes or perforations. The paper must be at least a medium weight that is 20 lb. and with a matte surface.
Do not use shiny, thermal, dye-sublimation, special inkjet papers or any other papers that are unacceptable. Research widely on this part so you don’t make mistakes.
3. Read Instructions and Fill the Necessary Information
The moment you have the passport application, read the instructions carefully. Page 1 and 2 of the form contains the instructions and the third page is where you enter the required information. Page 4 of the form contains more details that you should read.
At this stage, you can also figure out how much you will need to get your passport. Adults applying for a U.S. passport need an application fee of $110.00 and an execution fee of $35.00. Additionally, if you want your passport to be expedited through a post office, then you will require an extra $60.00.
Hence that will be a total of $110+$60+$35= $205.00. Also, check out the cost of replacing a passport or getting a new minor passport.
4. Gather Proof of Your Citizenship
Once you have your application form you need to gather proof of your American citizenship. That can be in the form of your certified U.S birth certificate, records of birth abroad, in case you were not born in the U.S, naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.
You should also be ready to prove your identity by presenting any legally identified form of identification like a valid driver’s license, government ID, military ID, previous passport and others deemed acceptable.
5. Get Photos
You need two passport pictures that you will submit together with your passport application forms. Just wear your normal everyday clothes for the photos and do not put on a uniform or anything on your head. Make sure to have your glasses on or anything else that changes your appearance.
When taking the photos, look at the camera straight and avoid smiling. The post office is a good place to have your photos taken because the workers there know the drill and can guide you accordingly. If you want to have the photos were taken from anywhere else, just research on the requirements of a passport photo to ensure you get what is needed.
6. Prepare Your Social Security Number
You should always have your security number. In case you do not have this number memorized, write it down. An alternative is to simply carry your Social Security Card physically.
7. Pay the Application Fee
You have gotten this far knowing in mind exactly how much you will require to pay, so now it is time to pay the application and execution fees. Plus, an extra fee if you need your passport fast.
Find out what payment methods are accepted in the area where you are applying from.
8. Go Get That Passport
Locate the passport office location closest to you and hand in your completed application forms, passport pictures and payment for your passport. After that, you can expect to receive your passport after two weeks or two months.
If you want it faster than that, simply pay the extra $60 as earlier mentioned.
Start checking your application status a week after you apply for your passport. The follow-up can be done online. That way you will keep track of when you might receive your passport.
What Are You Waiting For? U.S. Passport Application Awaits You
The U.S. passport application process is not complex, right? Just know what you need and gather everything before you get started. Just because you do not have travel plans right now does not mean you should not apply for a passport.
You do not want to rush during the last minute when you have to travel for that important interview or that occasion because you will most likely be disappointed.
The process is quite simple all thanks to the internet and the availability of passport application offices near you. Get that passport. The world awaits you.
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