Passport pain! Tips for obtaining or renewing your passport.

Are you confused with the process of obtaining or renewing your passport? Even if you pull together all of the required information on the U.S. Department website, you still find it complex and difficult to understand? So here the overly complex, mind numbing and frustrating website has been broken into basics: from fees to ID’s , thus making things a little simpler for you.

How to get your first one?

While applying for your first passport, it is necessary to be in person. Take an appointment at the agency or acceptance facility located near your place. If there is no such agency, you could visit public libraries or post offices to carry out further processes. Arrive at the agency with:

  • Filled in DS-11 application form.
  • Verification that proves you are a US citizen.
  • Valid Identification proof.
  • Front and back photocopy of your identification proof on a clean 8½” x 11” paper.
  • Application fee, for an adult it is $135 total.
  • Photos should comply with government standards.

How to receive a passport?

There are two options to receive it: either you have an old one or you don’t. If the former is true then you could apply for renewal as long as the recent and expired passport is undamaged, has been issued within 15 years and was not issued when you were 16 or under 16. If the mentioned condition is satisfied, then just mail your old passport with required documents. You would get your new blue book within 4 to 6 weeks. During this procedure just ensure that your name isn’t changed or else you have to go in person for renewal.

What if the passport is lost or stolen?

The first step in this process is to report it missing the moment you know that it is gone. In the case that it is lost or stolen, you have to apply for a new one in person with a standard DS-11 application and DS-64 Form. You also have to pay a replacement fee of $135 with an application for issuing a new passport.

What if it is lost or stolen abroad?

First and foremost you should always carry a photocopy of your passport and other identification to handle such situation while travelling abroad.

American travelers should consult the closest US consulate or embassy, if it gets stolen abroad. If you lost all your stuff then the embassy should help you to contact your friends or family who could wire the money directly to the embassy. A replacement passport costs $140.

How to add pages to your passport?

According to the state department, the right time to ask for more paper is when there are only two to four empty pages left. So, an avid traveler should always keep a close eye on their visa pages. For additional pages just mail Form DS-4085 with almost full passport and $82 fee.

How to speed up above mentioned process?

With an extra pay of $60 plus $12.85 for overnight delivery, it would be at your doorstep in roughly 2 to 3 weeks. If you need it less that 2 weeks then you have to meet is person with the regional passport agency or a passport-expediting agency. Prices for such services differ depending on how fast you need it, but can be made within 24 hours and allow you to avoid the headaches.

Thus, concluding with a hope that all the above-mentioned solution has fulfilled your questions.

About the Author:

Robert Lewis is a program officer in Rush Passport. He takes interest in resolving passport related issues and concerns.