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Applying for a U.S. Passport

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Recently, we have been talking a lot about traveling and taking a summer vacation. While there are plenty of gorgeous places to visit here in the United States, it is always exciting to travel to a different country and experience a new culture. Whether you plan on walking the beaches of Mexico in one of your high-end sarongs or if you plan on exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Austrailia, you need a U.S. passport to travel outside of the country, but how do you get one? Applying for a passport is a fairly simple process, as long as you are aware of what exactly needs to be done.

Step 1: Fill Out the Application

In order to obtain a U.S. passport, you must fill out the required application. you can find this application on travel.state.gov. You may either print out the application and complete it by hand or you may fill it out online and then print it. Either way this application needs to be printed, as it cannot be submitted online.

Step 2: Submit Application

After your application is completely filled out, you will need to submit it in person at an Authorized Passport Application Acceptance Facility. This may be a post office or another government building. You can always do a search to find the closest facility near you.

Step 3: Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

Before you head off to turn in your application, you need to bring proof of your U.S. citizenship. This may be a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship, or any other approved forms, which may be found here.

Step 4: Present ID

An acceptable form of identification must be presented at the time of application. This may be a valid driver’s license, current military ID, or any other approved forms, which can also be found on the travel.state.gov website.

Step 5: Photocopy of Identification Documents

when you bring in your application, you will also need to bring in a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document. Travel.state.gov includes all of the photocopy requirements and restrictions.

Step 6: Pay the Fees

Unfortunately, getting your passport is not free. There are different passport fees that may be applicable. You can find them all on travel.state.gov.

Step 7: Passport Photo

Last but not least, you must also submit a passport photo with your application. Some acceptance facilities offer photo services for a small fee, but you can also check places like Walgreens. Make sure your photo meets all of the requirements and is properly submitted with your application.

Again, for more information on any of the steps mentioned above, please visit travel.state.gov.