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How To Get Your Passport

How To Get Your Passport

“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport” – Saber Ben Hassen 

As of 2017 the US jointly ranks third with Denmark, Finland, Italy & Spain for countries with the most powerful passports. US nationals and the like enjoy access to 174 countries without a visa leaving very little reason as to why you shouldn’t have one! Furthermore, investment in a passport may serve as an additional benefit due to changing ID requirements for domestic travel imposed by the REAL ID ACT. As of January 2018, depending on the state you live, you may no longer be able to board any commercial aircraft with your state driver’s license or I.D.

INVESTMENT: For first time child (under 16) and adult applicants (16 years of age and older) the application fees are $80 and $110.00 respectively, plus an additional $35 execution fee paid to your local U.S. Postal or Passport Office for processing. If you think that’s expensive, note that child passports lasts for 5 years and adult passports lasts for 10.

 So when you do the math, the cost of your investment is: 

Child Passports - 15 years old or under

(good for 5 years)

Adult Passports – 16 years of age +

(good for 10 years)

$23.00/year for 5 years

$14.50/year for 10 years

$9.58/month for 12 months

$12.08/month for 12 months

$2.21/week for 52 weeks

$2.79/week for 52 weeks

$0.32/day for 365 days

$0.40/day for 365 days

 

If you’re 14 or 15 years old and don’t have an immediate need as in upcoming scheduled international trip, I recommend waiting until your 16th birthday before applying to take advantage of the additional 5 years you can get without having to re-apply for another passport book which would cost an additional $110 using the DS-82 application.

CHECKLIST

  • You will need your birth certificate
  • DS-11 form filled out (get it online)
  • ID
  • cash/money order(s)
  • and passport picture. 

TIPS:

  • Go to your local Walgreens or CVS to get a picture taken specifically for your passport. Cost ranges between $12-$15. Some passport offices will take them there for you, some don’t. You have to do your own mini research of the passport office you’re going to. Pictures are the #1 reason passport applications get rejected so have it professionally taken and save yourself a potential hassle.
  • The passport office will take your birth certificate. Don’t freak out, you’ll get it back when your passport arrives.
  • Cash is not accepted. Make sure you have the right amount on your money orders for payment. You will need one addressed to the U.S. Department of State for your appropriate application fee and another addressed to the U.S. Postal Service for the execution fee ($35).
  • Getting your passport is not a quick in and out stop. It is best to make an appointment ahead of time, however even then you may find yourself waiting in a line in a crowded office or hallway. That’s why it’s important to have all your paperwork ready to go! Otherwise you will not be able to apply, and have to get out of line, just to stand back in it later down the road. While you’re in line you can think of that wonderful vacation you’re planning.

 It usually takes about 4-6 weeks to receive your passport in the mail. While you wait order your Passport Ready shirt and then let the traveling begin!.