Search Baja California

Saturday, February 9, 2008

How To Obtain A US Passport

By: Kevin Wynn

To travel out of the US, even just for a short visit to neighboring countries such as Canada or Mexico, you need a US passport for your identity and nationality to be verified at the border. A passport is a travel document which is recognized internationally. When traveling overseas, you must hold a valid US passport for you to leave the US and enter another country.

A US passport can be obtained at any of the US regional passport agencies. There are currently thirteen of these regional passport agencies with around 9,000 passport acceptance facilities around the US and just one Gateway City Agency. These agencies are mainly for Americans needing a US passport in less than two weeks as they need to travel within two weeks or they need to apply for visas to visit a particular country. For these cases, an appointment is required. The US Department of State is the only government office which is authorized to issue and verify passports.

Getting a US passport can be quick and easy. If it is your first time to obtain one, you have to apply in person at any of the passport acceptance facilities in your area. These facilities may be post offices, probate and state courts, federal courts, a few public libraries and even county or municipal offices. Before you go to a US passport acceptance facility, ensure that you bring with you a proof of your US citizenship, two passport photographs, and any valid form of identification which must contain your photo, such as your driver’s license.

If you just need to renew your passport, you can just mail your most recent US passport to the nearest passport acceptance facility in your area. Before you mail it, check if your passport is not damaged or even altered. Your most recent passport must also be issued in the past fifteen years, that you were sixteen years old or older when at the time of its issuance and that you still have the same name. Otherwise, you need to apply in person to renew your US passport.

Obtaining a US Passport if you need to travel immediately

The process of getting a passport takes four to six weeks starting at the time it was received by a passport acceptance facility. If you need your US passport at once due to your need to travel within the next two weeks or you need to obtain a visa to enter a foreign country, you can get one at any of the thirteen passport agencies in the US. These agencies are only open by appointment. You need to present a proof of your travel date or a proof that you need to get a foreign visa before you are given an appointment.

Ensure that you call in advance to set an appointment. For your guidance, the regional passport agencies issuing US passports are located in Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Connecticut, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.


Kevin Wynn owns and operates http://www.us-passports-insights.com, a site that describes the different ways to obtain a US Passport. US Passports