Tips on getting your passport
Is it time to renew your passport? Or maybe you are thinking of getting one for the first time. Either way, I have compiled some information on how to go about getting your passport renewed and also how to obtain one for the first time.
Passports are required when traveling abroad and when going on a cruise. In most cases you are required to have a passport that has an expiration date that is more than 6 months from the date of your travels.
To get a U.S Passport for the very first time:
- Go to and fill out form DS-11. This form can be used if you are applying for the first time, for children under 16 and for children 16-17 years of age.
- Get your supporting documents together to submit with the passport application. Supporting documents include:
- Proof of citizenship; i.e an original or certified copy of your U.S birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship or a previously expired U.S Passport.
- A photo identification. If you are 18 years of age or older you would need to provide a photo i.d. and also if you are the parent of an applicant that is under 18.
- Proof of relationship to an underage applicant. This includes; U.S birth certificate, adoption decree, foreign birth certificate, and or a divorce/custody decree.
- Get your passport size photos. These are 2″x 2″ colored photo. You can do a google search on places to take passport size photos. I took mine at a local Walgreens. CVS also offers this service. There are some other requirements for passport size photos; it has to be on a white or off-white background, no selfies, take your glasses off before taking the photo, has to be a full frontal view and you cannot wear a hat.
- Get your money together. The fees listed below are for first time applicants.
- Passport Book $110 + $35 acceptance fee
- Passport Card $30 + $35 acceptance fee
- Passport Book and Card $140 + $35 acceptance fee
- Submit your application. As a first time applicant you will need to take your passport application in person to an acceptance facility near you. Click on the following link to find your nearest acceptance facility https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/ .
If you are renewing your passport:
- Go to the DS-82 form. You can fill it out from your computer and then print it. You can use this form if;
- Your previous passport is submitted with the application.
- Your previous passport is not damaged
- The previous passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older.
- If the previous passport was issued within the last 15 years and
- If the previous passport was issued in your current name(if not don’t worry you can still get a passport in your current name).
- Submit your most recent U.S passport.
- Attach one passport size photograph.
- Get your money together. The fees for renewing a passport
- Passport Book $110
- Passport Card $30
- Passport Book and Card $140
- Check or money order, with your name and date of birth printed on the front, is accepted for payment.
- Please note that there is not acceptance fee for renewing your passport.
- Mail in your application. To renew a passport you do not have to go in person.
What I have provided above is just brief details on how to get your U.S Passport. For more in-depth information you can visit http://www.travel.state.gov.
It normally takes about 6-8 weeks to receive your U.S Passport, unless you request for it to be expedited then that will take about 2-3 weeks for an additional fee. You can also get an emergency passport if you are traveling in a few weeks by applying at the nearest passport agency.
If you are a Permanent Resident holding a green card and would like to know about getting a new passport or renewing one, please visit your country’s consulate website.