How Long Does it Take to Get a Passport And How To Get A Passport

How To Get A Passport

International travel is exciting – no bones about that! But in order to get out of the country, you first need to get your hands on a passport. The first question you’ll likely need to address is, “how long does it take to get a passport?” Luckily for you, the passport granting process is simple. Perhaps not so luckily for your travel plans, the process isn’t overnight.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Passport?
In general you can plan on it taking four to six weeks to receive your passport. You can pay an additional fee, generally around $60, for an expedited service that will get your passport to your door in two or three weeks. General exceptions to this rule apply as well. During rush travel times or times of increased security your actual wait time may be longer than advertised. Most generally the governmental office preparing your passport paperwork will know the current processing time. Feel free to ask these people how long does it take to get a passport at the time of processing. Sometimes in low travel times of year the expedited and standard turn around times may be the same. Finally, the State Department understands emergency. If you need to travel in less than two weeks from the time of application you may make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency to speed the process up.

Where to Get a Passport
Though you will find many online agencies promising quicker and cheaper passport preparation, all requests for passports must go through the federal government. A passport is basically a clearance card stating that you, your criminal history and your background have been cleared to leave and eventually to re-enter the United States. The Department of State has to verify this information. For that reason, it only makes sense to start your passport journey at another governmental agency. Namely, the post office. Check out usps.com to find your local Postal Office with passport capabilities. Many of these post offices will be able to take your passport photo e for you on site, making it a one stop shop to file the paperwork, pay your fee and have the processing started. You can even fill out your application online and print it out to bring with you to the office to speed up the process. Remember to call ahead though, as most post offices require an appointment to file a passport request.

What Do I Need To Get a Passport?
The most important thing you need to have to get a passport is verification of identity. For the first time application you will need to bring the following items with you to the Post Office:
-Completed application form DS-11
-Evidence of US Citizenship (can be a social security card or birth certificate)
-Present Identification (Driver’s License or State ID Card will work)
-Photocopies of all forms of citizenship and identification
-Check, cash or money order for all fees
-Passport approved photo

Minors aged 16 or under have a different list of requirements. They include:
-Completed application form DS-11
-Evidence of Citizenship
-Evidence of relationship between minor and parent or guardian (Birth certificate, adoption papers, or legal power of attorney for custodianship will work)
-Parent’s Identification
-Photocopies of all certifications and Identifications
-Parental Consent
-Check, cash or money order for all fees
-Passport approved photos

If you are applying for a renewal passport then you have significantly decreased demands placed on you. In most cases you can apply by mail and not in person. This is true so long as your previous passport is undamaged, was issued less than 15 years ago, was an adult issued passport, and contains your current legal name or you can submit proof of your name change (marriage certificate).

Now you know how to get a passport and how long it takes to get a passport, so what are you waiting for?

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Comments

  1. john says:

    I handed in our applications to the Post office in Westchester County NY on Feb 14 , 2012 for my my family of 5 and received them today :) 2 weeks in total

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  2. Keitumetse says:

    I want to go to botswana its my first time i want to know how much is a passport and how long its going to take for it to come out

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  3. Verify Passport says:

    Great article. You can also find a bunch of private agencies that will aid you in getting a passport in a rush, but be prepared to pay for it.

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  4. Marcis Gasuns says:

    Thanks for this infomation! I was just about to get a new passport

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