Traveling to a foreign destination can be a lot of fun, but there is usually a considerable amount of planning involved. Laws and customs are almost always different and then there is the weather variable and deciding where to stay that constantly seems to rattle the traveler. The difference between making plans to visit the next state or county and heading for the friendly skies to cross the border is the need for travel documents, There are certain countries that will let you enter without a passport; however, when you are ready to return to US soil, you will need those travel documents. Here are a few steps to ensure that you have that important document before you head off into the sunset.
What You Need
Proof of identification is imperative when it comes to applying for a United States Passport, especially since the document is used as a form of identification by many people. Your birth certificate, a valid driver’s license and a military or government ID that is still active will be acceptable forms of identification. If you already have a US passport, the requirements may be somewhat different. You will also need a current picture which is intended to be attached to your new passport.
If you didn’t appreciate the way you looked in your driving permit, have no fear, the passport picture won’t be much better. The bad news is that you won’t be able to change it to satisfy yourself because it must meet certain guidelines. It is important to remember that your application must be completed in its entirety, if you don’t have the answer don’t just leave it blank. Take your time and write clearly as a smudged document will usually mean a delay in your request. There are additional requirements for children, especially as it pertains to their age and whether they can travel on their own passport.
Submitting the Application
The average person may find it stressful to fill out a legal document, if you are uncomfortable completing the task, get some help. There is a fee that needs to accompany the passport application, and that amount will vary based on whether it is a new or renewable passport. Submitting your passport to the wrong location won’t stop the process, but it will delay the expected return. Passports can be submitted at some Post offices or through the mail. Cash should never be sent as payment for your application.
What Happens If…
One of the biggest problems that people encounter when applying for a passport is not an incomplete form or forgetting to attach their payment it is a failure to coordinate their passport application with their travel plans. Don’t assume that the United States government will rearrange their habits based on your needs, because they won’t. It is in your best interest to allow for ample time to ensure that the passport is in your hands as early as possible. The good news is that procrastinators can pay a few extra dollars to obtain a rush service on their passport, but this won’t be necessary, unless there is a last minute emergency.