Pathway to a Passport

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I’ve heard it a million times,” I wish I could travel but I don’t have my passport.”  You’ve all used it as an excuse one time or another.  Hell, my Mom even said it when I surprised her with a trip to Italy.  You look at other peoples’ trips and hear about their experiences and say, “I wish I could go there.” Well, you can! All you need is a passport! Which brings me to today’s article…a step-by-step process on how to get your passport.  So, no more excuses people! Go on your adventure!

Step 1.  If you are applying for a passport for the first time you will need to fill out the DS-11 form found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/forms.html

Step 2.  Find your birth certificate, make a front and back photocopy of it on 8 ½ by 11-inch paper, as you will have to mail this in with your DS-11 form as identification and proof of citizenship. **Don’t forget to bring your original birth certificate with you to present to the designated acceptance agent**

Step 3.  Get your passport photo.  You will need one 2×2 inch photo of your face. These can be taken at any Walmart Photo Center for $10. No pictures with hats or glasses are accepted.  **You can primp and preen all you want, but let me just warn you right now, you will inevitably look like an UNSUB from the next Criminal Minds episode no matter what you do. It’s practically law that passport photos must be the most unflattering, and often horrifying, picture of you to ever exist…yes, even worse than your driver’s license**

Step 4.  Whip out that wallet.  The application fee for a passport book (which is what you want) is $110 and the execution fee is $25.  So be prepared to have $135 ready to hand over when you bring your application into the acceptance facility or passport agency. It routinely takes 6-8 weeks to get your passport.  If you need it faster than that, you can opt to expedite your passport.  Expediting costs an extra $60 and will take 2-3 weeks for you to receive it.

Step 5.  Submit that sucker! Once you have all of the above items mentioned you must find a passport acceptance facility to go to.  To find a facility near you go to this website, https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/,simply type in your zip code and voilà! Now that you have found an acceptance agency in your town, bring all of your items (DS-11 form, photo, birth certificate, copy of birth certificate and money) with you and turn them in to the agency.

There you have it. Five simple steps to finding adventure!  If you have any questions feel free to contact me! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and share with your friends! Good luck on your new adventure! Stay fickle in flight!

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