Get Your Us Passport

Written by Jared Vincenti
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To make sure that you are recognized as an American citizen (at least in places where you want to be), you must carry your US passport at all times when outside of the United States. It is internationally recognized, and is a traveler's most valuable document. Thanks to the status of the United States as a world power, there are many diplomatic alliances that allow American passport holders to travel in countries without the hassle of a visa. Because of this, travelers should be sure to protect their passport at all times.

A United States passport can only be issued by the State Department. There are several branches through which you can get a passport, but they ultimately come from the government. You can go to a passport acceptance facility, which are located in most Federal, state, and probate courts. They are found in most post offices and in some public libraries. Also, there are 13 passport agencies across the country at which you can get faster passport service with an appointment.

Applying for Your Passport

When you go to the passport acceptance facility, you need to bring three items: The first is proof of citizenship (a birth certificate will usually do). The second is current ID (a driver's license or government issued ID is standard). An expired (but undamaged) passport will serve for both of these first two items. Finally, you need to bring a pair of photographs to go on your passport. These photographs must be identical, a frontal face shot of you (without a hat) against a white background.

Once all of these items have been approved, you will fill out an application for a passport. This will be sent on from the facility, and you will receive your passport in the mail about six weeks laster. Express service is available for an additional $60, and will get your passport to you in two weeks. Private passport expediters can sometimes get your passport even faster for additional fees.


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