The Road to Obtaining a Passport

Using a can opener, knowing your left from your right and obtaining a passport. There are some things in life that should be pretty easy, but I just have a difficult time doing it.  I absolutely hate can openers. They always get off track or rip labels into my can of green beans; needless to say I’m pumped to be can-opener free this summer. And on my driver’s test I accidentally turned right when the instructor told me to go left. No worries, I am now a great driver.  When it comes to my passport, for some reason I just have not been able to get it renewed, which means now I have to completely reapply for it.  That in itself will now become quite the journey.

So I’ve compiled a tiny check list of what you (and I) need to do in order to obtain that passport!

  1. Figure out your situation.  Are you renewing it? Are you older than 16? Was your passport lost or damaged? Keep all those things in mind and head over to the Passport Application Website to see what documents, forms, identification and evidence you will need to bring when applying.
  2. Fill out your forms. If like me, older than 16 and applying for a passport for the first time (above age 16), then you’ll need to get a DS-11 form, and submit that completed form in person. This can be filled out either by hand or by computer and then printed out, but it must be submitted by you in person at a passport agency or an accaptence facility.
  3. Provide evidence of U.S. Citizenship. This can either be in the form of a birth certificate,  a previously used and undamaged passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, Naturalization Certificate or a Certificate of Citizenship.  This document of evidence will not be returned to you until you receive your passport in the mail, so keep that in mind.  Read the Application Information Page to learn about guidelines associated with the submission of birth certificates as evidence.
  4. Present identification (and a photocopy of it). Any of the following forms of I.D. are deemed acceptable: a previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport; naturalization certificate; a valid driver’s license; a current Government ID (city, state or federal) or a current Military ID (military and dependents). A photocopy of the I.D. must be submitted on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11″ standard paper stock, showing the front and the back of your ID.  The photocopy image can be enlarged, but not made smaller.
  5. Submit a photo. Passport photos have been quoted as the “most vital part of your passport application.” While I love cheesin’ and posing for most any cameras (just ask Brittany how well I can pull of a Barney Stinson-any HIMYM fans?) I know that there are specifics about not only the size and lighting, but also your facial expression. So look at the photo requirements page to carefully read the specific photo requirements!
  6. Pay the fee. I love paying for paper identification documents as much as the next person, but if it lets me spend an awesome summer in Europe so be it. And since talking about money really stresses me out, I’m just going to post the link to the fees page.
  7. Smile and get ready to travel abroad!

Going through and making the list of steps seemed painless enough, so now you (and I) need to go do it! I really better get going, because if i don’t before I head back to college after winter break, I’m sure Brittany will kill me. And honestly, she’d have a right too!

I hope everyone had a great holiday and I wish you all a very safe, fun and happy New Year!

Kelly =]

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2 responses to “The Road to Obtaining a Passport

  1. This is a good post 🙂 I had to get my passport reissued when I changed my name after getting married, but I had an international trip to St Kitts booked and the deadline helped me get my butt in gear! My husband has the same issues you do though – some things are simple and he just can’t bring himself to do them. (For example, I have to bribe him with ice cream to make him go to the salon for a haircut)… but I want him to get his passport now in case he gets time off of work and we can go abroad. I might just have to fill out the form for him – but getting him to get his photo taken will probably require some ice cream bribery!

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