How to Get a U.S. Passport
Planning to study abroad or go on an international spring break trip? A passport is one of the first things you’ll need to get there. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to apply for a passport and what you need to do to get one.
Documents Needed for a Passport
• Birth certificate/naturalization certificate
• Government-issued photo ID
• Color passport photo
• Money for the application
Steps for Getting a Passport
1. Start as far in advance before your trip as you can! Passport applications typically take at least four to six weeks to be processed and sent to you. If you’re in a time crunch, you can pay an extra $60 for expedited service.
2. Fill out your application form. To get a passport for the first time, you need to fill out form DS-11. You’ll also need to submit proof of U.S. citizenship (and a photocopy of the front and possibly back), proof of identity (like a driver’s license or military ID), color passport photos, and the fee to apply for a passport.
3. Get your passport photo taken. You have to have them taken somewhere that specifically does passport photos – you can’t take them yourself. Passport photos can be taken at places like Sam’s Club, CVS, or somewhere similar. They must follow the instructions on the form and will cost you around $12.
4. Remember to look up the fees associated with application! It will cost you $110 to apply for the physical passport book. You also have the option to get a passport card by itself or in addition to your passport book, which allows you to travel from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda with only your passport card. If you only want the passport card, the application fee is $30. To apply for both a passport book and card, the application fee is $140.
5. Bring all documents and application papers with your photo to the post office or Department of State office to submit!
6. From there, you should get your new passport in 4-6 weeks. Bon voyage! Go out and explore the world! Collect those stamps and experiences !