So before we can leave the U.S.A we must first get a passport. I know most people know this, but some people don’t know the exact steps to actually get one. It’s pretty simple and I’ll walk you through the process.
There are some places that don’t require a passport: of course anywhere in the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (not to be confused with the British Virgin islands because you need a passport there), and any other U.S. territory.
- Fill out the application online (Form DS-11) and print it out: www. travel.state.gov (you cannot submit the form online) or you may fill it out in person at the office you go to.
- Obtain the passport fee: $135 total ($110 app fee and $25 execution fee). The two fees will be split out to be sent to different places so bring change.
- Get your passport photos taken. You can do this at any photo center like Walgreens, CVS, etc.
- Get a copy of your birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can contact the Vital records office in the county in which you were born. They can also point you in the right direction if you have a special situation like adoption.
- Find a passport office. I know in NC almost any U.S post office suffices. Some places the Clerk of Court handles them. (I’ve even heard that some universities can process them too) For the Post Office you must call the appointment line in advance to try to get an appointment. (**I’ve heard from friends that they hardly answer the phone or the appointments are far out. You can try a smaller city where they probably do walk-ins and have little to no wait)
- The passport office will collect your documents, photos, and fees and send them off. It will take a few weeks to process.
- You passport and birth certificate will be mailed to you and you’re good to go.
- Get ready to see the world with no restrictions!!!
** There are some countries that will require a special visa in addition to your passport. Before you fly, you should check to see if they do. This info is typically found on the embassy website of that country as well as the process to obtain the visa. **
Okay I hope this helps! If you have questions don’t hesitate. I want you to get this right!!
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