When it comes to applying for a United States passport, the application process can be a bit daunting. However, now with the internet and helpful passport agencies passports can be acquired much more easily. However there are a few things to consider about US passport applications when it comes time to apply for that new passport.
Passports allow for international travel. Without a passport an individual cannot enter a foreign country and may have difficulty entering their country of origin. This is why it’s so important to get a passport and keep it updated. Passports do expire, so it is also imperative to pay attention to their valid dates and take care of passport renewals when they arise. Also, passports, because they act as a travel permit and form of identification, they must carry your legal name. That means, if you were to get married and change your name it must be on your passport as well. However, most of these updates can be accomplished online.
Just as adults need passports, so do kids. Any minor infant to teen needs a passport. There was a time when they could fly on their parent’s passports, however due to stricter child trafficking laws, these rules have changed. Childrens passports are only valid for a period of five years and are not subject to renewal. This means that every five years a new passport must be obtained. To obtain a child passport a birth certificate, along with photos, and parental consent is needed, and of course the application fees. These passports are also eligible for expediting services.
When it comes to applying for passports there are a few quandaries that will delay the passport process. Signing forms at the wrong time, such as the DS-11 can screw up the process as a new passport signature must be done in front of an agent, while a DS-82 form should be signed after it’s printed out. It is important that all necessary documentation be obtained. When getting a passport a birth certificate is needed, however there is a difference between hospital birth certificates and official ones. Photographs can sometimes get people in trouble, they must be the correct sizes and there must be two of them. Most importantly double check all your documentation and that it’s been filled out properly. This will ensure an efficient processing of your passport.
One of the best ways to combat processing errors is to go through a passport agency. By applying for a passport with an agency you are offered services that government agencies do not provide. Once the passport application is complete and handed in you will receive your own passport specialist who will inform you of the progress of your passport and can let you know if something went awry. It may be more expensive, but definitely worth it. They also offer expediting services. So instead of waiting the 6-8 weeks, depending on your need and where you are you could even get an overnight passport.
So, when it comes to applying for a new passport be sure to have all your documentation in order. This will ensure a smooth passport process. Also consider going through an agency as there are problems that can arise with US passport applications, and why not have someone guiding you along the way.
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