First Time Passport Application

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There was a time when traveling to places like Canada or Mexico was as easy as hopping in the car and going, but those days are long gone. Right now, anybody crossing a border is looking at obtaining a United States passport for the first time in their lives. Whoever has didn’t have to get this done should know right off the bat that it is not something that can usually be handled in a few minutes.

Receiving a document such as this does not have to become a big deal as long as some basic guidelines are followed. There’s something that should be taken care of before anyone ever walks into a passport office to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Being aware of the process goes a long way in making sure that things are done right and the right materials are secured.

Regulation Has Changed

Very first, keep in mind that rules and laws can change in a moment’s notice. Because of that, it is recommended that before actually heading out to the new U S passport office that the State Department’s website is checked for the materials that are needed and what types of travel require a passport. While we have a synopsis of it here, by the time you are reading it, it could very well be outdated.

First Step

The first step in getting a new passport is getting passport photos. These must be taken prior to the trip to the application center. Pharmacies with photo labs are the best place to get passport pictures taken because they will crop the pictures to the proper specifications. These pictures are often relatively inexpensive.

Passport Photos

Passport photos must be taken in street attire. The applicant should not smile in the photograph. Applicants that typically wear eyeglasses, a hearing device, a wig, or any other unique device that is worn daily should be sure to wear this item in the photograph. Passport photos should not be taken in any sort of uniform.

Gathering Documents

Next, you should have all of their documents in order. A valid, government issued ID is required. This would include a state non-drivers license, a driver’s license, and military ID. They will also need proof of citizenship in the United States. In most cases, this is proven with a birth certificate. It is also best to make a photocopy of all of these documents that are being used.

Processing

When all of the materials are gathered, then it is time to go to the actual processing center. A quick search on the Internet will show all application centers, but many people just use their local post office. Make note that not all post offices process passport applications, but most major locations will do this. All of this information is available right on the USPS website.

Some time will definitely need to be set aside when obtaining a US passport for the first time, but once the documents are secured, everything gets much easier. As long as the new passport does not expire, getting it renewed is very easy and much less time consuming. Furthermore, once you have your new passport, you have a document that will stand up under any scrutiny and is literally your ticket to travel the world.

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