The thought of applying for a passport seems like a tedious task to many, but honestly, all it takes is one day to get the entire process done from beginning to end. I get asked all the time how to apply for a passport, and today I’ve come up with the ultimate guide and tips to get your passport application done and submitted. I have the ultimate guide to applying for a passport! Stay tuned and keep reading!
Why You Should Apply For A Passport
A passport is something that I always encourage my readers and community to get. I find value in having identification that takes 10 years to expire in addition to being able to grant you access to so many countries without complication. You always want to be prepared for everything, and having a passport is a part of being prepared for anything.
First Things First
Print The Application
The first step is actually printing the application. You can print the application here. I’ve linked it RIGHT THERE so you can access it quickly. You need to fill out the application in its entirety. You also have an online version that is even more convenient. Take the time to fill out one of the options. Once you are done, either submit or print the application.
Second Step – Preparing The Application
Get A Copy Of Your Birth Certificate
I have to say, this was the most time-consuming part for me. This part of the process requires you to gather your birth certificate and other information. This was the hardest part for me because neither I nor my mother knew where my birth certificate was. So this prompted a trip down to the health department to obtain a copy. This was so time-consuming because I had to fill out forms and wait for them to hand me a copy. YOU NEED A COPY OF YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE. You cannot skip this step because you will need this for step three.
Obtain A Passport Photo
This has got to be the most terrifying part of all of this. I say this is terrifying because if you take a terrible photo, it’s with you for ten years. Hopefully, you get a nice photo with the clerk, but if not, you can always go to another location and retake it. You can take this photo at any Walgreens, CVS, or my favorite AAA. If you have an AAA membership, they will take your passport photo for free. We love free. So take a great photo and add it to the passport documents you’ve accumulated.
Third Step, Almost There
Take Your Documents & Application To The Post Office
After you obtain a copy of your birth certificate and you have your application printed off or submitted, take a visit to your local post office. BUT you cannot just go to any post office (click here to find a passport facility), you need to go to one that has passport services. Take a valid ID, your passport photo, your application, and a birth certificate to the passport services in the post office (you will be sending the birth certificate off with the application). Once you get there and start the process, they will ask you a few questions and you’ll be done. You pay the fee of $115-$145 and you’re off to do something else productive with your day.
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Fourth and Final Step
You wait. I mean you really wait. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive your passport back in the mail. I will say that you don’t need to wait until two months before your trip to apply. Anything could happen at the passport issuing facility. There could be a backlog of applications and yours could be potentially delayed. Don’t be that person who waits until the last moment to obtain a passport. They have expedited options, but why pay extra when you can plan ahead.
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Sole Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Melanin Voyage. Devoted to bringing #TravelTransparency to the masses. A professional blogger that provides support to aspiring professional bloggers. She loves brunch, travel, and art. Knowledgeable about pretty much anything travel & lifestyle.