4 Easy Steps for Getting Your Passport
I am a big believer that the best gift you can give, is the gift of travel. I could not let the year end without updating my twins passports and re-gifting them the gift of travel. My children are always excited to travel and hit the beach. This year my twins have added Beaches Ochi Beach and Turks & Caicos to their bucket list. With all the excitement, we need to ensure that the essentials are in place first, and renew their passport.
As a mother of multiples, I knew that I needed to prepare a head of time, as it can be a challenge with getting both boys together and ready for the photos. I will take you through a 4 step process that can be used for applying for both kids and adult passports. This simple steps can help save you time, and reduce the stress of applying for your passport.
STEP 1: Know the Requirements
When preparing to apply for your passport, ensure that you review the Department of State website to see what documents you will need in addition to your application. Please note that if you complete an application by hand, it must be in BLUE or BLACK ink only. The most common required documents are:
Your Original Birth Certificate
Passport Approved Photo
1st Time Application - DS-11 Form
Adult ONLY Renewal Application - DS-82 Form
Statement of Consent for Child Applications - DS-3053
Application FEE Varies (Adults, Child, Renewal, Book, Card)
Passport Agency FEE $35 per application
Optional Expedited Service FEE $60 per applications
STEP 2: Get Your Photo
When preparing for your passport photo, you need to know where to go and have one taken. I Googled passport photos near me, and was able to find a local pharmacy that offered passport photos without an appointment. The directions are rather straight forward in how the photo must look. However, at this time children are allowed to smile while adults are not. Detailed requirements can be found on the Department of State website.
STEP 3 Make Your Appointment
Finding an authorized passport agency in your local area. Each passport agency must be a public establishment (i.e. library, post office, or state building). Many require an appointment in order to submit your application. Appointments are set in about 15 min windows. The Department of State has 25 passport agencies throughout the US. If you are unable to apply at one of the listed locations, you may want to check your local post office. The USPS has a dedicated web-page for passport appointments. This web-page will list available locations in all 50 states, with participating post office locations. This is very convenient, and some locations even offer the photo service on site.
STEP 4 Submit Your Application
Now if this is your first passport application, you are required to submit your application through a passport agency. Minor children will be required to apply in person each time, even for renewal passport service.
Once you have submitted your passport application with the required documents, it will take an average of 6-8 weeks for standard processing time. If your half as excited as my twins and I to travel, don't keep the excitement to yourself. Ask me how you can host a passport party, and share the gift of travel to your friends & family. Passport parties are a great idea when looking to celebrate a birthday, wedding, a girls/guys trip. Your guest will have the chance to not only get excited about your upcoming vacation, but also find out more info on how to apply and set the needed appointments. Walgreen's Pharmacy offers a passport photo app, to which you can take your guest photos and order the prints locally.
Looking to host your passport party, or just book your next amazing vacation? I invite your to setup your FREE Vacation Planning session, by using our online scheduler HERE!