How to Obtain Your Passport in 5 Easy Steps

how to obtain your passport

Do you have a destination wedding on the horizon or plan to travel internationally?  You will need to obtain a US passport.  No worries, here’s 5 easy steps on how to obtain your passport quickly:

Complete Your Passport Application –  You can fill out Form DS-11 Application for US Passport on-line and print it.  You will need to know dates of marriages and/or your date of divorce as well as your spouses or ex-spouse’s birthday and address.  Sorry, I’m just delivering information.

Obtain Passport Photo – You will need to get a passport picture.  I had mine taken at CVS.  However, Wal-Greens, Fed-Ex, UPS, Rite Aid, 1-Hour Photo Shops, Costco are a few places who offer services too.   Your local Wal-Mart may offer the cheapest service.

Before you have your passport photo taken, familiarize yourself with the rules.  For example, you can’t wear glasses, a hat, or obscure your hairline.  I learned that lesson the hard way.  So, I wore a headband for my initial photo.  But it was not allowed.  You can’t hid your hairline.  Obviously, the lady who took my picture at CVS didn’t know that.  She just knew how to use the camera.  The lady who took my passport application questioned it.  Back to CVS I went.  Fortunately, it was close by.

Obtain a Copy of Your Birth Certificate – You will need a copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal.  A copy of your birth certificate will not be allowed.

Make a Copy of all Documents – Make a copy of your documents before you hand them over.  You may need the information if you have to make an inquiry about your application.

Find a Location to Take Your Application – The Post Office and the library accept applications in my area.  There is a $110.00 application fee for adults and $80.00 for children under 15.

It takes approximately 30 days to obtain your passport.  However, allow sufficient time to obtain your passport and to have any printing errors corrected.  They printed M instead of F for my gender.  Correct any printing errors, otherwise, you risk being allowed to board the plane or get through customs.  You will need to complete Form DS-5504 to have any errors corrected.

Finally, we hope that our tips on how to obtain your passport has been helpful.  You may also like Using Travel Checklist to Organize Packing.