Have you recently booked a trip of a lifetime? You’re probably ecstatic about the potential of going abroad to experience new cultures and eat all of the delicious food.
Aside from packing and planning your itinerary, you have one other hurdle: a passport.
If you don’t already have one, you will need to apply for and obtain a passport. Also, you should check the restrictions in the country you plan to travel because some have stricter passport requirements than others. For instance, Brazil wants American travelers to have at least 6 months left on their passport.
So, if you’re unsure how to apply or what the requirements to getting a passport are, we have the answers you need! Keep reading for more information!
Applying in Person
If you have never had a passport or haven’t had one for over 15 years, you will need to apply in person. This process isn’t as difficult as you think, and usually, the friendly people at the post office are helpful and willing to walk you through it.
Before you arrive at the post office, there are a few items you should make copies of and bring with you. These include passport photos (if your post office does not offer this service), clear black and white photocopies of the front and back of your ID, and proof of citizenship.
The photocopy of your ID is important because it will be submitted with your application and is NOT returned to you.
For a standard passport book, be prepared to pay $110. However, there is a separate execution fee of $35. Checks or money orders are your best bet because credit cards are not always accepted and usually come with extra fees.
Applying by Mail
If applying in person sounds like a difficult task and you already have had a passport, you may be eligible to apply by mail.
You will fill out a different form than the one used for first-time applicants or those whose passports expired more than 15 years ago. In your reapplication packet, you will include your most recent passport, any name change documents, a passport photo, and checks for the correct amounts.
Once you’ve gathered all of this, you will mail it off and wait for your new passport!
Other Options to Apply for Your Passport
Applying in person can be a real pain as you can clearly see by the number of documents needed.
Applying by mail can make people nervous that something might go wrong.
There is one other way to apply for a passport, and absolutely should be considered if your trip is less than 6 weeks away. The National Passport Service can help you obtain your passport and any needed visas quickly and without hassle.
Passport Requirements: Difficult, but Not Impossible
If you’ve read this article and are slightly worried about meeting all of the passport requirements, don’t be. The best thing to do is to start the process early. That way, if something goes wrong or your photos aren’t accepted, you can correct the mistake in plenty of time.
You’ve probably already picked out a destination or have one in mind. However, if you’re still answering the ‘where to’ question and love to eat, consider a stop in Florence, Italy!