Getting your passport is not difficult but it does take some planning to get your paperwork together. The routine processing time is 6 – 8 weeks, starting the application early saves you worry and money. Expediting your passport adds a $60 charge and still takes three weeks on average.
First time going abroad? New travelers need to complete application form DS-11. You can download the PDF, fill it out, and take it to the Post Office. I visited the South Bend post office to turn in my application,you can use any passport acceptance facility in our area.
One thing you will need before submitting your application is a passport photo. I went to my local CVS Pharmacy and they provided two photos for $12.99. The process only took a matter of minutes. If you have the Post Office take your passport photos, they charge $15.00 but you know the photos will not be rejected.
You will need to provide identity documentation including evidence of U.S. citizenship and photo identification. The passport application lists everything you need.
The passport book fee is $110 payable to the U.S. Department of State. There is also a $25 execution fee for processing which will cover the mailing costs of the application process.
A passport will allow you to travel around the world and also serves as an important document when verifying your identity. In other words, it’s a good thing to have no matter where life takes you.
Guest Post by Susan Ward, International Programs Intern