Procedures To Get American Passports

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When visiting a foreign country, U S passports are required for American citizens. At that time, it is stamped with a date that records how long you may visit. You must carry it to prove your identity whenever requested by the country's authorities. It must also be shown when returning home.

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Where Are You Going?

This requirement is most noted with Canada where, for a number of years, all that was required was a driver's license or birth certificate for identification. Due to the many terrorist acts throughout the world, this has changed and a U S passport cards or regular passport is required when entering and leaving that country.

Fees

To obtain a passport for the first time, you must apply in front of an authorized agent. They can be located at a number of locations such as the post office, municipal government offices and so forth. There are special requirements for minors under the age of 16. Standard processing takes approximately four to six weeks while, for an extra $60 fee, expedited processing can be accomplished in 2 to 3 weeks.

First Time Passports

If applying for a passport for the first time, there is an application form available online or in the agent's office which must be filled out. This application can only be signed when it is presented with the other required papers. At the same time, evidence of citizenship, a Social Security card and another piece of identification must be presented. A passport photo is also required and can sometimes be obtained at the authorized application's location.

Evidence Of Citizenship

The required evidence of U. S. Citizenship can be a certified birth certificate (US or birth abroad), a previously issued undamaged passport, naturalization or citizenship certificate. There are special requirements if applying from outside the country. If you already have a passport that is expiring, there are other procedures possible.

Passport Renewal

For people who already have a passport, it is possible to renew by mail. Your current passport, undamaged which was issued at age 16 or older and within the past 15 years, must be surrendered together with an application form and supporting documents. It should be noted that if you are in arrears on child support payments, a passport will not be issued.

Lost Or Stolen Passports

On occasion when visiting abroad, this valuable document is lost or stolen. When this happens, it is necessary to go to the nearest U. S. Embassy or consulate where a limited validity document can be issued. However, to return to this country, special procedures must be followed and it takes a number of weeks to receive a standard issue.

The U.S. passports are one of the most prized possessions people can have. They should be kept in a secure place when not in use to assure that they are not stolen or lost. It allows a person to enter and leave countries all over the world and safely return to their home. A citizen cannot leave or enter the country without it. Make sure you know if you need a passport or U.S. passport cards.

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