8/22/2017

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New Passport Requirements

Are you traveling out of the country any time soon? Do you have a passport? If not, you should take heed and start your passport application as soon as possible. The time the government processes them has doubled and you may find yourself stressed out if you have to travel out of the country on short notice.

As of May 1, 2011, the same clerk will not be allowed to process both birth certificates and passports in offices throught the country. The new law also requires a separate office area for processing passport applications.

Americans have always been required to have a passport to travel overseas, but thanks to today's heightened security, that requirement now extends to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean as well.

For an adult 18 and older:

To obtain a new passport for the first time, or to renew a passport that was issued more than 10 years ago, an applicant must submit:

  1. Two completed DS-11 passport application forms.
  2. Two passport-size photos taken within the past six months.
  3. An ORIGINAL or CERTIFIED COPY of a U.S. birth certificate (NOT hospital record), or a previously issued passport, or an ORIGINAL Certificate of Naturalization.
  4. A personal check or money order (NOT company check) made payable to Department of State for exactly $170.00 (another check for $25.00 will be paid to the post office clerk or clerk of court who executes the application.)
  5. A copy of travel ticket or itinerary issued by airline or travel agent.
  6. A letter of authorization. (Signed by the applicant)

For children under age 15:

  • A notarized letter of consent (Form DS3053) signed by the non-applying parent or
    guardian for children under age 15 and under.
  • A letter of authorization. (Signed by the parent or guardian)

For children ages 16 - 17:

  • A letter of authorization. (Signed by the parent or guardian)

This application must be executed. This means that items 1 through 6 above must be taken by the applicant to a clerk of court or to a designated postal employee who is authorized to execute new passport applications at a local post office to be sealed in an official envelope.

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