I recently had a bride tell me that her family was giving her a special gift for her wedding….a honeymoon…that required a passport. How totally awesome is that?!? She had tried to get the information herself, but it didn’t seem to be all in one place and was about as clear as mud.
I put together a quick little informational packet for her, but then I thought others would benefit from the information as well, so here it is…
BTW – this is only for someone who is over 16 and has never had a passport issued in their name before. There are different procedures for children and people who need to renew, replace or update their passports. Click here for more information on these other scenarios.
As a bride, if you are going to need a passport right after you get married (or within 6 weeks or so), you will not be able to use your new last name. You will still have to use your maiden name.
Click here to begin and follow the directions. Taking special care to use black ink only, on regular white paper. DO NOT SIGN IT! Let me say this part again – DO NOT SIGN IT – because if you do and it isn’t witnessed by the processor, you will have to redo all of the application – AGAIN. So wait to sign until you get to a processing facility and are told to sign it by the reviewer.
Most of the post offices have a passport facility, but they have restricted hours and may require an appointment. See the USPS website for more detailed information as to locations, hours and restrictions.
Bring the following items with you for your appointment (including your completed application)
1. A certified birth certificate (this will be printed on colored paper and have an embossed seal somewhere near the bottom). If you do not have one, you will need to get one from the Office of Vital Records.
2. A valid driver’s license or military ID.
3. A photocopy of the ID you will be using. Front and back of the ID on two separate pieces of paper. Front on one page, back on one page.
4. $100.00 – $25.00 for the acceptance fee and $75.00 for the application fee. These are payable by cash, check or card and will be paid to two separate places. It is recommended that you send the application and all items by express mail, so there will be that fee as well.
5. Two pictures that meet the following requirements. Courtesy of Google, here are some locations in Phoenix that offer to take these pictures for you. They will make sure they fulfill the requirements, but just in case you want to do it yourself…
They must be
2 x 2 inches in size
Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
Taken in normal street attire:
Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily
Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline
If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture
Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required).
Or for $15.00 you can have the post office worry about all the details and have them taken that day. The attire and other restrictions above still apply if you choose to have them taken at the post office.
That is pretty much it. I know it seems daunting, but it is fairly easy. However, the processing time is taking a LONG time, so I would get it taken care of as soon as possible.