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Archive for the ‘Get a US Passport’ Category

Situations in Which a US Passport Can Come In Handy

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

In today’s world, it is vital that you have a passport handy. Even if you have decided that you plan on never leaving the country, a passport is an easy way to be able to identify yourself. Most people who believe that they will never need a passport often discover that they actually do. The problem, however, is that it can often take a bit of time in order to get a passport, leaving those who need one in a hurry in a difficult position. There are a number of situations that can occur in which it would be very handy to have a US Passport at the ready.

Honeymoons
One of the most popular reasons that people get a passport is to go on a honeymoon. They long to visit beautiful foreign vistas with their new significant other and may spend a fortune booking a hotel and travel accommodations. They then realize that they need to have a passport in order to travel to their intended honeymoon destination a few weeks before their wedding. Unfortunately it often takes longer than just a few weeks in order to get a passport, and those who are trying for one with that short amount of time available often become upset when they learn that they can not get a passport. If you have a passport handy, you will not have to worry about getting one at the last minute and can enjoy your honeymoon.

Bank Accounts
That mythical Swiss bank account can only be yours if you have a passport. There are a number of reasons that banking in a foreign country can be a good idea for your situation, but you will only be able to invest your money in a foreign account if you have a passport. Some people even choose to get a second passport in order to get their bank account set up quickly and easily. Often the price of the passport more than pays for the positive things received when you have a foreign bank account.

Identification
If you’ve ever had to prove who you are, you know that it can be a very difficult thing. You not only have to show your valid driver’s license or other form of valid ID, you may also have to bring in your birth certificate, social security card, and possibly even some of your utility bills. A US Passport can be one of the best ways to prove that you are who you say you are, allowing you to cut through the red tape much faster than you would be able to if you had only a driver’s license.

A US Passport is usually valid for ten years, and even if you choose to leave the country only once, you will find that the price pays for itself easily. Instead of being frustrated that you do not have a passport, it can be better to have one, just in case.

The Ease of Getting a Passport

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Some people believe that getting a passport is a difficult thing. They also look at the price of a passport and wonder if it is truly necessary to pay for a passport, or if they will not really need one. The truth is that getting a passport is not a difficult thing, and paying for one can often make things much easier in your life and can pay for itself very easily.

Making it Easy
You should not let the idea of getting a passport intimidate you. It can be extremely easy, as long as you plan ahead and learn exactly what you need to have in order to get your passport. To start with, make sure you print out all of the forms that you will need. These forms can be found at the website for the Department of Homeland Security, as well as at the post office and any other federal building. If you print the forms from the internet, make sure you print them on the correct paper, as glossy paper is not acceptable.

After you have filled out the forms, you then need to have your proof of citizenship prepared. You can use a US birth certificate that has been certified. If you do not have one, simply contact the town or county that you were born in, and they can send one to you for a small fee. A certificate of citizenship can also count as proof of citizenship, as can a naturalization certificate or records of a birth abroad. Also make sure that you have a state-issued driver’s license, military ID, or government ID to prove exactly who you are.

Your photos can be taken by a photographer or at a post office, if they have a photography function available. In order to pose correctly, you simply need to have nothing on your head, your everyday clothes, meaning no uniforms, and anything on your face that you would wear on a daily basis like eye glasses. Make sure that you bring two photographs. You should also ensure that the two photos are in color, as no black and white photos are accepted.

You will have to pay a fee in order to get your passport, and once you pay that fee you will have to wait for anywhere from two weeks to two months in order to get the passport in your hand.
Is the Fee Worth It?

Many wonder if the fee for the passport is actually worth it. A passport for someone over the age of 18 costs $100 and lasts for ten years. When you break it down, that means that your passport will cost you $10 per year. Having a passport is the easiest way to not only get across country lines, but also to prove your identity to any type of agency. A US passport can come in handy in a number of situations, but make sure that you keep it in a safe place, as if your passport is stolen your entire identity can be as well.

How to Get a US Passport, Step By Step

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

The idea of getting a passport can be very intimidating to some people. They are unsure where they should start, and how the entire process goes. Getting a passport, however, does not have to be complicated, and it can be done in a step-by-step manner.

Step 1: Get your forms
You can get the forms that you need to fill out at most government places, including at the US post office. There are even some sites where you can download the passport paperwork online.

Step 2: Fill out the forms
The forms ask simple questions; simply answer them honestly and have everything filled in correctly.

Step 3: Get Proof of Citizenship
You need to have proof of citizenship in order to get your passport. A certified US birth certificate will work perfectly for proof of citizenship, but if you do not have this, you can also use qualified records of a birth that occurred abroad, a naturalization certificate, or a certificate of citizenship.

Step 4: Prove your Citizenship
Never assume that your citizenship will be accepted; instead, be sure that you can prove your citizenship. You can use a previous US passport for proof, a military ID, government ID, or even a US driver’s license.

Step 5: Take Your Photos
It is very important that you have your photos taken, as a passport requires a specific type of photo. You must wear your normal clothes, which means that you can not wear any uniforms, and you may have nothing on your head. No hats are accepted. You may wear glasses or anything else that you normally wear that would be visible in a face photo. You can have your photograph taken for your passport by any photographer or even by the US post office.

Step 6: Your Social Security Number
It is very important that you have your social security number available. If you do not have it memorized, make sure that you write it down and bring it with you.

Step 7: Payment
There is a cost associated with getting a US passport, so make sure you discover what, exactly, the cost of the passport is. There can be extra fees for expedited passports, and there may be a surcharge that you are required to pay. You can find most of this information available online.
Step 8: Get your Passport
Look online and you will be able to quickly find the closest passport office near you, which should include your US post office. A regular passport can take anywhere from two weeks to two months in order to arrive, but you may be able to pay a fee if you want to have the passport faster. Be prepared, however, as expediting a passport can cost quite a bit of money.

If you are over the age of 18, your passport will be good for ten years. After it expires you can use your old passport to receive a new one, which will make the process much faster.

Students and US Passports

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Many parents and children scrimp and save for a long time in order to get their child into college. The children work hard while the parents bank the money in order to be able to afford to pay for schooling and boarding. The truth is, however, that being a college student is one of the times when life is very uncertain. Many college students find that they are apt to go traveling, both across the nation and across the world, in order to learn more about life. If you’ve got a high school or college student in your family, you may want to get them a US passport, for a number of reasons.

High School Trips
It used to be that the furthest a teenager went when they were in high school was to the state house of their individual state. Now, however, teenagers go a number of places. Many foreign language courses end by taking their students to a country that speaks the language that they have been studying. It is not unusual to find French students visiting vineyards in France, or those learning Spanish taking a trip to Mexico. These trips are often subsidized by the high school, making it an ideal situation for children and their parents.

There are also a number of high school students who decide that they would like the gift of traveling to a foreign land as their graduation gift. These students often choose to go to exotic places such as Thailand or Egypt. The trip gives them the ability to experience another side of life and to learn how it is to be a grown up and on their own for the first time in their young lives.

College Trips
College students often do things that their parents wish they wouldn’t, including leaving school in order to span the globe and learn a bit about themselves and the world around them. The trip, however, annoyed it may make their parents, can often be a life-changing experience, helping them to solidify their career choices and to know that the decision that they are making when it comes to their life is the right one.

Other college students use their break time in order to visit tropical islands. Spring break, especially, is a popular one, finding many college students visiting Mexico in order to drink exotic drinks, play on the beach, and get a beautiful tan. A passport is necessary whenever you leave the country, and some college students find themselves homebound instead of vacation bound.

A passport can make a great graduation gift for a high school student, as it can come in handy in many different ways. Remember that it can take a few months for a passport to arrive, so plan accordingly and get one early. If you are in college and would like to visit Mexico for spring break, get your passport in the fall instead of waiting for the spring. Read the rules carefully before you begin the process.

The Debate: US Passport Vs Enhanced License

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

There has been much talk about the new law that is set to come into play in June of 2009, which is that those American citizens who wish to cross into Canada will need to have a passport in order to go across and to come back. This law has been met by much frustration by those who live close to the border of Canada and who are used to crossing over into the country quickly and easily. They do not feel that it should be necessary to have a passport in order to go across the border, while the Department of Homeland Security feels that it is one of the only ways to make sure that everyone is safe.

The Options
There have been a number of options that have been discussed in regards to making border crossing safe and easy for everyone. One idea is to issue specific license plates to those who live near a border. These license plates would allow officials at the crossing to know that the person who is crossing is a local and is secure to go across the border. The problem with this, however, is that it is easy to steal plates off of a car or truck, making it virtually impossible to know if the plates that are crossing are real or are stolen.

An option that has been getting some serious considering, however, is an enhanced license. An enhanced license would be issued by the state that you live in, much in the same way that a regular driver’s license is issued. They are different, however, in that they will have a microchip in them that will allow the border patrol to know exactly who you are, making border crossing much faster. This chip, called a Radio Frequency Identification chip, or RFID chip, signals a computer and will pull up all of your information as you are near a border. There will also be a barcode that can be scanned by the patrol officer if, for whatever reason, the RFID is not working. This chip will not only show your biography, but will also show biometric data, making it very safe.

Passport VS Enhanced License
There are a number of border states, including Washington and Vermont, that sit on the Canadian border and who are currently working with the Department of Homeland Security in order to make enhanced drivers licenses available for those living in their state. Because of this, many people are selecting to wait to purchase an enhanced license rather than purchase a passport now. An enhanced license will help you to get across the Canadian border, but it will not help you to visit other countries that are not connected to the United States. Also, if you happen to be in a different border state, such as Maine, the enhanced license may not help you to cross the border. Most experts agree that getting a passport is one of the best ways to ensure that you can make it across the border without any hassles.

A US Passport – Not What It Used to Be

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Many years ago, it used to mean that you were part of exotic lifestyle if you had a passport. It was only those who were a part of the elite rich and famous who had a passport. Now, however, things have changed, and it is important for everyone to have a passport, including those who believe that they will never be traveling outside of the country. What, however, changed? Why is it necessary for everyone to have a passport in today’s world?

The September Attacks
Those living in the United States before 2001 believed that they lived in one of the safest countries in the world. They felt as though they were completely safe from any type of terrorist attack. Unfortunately on September 11, we learned differently. As the trade center towers fell, so too did our faith in humanity. Bombings in London and Madrid, as well as the attacks that occurred at various embassies around the world soon made it clear that not everyone wanted the world to remain peaceful, and it became important to have a passport in order to prove that you are who you truly are.

Getting a Passport
Getting a passport is not as difficult as it may sound. To start your passport journey, you first need to apply for a passport. You can get the documents that you need at any federal building, online or at the post office. If you choose to get them online, make sure that you go to the correct website, and that you print the documents on the correct paper.

Proof of citizenship is also required before you can get a passport. All you will need to have for proof of citizenship is an official birth certificate. If you are unable to get one, you should contact the state department in order to discover what you can bring that will qualify.

Next it is necessary to have passport photos. In order to have photos that will qualify, they need to be head shots that have you wearing all of your natural attire, including your regular clothes, which means no uniforms, and anything that you wear on your head and face that you have on a daily basis, including your eye glasses. You need to have two photos to bring for your passport, and both of them must be in color. You can either get them done at any photographer or at your post office if they have that option available. Some local pharmacies offer these kinds of photos as well.

A driver’s license is also important to bring with you, as is your social security number. Then you simply have to visit an agency that can help you to file and get your passport. It can take up to two months to get a passport if you do not have it expedited, so make sure you plan far enough ahead so that you have enough time to receive your passport before you head out on any trips.