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How to Get a US Passport, Step By Step

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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.

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