Determining Your US Passport Status

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Having a passport with you is essential when you’re traveling overseas. If you’ve already applied for your passport but you still don’t have them handy, read on so that you’ll have tidbits of insights on how to go about checking your US passport status after applying for it.

Before looking into the details of checking on your US passport application status, make sure that you applied for it in the proper way. You can either fill out the application form available online with your personal information and your parents’ information of birth, then, print it out. As for the signature, it must be done in person at the passport agency according to the instructions of the Acceptance agent. After submitting the necessary documents such as your evidence of citizenship and photocopies of your ID, you can write a check to the Department of State to complete the application.

How to Check the Status of Your US Passport Application

Now, that the first part has been dealt with successfully, you can already wait and check for your US passport status in the next five to seven days.

 Determining Your US Passport StatusYou can do so by logging on to the website of the US Department of State. You can key in your last name, followed by your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number in order for you to gain access to the information.

Another manner of checking your US passport status is by calling the trunk line 877-487-2778. This is the phone number of the US Department of State and you can use this number if you are within the United States. You can speak with any representative from Mondays through Fridays at 8:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the evening (EST). If you think you are not free during these hours, you can access the automated passport information which is available 24 hours a day.
In the event that you are out of the country or outside the territories of the United States, you can contact the nearest US Embassy or the available Consulate near your area.

If you are physically unavailable, you can let your fingers do the walking especially if you are connected to the worldwide web. You can shoot an email to the US Department of State through the National Passport Information Center at NPIC@state.gov. This is a very convenient way to check you US passport status because most inquiries are responded promptly, usually within the next 24 hours. Bear in mind that there had been a release of the new travel rules recently which stated that your US passport is very important when you travel to countries such as Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

You must also be extra cautious of the number of days you have left to check on you US passport status. If you only have some less than two weeks to obtain a passport, you can have the passport expedited or you may schedule an appointment at any regional passport agency in the US. Then, you can check you US passport status in the same manner as above.

How to Get a US Passport

passport How to Get a US PassportEvery single citizen of the United States of America needs to own a passport if he or she plans to travel internationally. In order to get a US passport, here are the steps to follow:

Gather the Necessary Documents

It is a must that you gather all the necessary documents, such as Proof of Identity and Proof of Citizenship. You may use different documents according to your particular requirements, which depend on whether you are a minor or a first-time passport applicant.

You may use your old passport to prove your citizenship, but if you are a new applicant, you may use your Birth Certificate, Consular Report of Birth (if born abroad), Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship. To prove your identity, you can use your driver’s license, military ID, or other government-issued ID. Remember that the ID must bear your photo and signature in order to be considered valid.

If any of the above forms of ID is not available, you will have to produce two secondary IDs. Secondary IDs include social security card, library card, or credit card. Alternatively, you may appear personally at the application office and have an identifying witness with you. He or she will have to show identification forms.

Get a Passport Photo

When applying for a US passport, you will also need to produce a passport photo. You must understand that this is not your regular-sized photo, there is a required size, background, and outfit for your passport photograph. Check out this post for more details on passport photograph.

Fill Out the Needed Form

Most of the time, the required form is DS-11. If you have the physical form, you can fill it out by hand at the place of your application. You may also fill out the form online and print it out afterwards. Make sure to fill in the correct information to prevent any hassle in applying. The form has inquiries, such as your address, date and place of birth, Social Security Number, and basic info like eye color and height.

Have Money for Fee

Passport application has a corresponding fee that varies depending on the type of passport you are getting. For instance, if you are a first-time applicant, you will have to pay more or less $135. Your fee could be lower if you are applying for a renewal or if you just want to acquire a passport card. Cash is almost always accepted, but you may also pay with credit card or personal check depending on the policy of the application office.

Submit Form and Documents in Person

You have to submit your application form in person unless you are an adult renewing your passport. Visit your local passport application center, such as post offices, etc. to submit all your requirements. A change in name also requires you to visit a passport center personally. Also, if your passport has not been renewed for the past 15 years or if it was lost, stolen, or damaged, you’ll need to visit the application office personally.

Verifying your US Passport might sound complicated, but it is in fact, an easy task. Initially, you will need to fill up form DS-11 with your correct personal information. Other documents needed include a proof of birth and IDs. Both original and photocopies shall be submitted. In a matter of

passport the world is yours 300x300 Verifying Your US Passport Application Status Made Easy

Photo ccourtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tapps/

weeks, you will receive your new passport.

Most passport application process takes about 6 weeks or more, unless you applied for an expedited process, which comes with a minimal fee. If you think it is time to check for your US passport status and verify if it is already released, you can do a few things. Your Passport status can be checked through phone or via the US Department of State official website.

Verifying Your US Passport Status Via Phone

Your US passport application status can easily be verified through phone. You may call 877-487-2778 in order to get your passport application status. If you prefer speaking to a customer service representative, you have to call Monday to Friday, from 8 in the morning to 10 in the evening. On the other hand, if it is fine with you to “talk” with an automated operator, the service is available Sundays to Saturdays without break. For those who are out of the country, you may call the office of the nearest US Embassy or consulate for details.

Verifying Your US Passport Status Via the Internet

Make sure you use a secure web browser when using this service. Visit travel.state.gov and go to the “Passports” tab. Click through the “Application Status” tab found at the left side and click “Check Application Status”. Make sure to read disclaimers or terms and conditions first before agreeing and checking the Agree box. Click the “Submit” button to continue. You will then be directed to the next page where you fill in your information. You may be asked to enter your last name, birthday, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. Click “Submit” and check your passport application status, which should be available a week after you filed your application.

In addition, you may email NPIC@state.gov for inquiries. Most of the time, inquiries via email are answered within 24 hours.
Remember to supply all the needed documents and fill up the required forms correctly in order to make your passport application process hassle-free. Your application will just go to waste if you don’t have the complete requirements, such as the forms, supporting documents, and photos. Once you are sure your documents and other requirements are correct, you can then send them via mail and check the passport application status within a few weeks.

Adding Extra Pages to Your Passport

There are several reasons why you will be required to add pages to your US passport. First, your passport has only 4 (or less) pages less. Second, you travel frequently and in need of a “thicker” passport. If you are among these two, you are more likely to need to have extra passport us passport Adding Extra Pages to Your Passportpages. So, we will teach you how to do it.

In order to request for extra pages, the US passport in question must be valid. Fill up Form DS-4085 correctly and send the form, along with your passport, via mail to the address specified.

In routine US passport processing, you will not be required to pay for additional passport pages. But, if you are about to travel soon, you can opt for an expedited processing, which will cost you minimal fee. Expedited passport processing means you get your US passport within 2-3 weeks.

Frequent travelers use up their passports much faster compared to others. So, if you are among them, it is just sensible to add more pages to your US passport in order to avoid the hassle of the frequent adding up process. A DS-82 form will be required for this process if you send your application form via mail.If you are applying in person, on the other hand, you will have to fill in the DS-11 form.

If you opt to send your application via mail, make sure to choose a method that will track it. This way, you are guaranteed that your application is received. Most modern courier services offer this type of service. Moreover, you have to make sure that your documents are placed in a secure envelope. A document envelope with pads are ideal since it is not easily damaged and the content will be kept in good condition, as well.

Adding pages to US passport is relatively easy. But you should be aware that different passport categories fall into their respective application procedures. Keep in mind to do it right away, especially if you plan to travel soon. If you notice that your passport pages are running out quickly, then it is about time to apply for addition of pages. Doing this as soon as possible will save you time and effort.

 

There are several mistakes that you can do when you are applying for a US passport. You may only notice that you’ve done these errors once you wrong way Top 5 Most Common Errors on US Passport Applicationare already checking for your US passport application status and you see that is was not processed yet. Don’t wait until it is too late. Take care not to do these 5 most common mistakes when applying for a US passport:

Signing the application form at the wrong time

The time when you have to sign the application form depends on the type of passport that you are applying for. For instance, a new passport needs a DS-11 form, which requires you to sign it in front of an agent; whilst a DS-82 form, the form needed for passport renewal, requires you to sign it at the same time you print the form out. Doing this wrong will probably make your application longer than the average waiting time, or worse, your application could be denied.

Inadequate documents to prove citizenship

Any passport application process requires you to prove your citizenship. Unfortunately, this is one of the steps that most people don’t do right. When applying for an American passport, you are required to present an original copy of your birth certificate. Take note that a photocopy is not accepted; you have to submit the genuine copy with the seal of the issuing authority.

Those who are born in California or Texas, your birth certificate will have to be the “long-form” type. After the application process, you’ll get your birth certificate back.

Incorrect Check

us passport Top 5 Most Common Errors on US Passport ApplicationAnother most common error when applying for a US passport is sending a check with incorrect amount. To keep this from happening, make sure you supply the check with the correct amount of passport application fee, input the acceptable date, and sign it at the right place.

Invalid Photographs

Your photo is one of the requirements that you need to submit when filing a passport application. However, not all photos are valid; there is a particular photo size and quality acceptable. Also, you should make sure that the photo is taken just recently. To avoid any hang-ups, please refer to this passport photo guide.

Failure to check all the details carefully

Before you send in your passport application requirements, it is very important that you check if everything is correct. Double-checking will only take a matter of minutes, but failing to check it may cause you more time, even months, to fill up another set of forms and produce the required documents.

US Passport Application FAQs

What is a US Passport?

A U.S. Passport is a type of document that is recognized internationally. It confirms the nationality and identity of the bearer. This document is used mainly as a pass for traveling abroad.

us passport card US Passport Application FAQs

photo credit: state.gov

What is a Passport Card?

A passport card is just like the passport, but it is in a card form. It is also used for travel abroad; however, the passport card limits you to travel to certain countries only (Canada, etc). For more information about the Passport Card, please click here.

What do I need to apply for a Passport?

Basically, you’ll need proper identification, such as government-issued ID cards, as well as a copy of your birth certificate in order to apply for a passport. A photo, which has a required size, background, and quality, is also needed.

What if I don’t have a birth certificate?

There’s no way you can get a US passport without a birth certificate. For more information about getting a copy of your birth certificate or other vital documents, visit this site: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

When traveling with a child, will he/she also need a Passport?

Yes, your child will require a passport for him/her to travel abroad. You can check passport application requirements for minors here.

passport for minors US Passport Application FAQsAre both parents needed to obtain a Passport for a child?

According to the Public Law 106-113, Section 236 (became effective on July 2, 2001) states that U.S. passport applications for children under the age of 14 require both parents’ or legal guardians’ consent.

What happens if the child is too young to sign the application or Passport?

In the space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print the child’s name and sign their own name. Then, in parenthesis by the parent’s name, write the word (mother) or (father) so it will be known who signed for the child.

How long is a US Passport valid?

If you were 16 or older when you got your passport, then your passport is valid for 10 Years and is renewable. On the other hand, if you were 15 or younger when the passport was issued, then your passport is valid for 5 Years. After expiry, you’ll need to file a new passport application.

Is there something that can prevent me from getting a US Passport?

If you have more than $2,500 due in your child support requirements and your case is filed with HHS, you may have a problem with your passport application. In addition, those who have federal cases filed against them are most likely declined to have a passport.

passport2 Checking the Status of Your Passport ApplicationUS passport is an essential tool that allows you to travel internationally. If you have already applied for a new passport, or have made a renewal for your old one,you may check the status of your application by calling a designated office or checking it online.

It is interesting to find out that a US passport can serve as your identification card wherever you may be. If you want to travel to exotic European countries or to inviting destinations, your US passport can be your huge ticket. With this in mind, check status of US passport in order for you to start booking your next getaway.

When to Check?

Application for a new US passport can take about a month and a half for regular service, while the expedited service could take about three weeks. However, to make sure that your US passport reaches you in time, making an early application is advisable. Check your passport application status a week or so after it is due for release.

How to Check Your Passport Application Status

You can easily check the status of your passport application by calling the US Department of State. If you are within the US, you may call their trunk line 877-487-2778. A representative is available Mondays through Fridays 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. There’s also an automated passport status confirmation that is available 24 hours a day. If you are outside the country, you may contact a US Embassy or Consulate nearest to you.

You can also check your passport status online via the worldwide web. You can log in to US Department of State website or send an email to the US Department of State through the National Passport Information Center at NPIC@state.gov. This is a very convenient way to check your US passport status. Most of the time, inquiries are responded within the next 24 hours.

You should be aware that checking your passport application status involves dangers, such as possible frauds. Make sure you have a secure phone connection when calling the Department of State office and close your browser window after every session with its website. Nevertheless, it is generally safe and not to mention easy to check the status of your application through these methods.

US Passport Card – What is This?

What it is and what is its difference from the U.S. passport book?

us passport card US Passport Card   What is This?

photo credit: state.gov

The U.S.Passport card is a wallet-sized passport that is issued to U.S.citizens for travel purposes. But, is size the only difference? What is the purpose of getting a passport card? Which is better, a passport card or a passport book?

Purpose of a U.S. Passport Card

The U.S. Passport Card is a travel documentation that can be utilized to enter the U.S. when you are coming from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, or the caribbean via land or sea. generally, the passport card is a more convenient, not to mention less expensive alternative to passport book. However, you may not use it for international air travel

Applying for a U.S. Passport Card

All citizens of the United States of America are allowed to apply for a U.S. passport card. Nevertheless, there are different ways in applying for one. For instance, if you already have a U.S.passport book, you can file your application through mail and submit Form DS-82 for passport book renewal and passport card application at once.

For those who do not have a U.S. passport book, applying for a passport card should be done in person. Submit form DS-11 for this process.

Your passport card, if released, will be mailed through First Class Mail, but unlike with the passport book, it cannot be shipped using overnight delivery.

Cost and Validity of the U.S. Passport Card

Application cost for the passport card is $55 for first-time applicants if you are aged 16 and above and it is valid for 10 years. For minor applicants, application cost is $40 and the card will be valid for a full 5 years. For passport book holders, application fee is $30.

Other Information

Did you know? Passport cards were first produced in July 2008 and over 2.7 million cards were issued as of March 2010.

The passport card is a convenient, speedy, and secured way of entering the U.S. through land and sea borders. It uses an RFID or Radio-Frequency Identification chip that enables the Custom and Border Protection officers to access your photographs and other information using secure government files.

In addition, the card utilizes high-tech features that help prevent forgery and counterfeiting. The card also has an RFID-blocking sleeve that protects your information and prevents unauthorized tracking or reading of the card, especially when not in use.

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We have discussed the steps on how to apply for a US passport, but those steps only apply IF your are inside the country. But, what if you are passport How to Apply for a U.S. Passport if you are Outside the Countryalready outside US and your passport expires or about to expire?

Passport application outside the country has quite different process than when you are applying a passport while inside the US. True, the application forms, required documents and needed fees are basically the same, but most of the time, each consulate has a unique procedure in processing the requirements and final documents.

To help you on this, here are the basics in passport application outside the U.S.

Application Forms

When filing your application forms, do not heed the instructions printed with the form, as they are usually intended for applicants inside the country (U.S.). Though the application forms are similar, you should check with your local consulate or embassy on how to submit your application forms.

Documents

Submit your required documents to the local embassy or consulate together with your application form. Consult your embassy officials for more details, especially if they ask for other documents than the usual.

Photos

Although it is less likely that your embassy requires a photo size different from what is usually required, it is best to ask your embassy or consulate officials for more information about this. Here is the passport photo guidelines.

Fees

Application and processing fees are usually the same, but payment facilities are typically limited if you are paying outside the U.S. Local embassies generally accept cash in local and U.S. currencies, and in some cases, they can accept credit card. Personal and manager checks, and other forms of payment, however, are not accepted. Here is a full list of passport application fees.

Length of processing

If you are outside the U.S., the processing time of your passport application might be longer than usual. Unfortunately, expedited processing option is not available outside the United States, since all passports are still printed in the U.S. and sent back to your local embassy for distribution. In case you need to travel immediately and your passport is already expired, you can check with your embassy or consulate if you can get proper travel documents or limited validity passport in lieu of a passport book.

For more information about U.S. passport application process outside the United States, visit your local consulate or embassy or check websites here.

U.S. Passport Photo Requirements

Passport photo 200x300 U.S. Passport Photo RequirementsAmong the most important parts of your passport is your photo. Acceptance of the passport photo mainly depends on the US passport agency processing it, so it is vital that you follow all photo requirements.

1 copy of passport photo must be submitted for passport processing. This photo should be:

  • printed on a high-quality, photo paper
  • 2 inches by 2 inches in size
  • in color
  • shot in a way that the head is centered 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches from the chin’s bottom to the top of the head.
  • it should be your most recent photo and not taken later than 6 months from the date of application
  • with off-white or plain white background
  • you must be facing the camera directly
  • both of your eyes should be open
  • facial expression should be neutral
  • you should be wearing normal clothes

passport photo requirement 267x300 U.S. Passport Photo RequirementsClothing Guidelines

  • Although you have to wear normal daily clothes, you are not allowed to wear uniforms (school, work, etc.) unless it is a type of religious clothing that must be worn everyday.
  • Hats and other headgears are not allowed, unless for religious purposes. If this is the case, the head covering must still leave the face fully visible.
  • Headphones, bluetooth devices, and other similar items are not allowed but a hearing device may be worn.
  • If you wear prescription glasses on a daily basis, you may wear them on your photo, but make sure no glare is visible or your photo won’t be accepted.

Change of Appearance

If there’s a significant change in your appearance, immigration officers may not accept your passport, which can give you serious problems while you are traveling. To prevent this from happening, you must make sure that you are identifiable from your passport’s photo.

Even if your passport is not yet expired, you may need to get a new one if you have:

  • had significant change in weight
  • made a gender transition
  • undergone trauma or major facial surgery
  • added/removed large facial tattoos or piercings

A new passport is not required if you just grew a beard or had your hair colored. In addition, a child who undergoes normal process of aging need not apply for a new passport. Please take note that digitally scanned or photocopied photos are not acceptable, as well as snapshots, mobile phone photos, vending machine photos (low-quality), magazine photos, and full-length photos will not be accepted.

Passport Application Fees

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We already know the required papers/ documents, photos, etc. when applying for a US passport, but of course, we are also interested on how much will it cost.

How much will it cost you to have your passport processed? This question is among the frequently asked questions regarding US passport application. The truth is, the fees depend on the circumstances. To help you on this, here is a breakdown of how much passport processing will cost:

passport21 Passport Application FeesAdults (aged 16 and up) First Time Applicants

  • For applicants aged 16 and up who are applying for a new passport book, the total cost of the process is $135, which includes the $110 State Department fee and a $25 execution fee.
  • For passport card application, you have to pay $30 for the State Department and $25 execution fee.
  • For both passport book and card, a total of $165 is needed.

Adults (aged 16 and up) Renewing Applicants

  • A total of $110 will be charged for applicants aged 16 and up who are just renewing an expired passport book.
  • For those renewing their expired passport card, you need to shell out $30.
  • For both passport book and card, renewal fee is $140.

Children (under 16 years old) New and Renewing Applicants

  • For minors younger than 16 who are applying for a passport book, the total charge would be $105, which includes the $80 State Department fee and $25 execution fee.
  • A minor passport card would cost $40.
  • For both passport book and card, minor applicants need to pay a $95 application fee and $25 execution fee.

Expedited Processing Fee

These fees are regular processing fees that will have your passport in 6 to 8 weeks. Nevertheless, you can always avail of the expedited service for an additional fee. A $60 fee will be charged per application to make the process faster (2-3 weeks).

Overnight Delivery Fee

The Department of State strongly suggests getting your new passport book delivered the next day after the passport release date. This would cost a flat rate of $12.85. Passport cards, however, are not delivered overnight and are only sent through First Class Mail.

Accepted Payment Modes

Depending on the agency or acceptance facility, you can pay passport fees using major credit cards and debit or check cards. Personal, cashier, certified, and traveler’s checks are also usually accepted. Make sure the checks are payable to the U.S. Department of State. Money orders, bank drafts, and cash are also accepted.

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