We all enjoy traveling, but sometimes traveling can be a hassle and require lots of planning. Sometimes you must have a passport to travel if you are leaving the country, this document allows you in other countries and back in your home country. But, how do you get one?
There are passport requirements for a wide range of people. For example, minors have special rules. The same goes for children ages 16 and 17, Diplomats, and people applying from outside the United States. Those groups all have special requirements they must follow. All the special requirements can be found at travel.state.gov.
If you don't have any special requirements then you can go ahead and get your passport. You would first get and fill out the form DS-11 by hand. Also, they ask that you do not sign the form until the Acceptance Agent has said it is okay. You have to provide your social security number, and if you don't your form may be delayed when being processed or denied.
After you have filled out the form you have to give the form (DS-11) to the US Passport agency. But before you hand it in, please note you will be required to submit proof that you are a United States citizen. You can use a past, outdated U.S passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship.
You must also have a type of current identification while submitting these forms other than the proof of citizenship. Again, an old U.S passport will suffice, a drivers license, government ID, military ID etc. If you have none of these, they do have a list of secondary identification that you may show. If you are out of state and applying or have gone through gender transition there are a few other rules, like providing additional identification.
You must also bring a photocopied front and back of each ID you bring with you. The rules for the photo is it has to be 8 1/2 by 11" and on plain white paper. The paper cannot have any other markings on it, the paper cannot be smaller that the specified size, and you may enlarge the photo that is on your ID but cannot decrease it. Secondary ID's must be photocopied the same way.
The last two steps are simple. Pay the fees which vary, again show on the travel.state.gov website, they also have multiple payment methods for you to choose from as well. And you must provide a photo. Do not provide the picture to your DS-11 form. Check your local Passport Agency or their website to see photo requirements.
Again, there are many requirements but it's simple as long as plan ahead of time and follow all the rules and regulations that are provided by the Passport Agency. Also, there are additional steps to take to renew or if your passport is stolen which the Agency or website can provide for you.