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Letís talk passports

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Letís talk passports

Old 11-25-21, 03:50 PM
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Letís talk passports

I need to get one for my Alaska trip next year as weíre also traveling through BC Canada
Is it a pain to get one?
is there anything I should know to make the process easier?
Old 11-25-21, 03:59 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Get passport photos taken. 1st and foremost

This link explains the process

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...passports.html

It takes about 8-11 weeks with regular processing fee. With an additional $60, you can get it in 5-7 weeks

You have to apply in person. So you need to fill out the application and then get a post office or some facility that accepts appointments to apply for a passport. You can't just apply for one online. You can renew online, which I did last year.
Old 11-25-21, 04:10 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

We got our passports when there was a rush, with day-long lines at the post office. They actually had an employee count customers when they opened at 8 AM. She said to the people just behind us, "Everybody behind this person go home. We can't get to you before 5:00 today." We left too.

I made an appointment at a rural post office an hour out of town. We were in and out in fifteen minutes. Then we went to soak in hot springs and eat at a restaurant, making the trip a mini vacation.

Costco took our passport photos.

I did have to ask my mother the name of the town where she was born in the 1930s. Mrs Danger had to request a notarized copy of her birth certificate from the county clerk where she was born, because the copy she had wasn't official enough.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 11-25-21 at 04:19 PM.
Old 11-25-21, 04:15 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Don't try and do it yourself with the photos. They are VERY particular. We used CVS.
Old 11-25-21, 04:18 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Just don't use the Post Office itself for the photos. $50 or thereabouts, whereas a chain drugstore will do it for $15.
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Old 11-25-21, 04:45 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by Wolf359 View Post
Don't try and do it yourself with the photos. They are VERY particular. We used CVS.
I did it myself for my family with no problem on my phone. Just get a free passport photo app, follow the very basic rules (e.g. solid white/tan background), and get a 4x6 print with 6 copies at Target for 20Ę each.

I also recommend just making a day trip to someplace rural. It is so much less frustrating.

I read wait times for standard renewals are in the 18 week range now, so start early.

Old 11-25-21, 05:06 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Check your local library. Ours has a passport application service, including taking pictures.
Old 11-25-21, 07:33 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

One tip: get on it now, especially if you need to apply for other documentation. I ordered a copy of my birth certificate a few years ago. I didn't "need" it for anything, I just hadn't seen mine since I was 17, when I applied for my first passport. Delivery took every last bit of the "6-8 weeks" Georgia said it would. I would have been panicking if I needed it for a passport application.

Second tip: I've gotten pictures taken at both CVS and Walgreens, and both of them actually showed me the digital photo they took and asked me if I was OK with it. A "nice photo" doesn't really matter so much now, because you're not supposed to smile or wear your glasses or anything. But if you really hate the pic, they'll take another if you ask.

Lastly, and this is kind of a big one: DO NOT RELY ON A PASSPORT CARD. When applying for a passport, you can choose to get a traditional passport book (like spies always have a handful of in movies) or a passport card, like a driver's license. The application makes it pretty clear, but I've run into a lot of people who just don't understand: passport cards are only valid for land and sea crossings into Mexico, Canada, and a few Caribbean countries. If you want to walk, or drive your car, or take a bus, or take a ferry into Canada or Mexico, you can use the card. If you want to fly anywhere outside the 50 states and territories you can only use a passport book. You can order both if you like, if you just want to have an extra form of ID. Or maybe you have family who live near the border and cross it all the time (which is who passport cards were intended for). Passport cards are also Real IDs, so if you don't have a Real ID driver's license from your state, you could use a passport card to get through airport security. You just can't board a plane with a card.
Old 11-25-21, 08:55 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Go see Meg Coburn.
Old 11-25-21, 10:16 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by Kevin Phillips View Post
Check your local library. Ours has a passport application service, including taking pictures.
you might want to call before coming so you donít waste your trip as I have seen long lines at the library in the past for passport and there may be a cut off if the line is too long.
Old 11-26-21, 09:49 AM
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Re: Letís talk passports

I just got my renewal. And just an FYI, it’s currently taking about 13 weeks unless you pay extra to expedite it. I just did a reservation at the post office and got my picture done there. Cheap and fast for the most part.
Old 11-26-21, 12:47 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

If you happen to be a AAA member they will do free passport photos for you. My daughter just got her pics from them so they are still offering this service for sure. Also, make sure you file away the original documents you send with the passport. I somehow lost my daughter's SS card when it went out for the passport and that was a PITA that took months to get a new one as they kept returning things they did not like with the application.
Old 11-26-21, 01:15 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

If you plan to regularly travel outside the US, You might check into Global Entry. Itís like TSA Pre-check and can greatly speed the process of reentry. Itís $100 good for 5 years. And must be done in advance. If you have a travel credit card, sometime those reimburse the cost (which is why I did it).

Yes, I knowÖ.many think like TSA Pre-check is giving ur self up for a background check to the government for no purpose (other than saving time), If you feel this way, donít do it.

I use Clear/TSA pre-check and will never not have it. Iím not sure global entry saved me all that much time the one time I used so far, but airport was slow that time.

Note - you donít want or need to buy both global entry and TSA pre. If you get global entry it ďincludesĒ TSA pre. I just got my TSA pre couple years ago as my company paid for. Got global entry earlier this year on my on for a Mexico trip.
Old 11-26-21, 01:55 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Can families use it? Meaning underage kids? I know about it, but haven’t read up on it.
Old 11-26-21, 02:03 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
If you plan to regularly travel outside the US, You might check into Global Entry. It’s like TSA Pre-check and can greatly speed the process of reentry. It’s $100 good for 5 years. And must be done in advance. If you have a travel credit card, sometime those reimburse the cost (which is why I did it).

Yes, I know….many think like TSA Pre-check is giving ur self up for a background check to the government for no purpose (other than saving time), If you feel this way, don’t do it.

I use Clear/TSA pre-check and will never not have it. I’m not sure global entry saved me all that much time the one time I used so far, but airport was slow that time.

Note - you don’t want or need to buy both global entry and TSA pre. If you get global entry it “includes” TSA pre. I just got my TSA pre couple years ago as my company paid for. Got global entry earlier this year on my on for a Mexico trip.
Yeah, I have a Nexus card which is similar. It allows me to cross the US/Canadian border faster (they have a dedicated line for card holders, and in Niagara Falls, a whole dedicated bridge/border crossing) and it is also like a TSA Pre-check if I fly. It requires background checks in the US and Canada and an interview with US and Canada Customs officers, but is totally worth it as I cross the border near daily. Of course, mine expired December 2019, I applied for a renewal, was waiting and then Covid hit and the local Nexus office has been closed ever since the border shut down. Luckily my card is still valid until the office actually opens again and I can schedule an interview with customs.
Old 11-26-21, 04:39 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
If you plan to regularly travel outside the US, You might check into Global Entry.
Not only can it save you boatloads of time on reentry, it can save you boatloads of time entering some other countries as well. For example, we were able to absolutely breeze through Australia immigration thanks to Global Entry.

If you fly International in and out of Dulles like we do, at least pre-pandemic, GE is a must. They do not separate U.S. Citizens from non-citizen legal residents so you end up waiting in line behind several people getting extra scrutiny from CBP just to finally get to the head of line and have your process take 15 seconds.

Also, GE comes with TSA Pre-Check and is only slightly more expensive.

Old 11-27-21, 01:22 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post
Can families use it? Meaning underage kids? I know about it, but haven’t read up on it.
I believe each person needs to apply. It’s all part of the trusted traveler program This should cover everything. It is a bit of work to get these and then add to ur airline profiles. But it’s good for 5 years and if u travel a lot worth it.

Also again, if you use a high end travel card (American Express Platinum, Chase Reserve, or top line Marriott, Hilton, American, United, etc) a feature many have is reimbursement of this cost.

Note Clear (that I also use) is not technically a government program, but partners with TSA IN SOME AIRPORTS domestic only. I only recommend if you travel a lot at airports that have.

https://ttp.dhs.gov/
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Old 11-27-21, 01:58 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

No one has my birth certificate so I had to apply for one of those first.
Old 11-29-21, 11:25 AM
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Re: Letís talk passports

If you live anywhere near where you were born it may be worth going to that town hall in person and requesting a birth certificate. I was able to get birth certificates for my kids and myself for $10 each the same day which was dirt cheap and significantly faster than some of the services offered out there.

Interestingly anyone can request a birth certificate for anyone in MA, all you need is the date of birth and name of the person so if you have a friend in that town you can call that might work too.
Old 11-29-21, 12:21 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

My wife and I had one, but forgot about it expiring.... last month. We were going to renew it, since the process is a lot easier, but ended up forgetting. We don't anticipate going out of the country for anything, but I suppose it would be in our best interests to get it done sooner rather than later.
Old 01-04-22, 12:01 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

All done
put in for both the book and card
now the wait begins
Old 01-04-22, 12:06 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

For those planning on getting one in the next year or so. Online renewals will be able to be had online.

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/ame...ssports-online
Old 01-04-22, 12:36 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
My wife and I had one, but forgot about it expiring.... last month. We were going to renew it, since the process is a lot easier, but ended up forgetting. We don't anticipate going out of the country for anything, but I suppose it would be in our best interests to get it done sooner rather than later.
You can use the expired passport for renewal for five years after the expiry date. The renewal process is MUCH easier than new application. Even if your passport is expired, I recommend renewing before the five years are up.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:54 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Yep. You should always have a valid passport. You never know when you might be subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury or the senate and have to leave the county on short notice.
Old 01-04-22, 02:00 PM
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Re: Letís talk passports

Originally Posted by Kevin Phillips View Post
Yep. You should always have a valid passport. You never know when you might be subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury or the senate and have to leave the county on short notice.
.... to a jurisdiction which doesn't have an extradition treaty

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