US Passports – Everything You Need to Know
Did you know that now you even need to have a US passport to travel within North America? Until a few years ago, you could pass over the Canadian border and back with just a copy of your birth certificate and driver’s license. For this reason, having a passport is one of the most important things to do if you are considering traveling abroad or within North America, between countries anytime soon.
It really is a kind of complicated process to get your passport, so it really does require some planning. These are some of the things you’ll need when applying for a new US passport: proof of citizenship (original or certified copy of birth certificate, old passport, or naturalization papers; new passport photos (must be identical and taken within the past 6 months); proof of identification (driver’s license or state-issued ID at least 6 months old or government/military ID works).
Children also need their own passports, even if they are newborns and infants. Minors under age 16 must apply in person. Children 16 and under have to have consent from both parents. Minors aged 17 and 18 have additional requirements. Most of the requirements for a minor to get a passport are the same as those required for adults.
It is possible to get a passport quickly if you have all of these documents in order, but you will probably have to pay more than the standard fee for an expedited one. It is also possible to get a passport quickly if it is a life or death emergency. It is best to look at the State Department website for details, but you will need proof of travel, and you must appear in person at a passport agency.
Finally, too many people make the mistake of not keeping their passport in a safe place while traveling. Too often, there are stories of people having to change trips, return home, or scurry around to embassies in foreign countries because they were careless. The best tip is to keep your passport safely concealed on your person at all times and to keep a copy at your hotel.