How to Apply
For A Passport

The Church at Skyline Missions

Here we go step by step through the USA passport application process to kick off your time as a volunteer abroad.

1) Have the necessary documentation.

The major necessary documentation are Proof of Citizenship and Proof of Identity. There are a number of different documents that can be used, depending on if this is the first time application or if the passport is for a minor.

2) Get a passport photo.

You will need a passport photo. This is not just a normal photo: it must be a very particular size and you must be clearly visible. The easiest way to get this photo is to go to a place which takes these photos. Many large chain grocery and drug stores will do this if they have a photo lab.

3) Fill out the appropriate form.

This is form DS-11 in almost all cases. This can be filled in by hand at the place where you submit the form, or online (after which you will need to print it out). This form asks for your details (where you live, where you were born, your Social Security Number, etc.) as well as information like your height and eye color. Filling in your SSN is absolutely required.

4) Submit form and documentation in person.

Unless you are renewing an adult passport, you will usually have to submit your application in-person. This can be done at your local passport authority, or at designated locations (often major post offices). You will also need to apply in person if you changed your name since your previous passport, if it has been more than 15 years since your last passport was issued, or if your previous passport was stolen, lost, or damaged.

5) Have money for the fee.

You will have to pay for your passport and it is relatively expensive, so be prepared. The fee for a basic, first-time adult passport totals $135. It is less if you are renewing or if you are getting a passport for a minor. This fee can be paid by bank check, credit card, money order, and sometimes personal checks, depending on the facility where you submit your application.

Now you can track your application online. You can track your application on the official website, which you should be informed of when you submit the application. It takes roughly a week after submitting the forms for your status to appear. You will want to keep an eye on it, since you only have 90 days from issue date to report that your passport has not arrived. Don’t forget about it and then need to reapply! Your summer mission trip depends on it! You might also want to start to investigate visa requirements for your time as a volunteer abroad.

DISCLAIMER: All information is correct at the time of publication, please be sure to double check the rules before you start your passport application.

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