Do you need to get your passport quickly? Better cough up some dough.

I remember reading Five Cent Nickel’s post New Passport Requirements for International Travel back in November when he was discussing the new requirements for international travel, and just yesterday I came across this article with some tips on getting your passport quickly, even with all the new rules and regulations surrounding them. So, I figured I would post some info here that hopefully would be helpful to those of you out there that DON’T have your passport yet but are planning on traveling in the very near future. Keep in mind though, that not planning ahead will cost you almost double.

For starters, in case you did not know yet:

“On Jan. 23, U.S. travelers will need a passport to fly back into this country from any destination outside the U.S., including Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada. Until the new rules, travelers could often complete such a trip with the proper photo identification and birth certificate alone.”

Hope you are not planning on going anywhere real soon, as it is going to cost you!

“The State Department offers an expedited service that offers passports within about two weeks, for an additional $60 fee on top of the $97 to apply for a new passport (for kids under age 16, the cost is $82) or $67 to renew a passport.”

Ouch, $157 for a new passport in a hurry! What happens if you need it REAL fast, as in overnight?

“If you want it back the next day, it can be had if you have a proven emergency and you can make an appointment at a passport agency,” Royster said, referring to the 15 passport agencies nationwide that are open to the public.”

Getting your passport through one of these 15 agencies would double the cost of an expedited passport through the government, sometimes costing in the neighborhood of $300-$350. You must REALLY want an overnight passport or have your company pay for it to accept that kind of expense Your best bet? Plan far in advance. According to Marketwatch, (and Five Cent Nickel) there are many new rules that could hamper your ability to get a passport if you do not follow them exactly:

  • When passports are required for travel, even infants must have one.
  • The passport application will require that you know your parents’ exact birth date.
  • You don’t and won’t need a passport to travel within the U.S., including to and from the U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • If you need to appear in person at one of the 9,000 passport acceptance facilities (that is, if you can’t apply by mail), be sure to check that facility’s hours for accepting passport applications.
  • Remember that there are only 15 passport agencies nationwide that handle requests for passports needed in less than two weeks.
  • If you’ve never had a passport before, you’ll need your birth certificate, and a hospital-issued birth certificate will not be accepted.
  • It must be a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state. “Your birth certificate has to have a raised seal,” Sudeikis said.
  • More changes are coming: The new requirements apply only to air travel as of Jan. 23, but as soon as Jan. 1, 2008 and no later than June 2009, those traveling by land or sea between the U.S. and Mexico or other Western Hemisphere countries will also need a passport, or a new Pass Card that the State Department is currently developing.
  • I also wanted to point you to a few links that could help you in getting your passport in time:

    U.S. State Department information about passports

    Find a passport application acceptance facility near you.

    Locations of 15 passport agencies that are open to the public.

    And you can check out the entire article at Marketwatch

    Happy traveling, and get your passport early, it will save you a bundle of money!

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    Comments (1)

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    1. essistme says:

      FYI, you can ease the pain by getting 100% of the new passport application fee back via rebate if you happen to be going to the Bahamas before April 2007. http://www.essistme.com/2007/01/09/how-to-get-your-passport-fees-reimbursed-for-free-97-adults-82-children/

      Also, the US Department of State has a passport application status service: http://www.essistme.com/2007/01/03/wheres-my-passport/