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Advice on Applying for Passports

For any of you ladies applying for passports for your honeymoon, I wanted to share my advice based on the experience I just had.  If you just need to renew it's a little easier and can be done by mail.

You need a certified copy of your birth certificate, and they send it in with your application.  So if you will be needing both a passport and a marriage license, it's probably a good idea to make sure you have two certified copies of your birth certificate.  They will also need to see your driver's license and will need to send in a copy of it.

We filled in our applications ahead of time.  It's a good idea to do this because they ask for information about the towns where your parents were born and dates you have previously held a passport, and some of this information might not be readily available in your records to double check.  The form is available online through the State Department and the web site will help you to determine which form you need and let you know what to do if you're eligible to renew by mail.  You can even enter your information online and then print out the form so everything will be neat and legible.  DO NOT sign the form until you take it in because they need to see you sign it.

We also had our photos taken ahead of time at Walgreens while we were out for the evening.  If you have AAA and their hours/location are convenient for you, the AAA office will do them for a few dollars cheaper.

We also made copies of everything they said they needed -- application form, birth certificate, driver's licenses, and photos. Even the back sides of all the documents!

We submitted our applications at the post office.  Not all post offices accept passport applications, but you can easily figure out where to go by looking on the USPS web site and searching for locations near your ZIP code that take passport applications.  It is also during banker's hours although this varies by location (it was 8 am - 2 pm during the week in the case of the post office closest to us). The fee was $110 for the passport and $25 for the post office to process it and they only accepted cash, check or money order which is good to know in case you're in the habit of carrying only plastic!

It's a VERY good idea to get there when they open with all your paperwork ready, especially if you also work banker's hours and need to get to the office.  Not even half an hour after the post office opened, there was a family with four children, parents with their teenage son, and another couple all waiting to be served. If you can get there when they open you might walk right in or have one other family ahead of you.

It worked to our advantage that we had all of our paperwork and photographs ready, because the one family in line ahead of us still needed to fill out their applications and the agent was able to take our paperwork while waiting for theirs.  It only took about five or ten minutes for the agent to package our documents together, ask us to affirm that everything was accurate, have us sign the form, and take our payment.  We were outta there with time to spare so I could grab an iced mocha on my way into work!
Whoever said it was supposed to be happily ever after is a big fat liar.

Re: Advice on Applying for Passports

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    JoanE2012JoanE2012 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited August 2012

    And don't forget, if you are going on your honeymoon right after you get married, make sure you book everything with your maiden name!  Otherwise you'll have problems at the airport with different names.

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    Thanks for the advice! I'm going to need to get a passport for our May honeymoon to Mexico, so this info is very helpful. :)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Around here, you must have an appt at the post office for them to process your application.
    imageimageimage
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_advice-on-applying-for-passports?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:11Discussion:be20c5ee-96bd-45dc-8113-2e2876374a7aPost:75ab6d26-4058-46b4-a225-11428903a7a0">Re: Advice on Applying for Passports</a>:
    [QUOTE]Around here, you must have an appt at the post office for them to process your application.
    Posted by kristinanddan[/QUOTE]

    I wanted to mention this too.  It was also the same in my hometown.
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    For my town, there are some post offices that require an appointment and some that don't even take appointments. We went earlier in the morning and didn't really have to wait. You can print off the application online and fill everything out ahead of time, but DON'T SIGN until you're in front of the person taking the applications and they tell you to do so. They're super weird about it. Also, my post office had certain hours that they would do passports. Something like 10am-1pm or so. So I'd pay attention to that.
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    for the best advice: www.travel.state.gov
    that has all the info you need.

     

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    So since the FI and I will both be needing passports and a marriage license, we will both need 2 copies of our birth certificates?? I didn't even know we could get copies of that! I assume you don't mean make photo copies, right?

    If not, what if we apply for the passports now, a year in advance, will we get the copies of everything back so that we can use them for the marriage license again next year?
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