Frequent flyers may be well familiar with passport and traveling regulations, but if one of your New Year’s resolution is to start traveling the world, then you might want to bookmark this post. All U.S. citizens traveling outside of the country need a passport whether you travel by air, sea or land.
For people 16 and older, passport fees are $135 and they are $105 for people under 16-years-old. If you need expedited service, it will cost an additional $60 plus the express shipping charges you will have to also pay. Fees are payable by credit card, debit card, personal check or money order.
Applying for the Passport
New passport applications must be completed in person at a facility handling passport applications. You will also have to submit two color photos, 2 inches x 2 inches of your head looking directly at the camera with a plain background. While there are third-party passport services online, you will still have to appear in person at a passport acceptance agency to sign the forms. .
Keep in mind that the application process may take about four to six weeks but can take as long three months. There are expedited services available but will require additional costs.
Additional Passport Tips
* As a low-cost alternative, a passport card is available and can be used to travel by land and sea; however, it can not be used for air travel into other countries.
* Apply for a passport during the months of August thru December, which tend to be a slower period for passport applications.
* You can fill out the passport application forms online and then print them out when you are ready to take them to the passport accepting agency.
* To ensure your passport photos are accepted, visit your local copy center to take and print passport photos.