Since I had a little bit of passport drama this week, right before a big trip overseas, I did a lot of research into passports. I figured I could share some of my new found knowledge to help someone out in the future.
First you should know that it can take up to 4 weeks to get a passport. So be prepared and apply for your passport right away if you know you are leaving the country. When applying for a passport you need, a form that you can get at the post office and it must be filled out in black ink, proof of citizenship (your birth certificate is most common), a government issued photo ID, a passport photo (you can get this taken at a drugstore), and finally a check or money order.
If you need to get your passport earlier, you can pay an additional fee of $60 USD to get the application processed in 2 weeks. But it is not guaranteed. You can also pay an additional $20 to get the passport shipped to you overnight once it has been processed. Going this route takes approximately 8 business days.
One of the last options you can do is what I was looking at possibly needing done. This option still requires foresight and planning. This option allows you to get a passport in one day, but you can only get it by appointment. So you have to call ahead and usually call days in advance. Plus it can only be done at a regional passport office. There are only about 27 regional offices in the whole USA. Plus you can only use this service if it is a emergency or a dire situation with booked international travel in 2 weeks or less. And yes there are fees associated with this.
With any international travel you want to be prepared. Going to a foreign country is always exciting and a bit scary, so don’t make it more stressful by putting off necessary travel documents!