If you’re looking to apply for a passport, or in need of renewal for an existing one, you should know that there is more than one way to do that. One of the obvious ways is applying through the Bureau of Consular Affairs or you could do so at Passport Application Post Office.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs administers laws, manages regulations, and observes and implements the policies related to consular services and immigration. Similarly, as dealing with passport applications is also a matter of immigration affairs, The Bureau also provides services for passport applications and renewals.
However, there’s a possibility of you not having access to the nearest Bureau of Consular Affair office. Geographical inability to access or other liabilities, whatever the reason may be, the government of the United States provides us another way to file for passport applications.
Passport Application Post Office
Now you can opt for a Passport Application Post Office in order to meet your passport-related needs. You may be wondering now, what is a passport application post office?
To answer that question, the United States government has allowed the USPS (United States Postal Service) to offer passport services. These post offices offer additional services like filing for a new passport, renewal of an old passport, and passport services based on urgency, etc. However, please note that not every USPS post office is a Passport Application Post Office.
If you need a passport, you may have to look up the internet for a Passport Application Post Office in your area.
Services offered in a Passport Application Post Office
You can apply for a first-time passport, passport renewal, urgent passport, renewing a passport by mail, and passport for minors.
Getting a Passport for the First-time
If you’re filing for a passport application as a first-timer through a Passport Application Post Office, make sure that you’re applying a few months before your trip. Consider the following steps:
- Gather your documents and get the application forms (unsigned Form DS-11 Application for US Passport).
- Have an ID card/document with you and keep multiple photocopies with you.
- Keep a document of citizenship with you and its multiple photocopies.
- Make sure you have the passport fees.
- Apply for the passport in person.
- We cannot emphasize more on this, do not sign your application form. A USPS employee has to witness your signature so it’s compulsory that you sign the form at the Passport Application Post Office.
Getting a Passport-Renewal
In order to renew your passport, you do not have to apply in person. You also don’t have to look for a Passport Application Post Office, you can simply mail your documents, application form DS-82 and old passport to the State Department yourself.
- Since adult passports have validity for 10 years, you can apply for renewal by mail.
- You may or may not be able to renew passports for your children by mail, this depends upon their age. For more information, please visit the USPS Official Website.
- Prepare your application package and mail. You may use the USPS official website to go about these actions.
Filing a First-time Application or Renewal on Urgent Basis
If you’re planning to travel or if you need a passport managed for you on an urgent basis, you can submit your application at the nearest Passport Application Post Office.
However, the government has a regulation that makes the post office charge an extra fee in addition to the delivery fees.
This process may take about 2-3 weeks after submission of your application. The charges for both, first-timers and renewals are almost double the original rates.
Passports for Children (Minors)
Children under 16 years of age have a minor-type passport. The validity of a minor passport is 5 years in the US. Consider the following issues while applying for your children’s passports:
- In order to authorize your parental relationship with your child, you must have their birth certificates to prove your identity.
- Children also need evidence of citizenship in order to move on with the application.
Lost or Stolen Passports
In order to report for your stolen passports, instead of going to your Passport Application Post Office, you should directly report the issue to the US Department of State. USPS’s official website should guide you through the procedure.
Fee Procedure for Passport Applications/Passport Renewals
For those of you who’re applying for the first time as Passport Applicants, you may require two types of fees.
Application Acceptance Fees
The applicant himself at the Passport Application Post Office normally pays the application acceptance fees. Besides this, the application acceptance fee structure is as following:
- Acceptance fees the post office charges: $35
- Photo charges (If the post office provides the service): $15
- Acceptance fees for urgent basis costs: $60 (Charged by US State Department)
- Including the delivery fees of $16.50
Application Processing Fees
Similarly, the state department of the US also charges the application processing fees. Note: The US State Department separately charges this fee for application processing and the USPS has nothing to do with it.
These fees can vary and you can calculate the exact fees based on your requirements from the official website.
After you submit an application for a new passport or passport renewal, the USPS allows you to check your application’s status in 12-15 days.
This will allow you to keep track of your passport application services.
Additional Tips for Passport Applications
The government has a running National Passport Information Center that operates from Monday to Saturday. The timings for the weekdays are 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Saturdays are open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Also, they will answer most emails within 24 hours which makes NPIC an excellent service for any query. Note: Always use the phone number to call in case of emergencies.
Thousands of Post Offices throughout the USA are now accepting passport applications. You may still visit your Passport Application Post Office, the USPS website or the US State Department website for queries if you’re facing any issue.