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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my old passport be returned when applying for a passport renewal?

Where do I get a passport application?

To start your passport application you may download the official passport forms on this website or you can also pick them up at public offices. Some public offices that will have these available include post offices, courthouses and municipal offices where passport applications are accepted.

What do I do if my child under 16 needs a passport?

Under 16 years old the applicant must have the consent of both parents/guardians. The applicant and *both parents or guardians must be present when applying. All three required parties must be able to show identification such as a birth certificate or driver’s license etc. Additionally the parents or guardians must be able to present proof of their relationship to the child and must be able to present the applicants social security number (the actual social security card is preferred). *If a parent/guardian has sole custody of the applicant, the proof of sole custody must be shown. If the second parent or guardian is unable to attend the application session the other parent/guardian must bring a signed and notarized DS-3053 consent form for the other parent or guardian.

What is a Passport?

A passport is a government issued document given by the national government where the citizen resides. A passport certifies the identity and citizenship of the holder to allow for international traveling. It serves on the behalf of the issuing nation’s government officials to the foreign government(s) to permit travel, lawful support and protection, to passport holder, while in foreign territory.

How do I report my passport stolen?

Urgent Passport specializes in passport and visa services. We have helped person after person with this exact situation and can guide you through the process. Call us at 800-573-3738 for immediate help from one of our passport specialists or submit a lost passport application by clicking above for a lost passport. Either way Urgent Passport Services is here to help.

Where are the instructions for filling out the passport forms?

You can find the instructions for every type of passport or visa on the product page. Just below the product photo is a PDF link where you can print out the detailed instructions. We will also email you the detailed instructions immediately after you submit your order.

How do I renew my passport?

For passport renewal, submission of the following is to be done: DS-82; a U.S Passport Renewal Application, Two latest and identical photos, An Adult passport (10 Year Validity) that expired less than 5 years ago, Order form for renewal of passport, Authorization Letter, Proof of travel; a photocopy of a plane ticket or copy of hotel reservation, Fees of $170 to be paid to the "US Department of State".

How to get a passport if I’ve never had one?

You can obtain a U.S passport through: 1) Online passport agencies that submit and speed up the application process on your behalf. 2) Acceptance agencies like courthouses, municipal offices and post offices.

I was born abroad. How do I get a birth certificate?

If either or both of your parents is/was a U.S. citizen when you were born abroad, either or both of your parent(s) should/should have registered your birth at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and, obtain/received a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240. This form is good enough to be a legal proof of birth and U.S. citizenship.

What should I do if my baby is born abroad?

As parent(s) who are U.S citizens, the birth of your child is to be reported as quickly as possible to your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The U.S. embassy or consulate will then prepare and give the parent(s), the Consular Report of Birth of a Citizen of the United States of America also known as Form FS-240. The Form FS-240 is a basic United States citizenship document. But if the parent(s) bring the baby back to the U.S without obtaining this document or if the applicant is18 years of age or older at the time the application is made, remember, this document will neither be prepared nor given in the U.S.

What do I do if there is no birth record on file for me?

If there is no written record of birth on files even though you were born in the U.S, a letter from the Vital Statistics office of the state of your birth with your name and what years were searched for your birth record, is what you will need. Apart from this, early public records that prove your birth in the U.S. will also be required. And if your birth was outside of U.S and your U.S citizen parent(s) did not document your birth at the U.S Embassy or Consulate, the following will be required: 1) Your foreign birth certificate which has your parents’ names in it, 2) Evidence of your parent(s) U.S. citizenship. And your 3) parents’ marriage certificate for applying for a U.S passport.

How do I sign my child’s passport?

In the event of your child being too young to sign his/her passport, you as a parent (mother/father) should print your child’s name and sign your own name in the space provided for signature. Write the word (mother/father) in parenthesis by the parent’s name, so that the authorities will know who signed it.

How do I find out my passport application status?

Urgent Passport submits and picks up your passport from an emergency government office that often has the passport completed in less than 24 hours. The best way to check your passport application's status is to login to our website using your username and password. You can also give us a call at (800) 573-3738 to get a status update.

How do I renew my passport the regular slow way?

To renew a passport you must start by completing form DS-82 online. You need to print your online application when you are finished. Sign page 1 of this form. Use a padded envelope to package the application with your passport, current fees, and two passport photos. If your current name differs from the one in the passport, also include either a marriage certificate or court order documenting the name change.

How do I get a passport in a hurry?

Are you in need of an emergency passport? Urgent Passport specializes in expediting passports and visas regardless of the situation. Sometimes you have to leave on an unexpected trip and other times people just simply forget to renew their passport. To insure you receive your passport on time call us at 800-573-3738 and speak with one of our specialists. We will assist you with the entire process and make it as easy as possible. Alternately, you may download the forms located here for your rush passport.

How many blank passport pages do I need?

Passports must have enough blank pages to accommodate entry and exit immigration stamps for each country of travel. At least one visa page in your passport is required for each visa. Most travel visas that are stamped into your passport require an entire blank visa page. A ‘blank’ visa page must be clean, clear, and not show ink or stains from any other pages in the passport.

Passport Proof of Travel Departure Documents

The U.S. government wants to see proof of travel for expedited passport to show that you are leaving the country within the next few months. They are more than willing to process your passport application very quickly as long as you have a real travel situation that warrants it being done quickly. The three types of “Proof of Travel” are the following: 1) A flight itinerary from an airline or a travel agent showing you as the passenger and showing the international flight information. A photocopy of this itinerary is sufficient. 2) For driving accross the border you must have a hotel confirmation from the Canadian or Mexican hotel with your name as guest. For ocean cruising you must have cruise confirmation with your name as passenger. 2) Company Letter of Expedite – this letter is to be typed on company letterhead and is intended for business travelers that have not yet booked their air ticket, but now that they will be departing the country on a specific day.

Certified Birth Certificate

Do I need a Certified Birth Certificate? Yes! You need a certified birth certificate, original naturalization certificate or recently expired passport. One of these documents is required in order to apply for a U.S. Passport. What is a certified birth certificate? A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note that some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes. You can obtain a new certificate by contacting the state Dept. of Vital Records/Health Services or the county of your birth. What do you mean by “long-form” birth certificate? This birth certificate contains all relevant birth information including: 1) Mother’s name and age at time of birth 2) Father’s name and age at time of birth 3) Filing date and number 4) Hospital of birth (perhaps). If any of this information is missing, you probably do not have a valid birth certificate. Are photocopies of my birth certificate or naturalization certificate accepted? Absolutely NOT! Will I get my birth certificate back? Yes! It will be sent to you with your new passport. I refuse to send my original birth certificate. Then you don’t get a passport. Are hospital-issued birth certificates acceptable? No. You must obtain a certified birth certificate from the county/state of birth.

How long is my US passport valid?

If your US passport was issued when you were 16 years old or older, your passport is valid for 10 years. If your US passport was issued when you were 15 years old or younger, your passport is valid for 5 years.

Passport Acceptance Agents

What, exactly, is a Passport Acceptance Agent? These are offices designated by the Dept. of State Passport Service to accept and pre-process your passport application. They basically serve to verify your identity in order combat the issuance of fraudulent passports. According to Federal Regulation, if you are applying for a new/lost/replacement passport, you must visit an Acceptance Agent to properly process your DS-11 application. How do I make sure they are doing their job correctly? The Post Office or County Clerk Acceptance Agent must include your certified copy/original document proving your USA citizenship. This original must be included, NOT A PHOTOCOPY. If they fail to do this, please do yourself a favor: go to another processing facility. Where is the nearest Passport Acceptance Agent? Paste the link below in your web browser: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/DefaultForm.aspx Can I call you while getting my Passport Application initially processed? Absolutely! We will try to answer your phone call as best we can. When do I pay the Passport Acceptance Agent fee? You pay the $25 directly to the agent once they have sealed your security envelope.

Passport Photos

How do I know my photos are acceptable? Here are the common problems: 1) Pictures are too dark, murky or hazy. 2) Not on a white or light colored background. 3) You are wearing that really cool cap/hat/lid/chapeau/hooded sweatshirt/headband. Unless you are wearing a headcovering for religious reasons only (strummel, hijab, etc.), your head must be bare. I have an infant. What’s the best way to take their photo? Here are some rules/hints we have run across in experience: 1) The child’s eyes must be open and facing the camera. 2) No part of your body must be visible in the photo. 3) The child cannot be shown crying (we know, tall order here!). HINT: Buy a brand new white bedsheet at Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond or wherever you buy sheets. Lay the child on the floor and take the picture from above. HINT: Be patient. Can I make my own photos on my home system? Sure. Just be sure to make your photos 2″ x 2″ and they must be printed on photo paper. These photos must be color, taken with your head on a white/very light background and try to minimize flash reflection off your glasses (if worn).

Passport Parental Consent

What if one parent cannot be present? The non-appearing parent must fill out FORM DS-3053, which is PART 3 of the Child Passport print outs on our website. That form DS-3053 must be filled out and notarized by the non-present parent. The non-appearing parent must also provide a copy of their current government-issued photo ID. What if the non-appearing parent cannot be located? You must type out a statement relating this situation to the Passport Agency. You must provide the following information: 1) Last known contact with the non-appearing parent. 2) Last known address of the non-appearing parent. 3) Birthplace and birthdate of the non-appearing parent (if you do not know, estimate to the best of your knowledge). 4) Explanation of attempts to reach said non-appearing parent. 5) A sentence (or two) explaining why you are taking the child out of the country. 6) Your contact information. If my child is 13 and under, do both parents need to take the child to the Passport Acceptance Agent? Yes. No exceptions unless you have the ORIGINAL, notarized DS-3053 (Statement of Parental Consent) to accompany the child’s application. If my child is 14 or 15, do both parents need to take the child to the Passport Acceptance Agent? Yes, both parents still need to accompany the child What’s the deal about parental ID? If the child is under 16, both parents must include a photocopy of their government-issued ID with the passport application. My child is 16, do both parents need to take the child to the Passport Acceptance Agent? No. This child is now considered an adult by the Passport Agency and can sign their own application. One needs to be present and parent’s ID photocopy is still required.

Child Passport Photos

If you have small children (under the age of 3), it can be difficult to get the child to look straight into the camera with their eyes open. We suggest going to get the photos in advance at a place like CVS, Costco, or Kinko’s. Once there, if the child is very young, it often works to lay the child on the floor on top of the colored background, then have the child look up at something when the photo is taken. Good Luck….

Back Child Support

I am behind in my child support payments. Will this delay my passport? No. It will DENY your issuance of a passport. No exceptions. Who do I contact to clear my child support arrears? Your state Dept. of Children and Family Services.

Government Passport Fees

How do I pay the Government Fees? You must include a check or money order made out to the U.S. Department of State. How much is an adult passport? $170 payable to the US Dept. of State. Personal Check or Money Order only. No starter checks, temporary checks, or checks that aren’t filled out completely. How much is a child passport? $140 payable to the US Dept. of State. Personal Check or Money Order only. No starter checks, temporary checks, or checks that aren’t filled out completely. I thought a passport costs only $110 for me or $80 for my child? This is true; however, in order to obtain an expedited passport (why you are here in the 1st place), you must pay $60 over and above the normal passport fee. This is a non-negotiable “expedited” up-charge levied by the US Dept. of State. Are the Urgent Passport Services fees included with the government fees? No. Our fees are separate and in addition to any governmental fees. Do I include the $25 fee with my passport fee in one check/money order? No. You pay this fee separately to the Passport Acceptance Agent. Generally, cash is the best form of payment. This fee is required for all applications except for renewals or extra visa page applications.

Passport Denials

I am currently on probation. Your passport application will be denied. I currently owe child support. Your passport application will be denied. I’m wanted for arrest. Your passport application will be denied. I am currently in prison. Your passport application will be denied. I have served time in prison/on probation. Will this deny my passport application? Not necessarily. As long as you have completed your sentence and “paid your debt to society”, you will generally be issued a passport. I have been summoned to appear in court in response to charges. Your passport application will be denied.

Passport Naturalization Certificates

I just received my Naturalization Certificate. Can I get a US Passport? Yes! And congratulations on obtaining your US Citizenship. You must send the original “green” form along with your passport application materials in order to obtain a US Passport. This form will be returned to you with your new passport. I lost my Naturalization Certificate. What do I do? Copy/Paste the following link: www.uscis.gov to find out how to obtain a replacement certificate. Search for document N-565.

US Citizens Born Overseas

What documents do I need to prove my citizenship? You will need to provide your: 1) Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad, 2) Foreign Birth Certificate, translated into English by authorized authority. OK, I don’t have a Consular Report. Now what? If you were born abroad AND do not have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth on file, you will need: If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to one U.S. citizen parent: * Foreign birth certificate, * Proof of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent, AND * An affidavit of your U.S. citizen parent showing all periods and places of residence or physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth. If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to two U.S. citizen parents: * Your foreign birth certificate, * Parent’s marriage certificate, AND * Proof of citizenship of your U.S. parents and an affidavit of your U.S. citizen parents showing all periods and places of residence of physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth.