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Travel & Passports
On This Page:
Applying for a Passport
The U.S. Passports section of the U.S. Department of State website provides comprehensive information on the application process for passports and passport cards including fees, forms, processing times, application status, lost or stolen passports, and more.
The U.S. passport card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air.
Renewing a Passport
By Mail — In order to renew your U.S. passport by mail your most recent passport must be:
- Undamaged and submitted with your application;
- Issued when you were 16 or older;
- Issued in the last 15 years;
- Issued in your current name (does not apply if you can legally document your name change)
In Person — If you do not meet all four requirements above, you must submit your passport application in person.
Processing Time: For the most up to date information on passport processing times for routine and expedited service, please see the processing times section of the U.S. Department of State website.
Urgent Requests: If you need your U.S. passport in less than two weeks for international travel, or if you need your U.S. passport within four weeks to obtain a foreign visa, you can make an appointment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by using the automated appointment system at 1-877-487-2778. You can find your nearest passport agency here. Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.
General Travel Information
- U.S. embassies and consulates are located throughout the world and provide a variety of services to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are traveling outside of the United States. Embassies and consulates are also responsible for issuing visas and notifying U.S. citizens of travel warnings. When traveling outside of the United States, you may want to contact a nearby U.S. embassy or consulate to let them know where you are staying and how long you will be in the area.
- Travel.State.gov – Administered by the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department, this website provides comprehensive information for the international traveler.
- International Emergencies and Crises – Administered by the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS), this website offers tips for traveling and living abroad, travel alerts and warnings. The ACS also assists embassies and consulates in providing emergency services to Americans traveling or living abroad. U.S. citizens can call Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444) for assistance.
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – STEP is a free service for U.S. citizens traveling to or living in a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda by land or sea to show one of the following travel documents:
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Passport Card
- Enhanced Driver’s License
- Trusted Traveler/Special Groups Program Card
The WHTI requires U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda by air to present a U.S. passport. This applies to everyone including newborns, infants and children.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), one of the components of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for securing our borders. As part of their mission, CBP operates several programs:
- Trusted Traveler Programs – These programs provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low risk travelers.
- Global Entry Program – This program allows an expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers returning to the United States from abroad. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.
- FAST Driver Program – Free and Secure Trade (FAST) driver cards are Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant documents for entry into the United States by land or sea.
- NEXUS Program – NEXUS cards can be used as an alternative to a passport for air, land, and sea travel into the United States for U.S. and Canadian citizens.
- SENTRI Program – Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) participants undergo a thorough background check and are issued a Radio Frequency Identification Document (RFID) that will identify their status upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry. A sticker decal issued for their vehicle or motorcycle allows SENTRI users access to dedicated primary lanes.
Still Need Assistance?
If you are experiencing difficulty obtaining a U.S. passport or your application has exceeded the normal processing time, our office can make an inquiry on your behalf with the U.S. Department of State.
To request assistance, please print and fill out the passport form available below, and submit your form by email firstname.lastname@example.org.