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passport info


Tex Bigfoot

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Having never had a passport and never having the need for one I am a little intimidated by now starting to see a need for one in my retirement years .Plus we will be attending the Escapade this year in VT and don't want to limit our travels if an unforeseen opportunity arises.

I think that the post office is the first stop for obtaining a passport but that is the extent of my knowledge, could the ones of you that know please chime in and explain how this works?

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Give yourself plenty of time...I was going to to do it last year when we were down in South Tx but was told that it could take 3-4 months (minimum) to process it.

 

You were given incorrect information.

 

According to the site below (another page of the link Kirk gave), the *normal* time to receive a passport is 4-6 weeks. You can get an expedited passport in 3 weeks or 8 business days (restrictions apply for this shortest period). I believe there is an additional fee for the expedited passport.

 

I don't remember how long it took to get our passports back in 2008, but it was a matter of weeks, not months.

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If you will just travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Bahamas, you can get a passport "card" instead of a regular passport. It is a bit cheaper than a passport. If you think you might travel to Europe or elsewhere by plane, get the passport.

Yes, I just renewed mine and it took 3 weeks. I got the photo taken at Walgreens for $12 cut to size. I download the application (see Kirk's link) and filled it out before I got to the Post Office. I got both the passport and the card.

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Having never had a passport and never having the need for one I am a little intimidated by now starting to see a need for one in my retirement years .Plus we will be attending the Escapade this year in VT and don't want to limit our travels if an unforeseen opportunity arises.

I think that the post office is the first stop for obtaining a passport but that is the extent of my knowledge, could the ones of you that know please chime in and explain how this works?

It really is easy - like others have said, get your passport photos taken, fill out the forms, get your proof of who you are, visit your post office and in 4-ish weeks you should have your passports!

 

On the passport "card" IMO (and we have traveled the world & through the military lived overseas for many years), this is a bright idea with serious implications for potential forgery. Ergo, it will be more suspect at border crosings (and FYI, it is almost never a problem leaving the USA....your problem will be getting back in!)

 

We think it is well worth the extra $$ to get a "real" Blue Passport. (Plus have you seen how cheap those European River Cruises are getting these days?! :)

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On the passport "card" IMO (and we have traveled the world & through the military lived overseas for many years), this is a bright idea with serious implications for potential forgery. Ergo, it will be more suspect at border crosings (and FYI, it is almost never a problem leaving the USA....your problem will be getting back in!)

 

 

I, too, have traveled the world while in the military; 22 European countries, Central America, the Far East and SWA. Back then the only "passport" I needed was my military ID. I used the passport card when crossing to/from Canada (never been to Mexico) and on a Bahamanian cruise. There was no issue at all with the passport card. And as long as your card is genuine, you have no concern about forgery.

 

Don't let the poo-pooers scare you off the card. If you think you will travel outside North America, get the regular passport. If not, decide if the cost savings and wallet size of the card is worth it to YOU.

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Just one more 'detail' to take into consideration. Depending on destinations you will also need a security check. Usually included in any visa applications. Security checks can also add to the waiting times. Just saying that travel includes more than just a passport now days.

 

regards

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You were given incorrect information.

 

According to the site below (another page of the link Kirk gave), the *normal* time to receive a passport is 4-6 weeks. You can get an expedited passport in 3 weeks or 8 business days (restrictions apply for this shortest period). I believe there is an additional fee for the expedited passport.

 

I don't remember how long it took to get our passports back in 2008, but it was a matter of weeks, not months.

 

 

 

Hope you are correct...just repeating what I was told... and my experience with anything dealing with the government was to double whatever the time or "estimated cost" was going to be!!!

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The really important part is that the card allows you to bypass security queues in most larger airports in the US and Canada. Even on domestic flights because you are already a "trusted traveler". I just smile at everyone as I cruise down the Nexus lane.

 

Same deal at land border crossings. A sensor reads your RFID chip on the card and you sometimes don't even need to speak with the border officer. Only drawback is that everyone in the vehicle needs a card in order to use the priority lane.

 

Geo

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If you visit this link it should answer all of your questions. You can also find the form needed at this link and download it. You will need a passport photo and a copy of your birth certificate.

 

I know this is nit picking.....but what you need is proof of United States citizenship. In my case, it is my naturilization certificate. For many folks it is their birth certificate.

 

I had an official US government passport when working.....when I applied for a personal passport I just sent in the cover sheet from the government passport. The blue one came in the mail real quick.

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Possibly a good time to mention Nexus / Global Entry. Best 50 bucks I ever spent.

 

Geo

I also have a Nexus card and agree best 50 bucks the company ever spent. I did the airport crossings mainly and you always bypassed the lines. Coming into the US you had to stop and say hi to the US border guard but still bypassed the lines by using the crew lines.

 

Drove across a couple of times but the DW did not have one so we just used the regular lanes. Anymore and she will be getting one!

 

Dave

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On the passport "card" IMO (and we have traveled the world & through the military lived overseas for many years), this is a bright idea with serious implications for potential forgery. Ergo, it will be more suspect at border crosings

 

I don't know why it would be...it is, after all, an official U.S. document. We haven't had any problems using the Passport Card getting into and out of Mexico, but we haven't gone into Canada since we got our Passports. However, I wouldn't anticipate any problems.

 

For *us,* since I refuse to fly and the only countries we'll go to are Mexico and Canada, paying the money for the paper passport, doesn't make a lot of sense. Certainly if you fly or you plan on taking your RV all the way down through Central America and South America, then you'd need the paper passport.

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The difference in cost between the cards and the full passport is so minimal that I would never get the cards just to save money. Like others here, we thought that we would never need more than to cross the Mexico & Canadian borders, but when we got ours the cards were not yet available so we just got the standard ones. Last year circumstances changed and we were invited to spend a month in Australia, which we would not have been able to do, had we gone the cheap route. Our passports expire next spring, but rest assured that we will be getting the full document again, just in case some other unexpected opportunity should come along. :)

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if I remember correctly the card will not work if you are going to fly anywhere outside of the country

 

Yes, that's correct. Passport cards and enhanced driver's licenses can only be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.

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