Travel Blog

National Passport Day in the USA
Posted on Friday, March 26th 2010 - 4:32 AM by Christina McFaul



Summer is right around the corner, are you planning on traveling?

Passport Day in the USA provides an opportunity for U.S. citizens to conveniently apply for their passport at passport agencies and passport acceptance facilities across the nation. Now is a great time to gather the necessary documents for Passport Day by filling out the application form, gathering your U.S. birth certificate or other primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, and getting two passport photos. You are then on your way to turning in your application this Saturday, March 27th. For more information on what you need to apply for a passport, visit travel.state.gov or you may call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778.

Below are three reasons why you should stop by your regional passport agency this Saturday:


  1. Get your passport in advance of proposed increase in fees. Currently a first-time passport book costs $100, renewal is $75, minor passport book $85, etc. Information on cost can be found here travel.state.gov

  2. Beat the travel season rush for passports. During busier periods, a two-month wait is common. Currently, applicants can expect to receive their passport in approximately four weeks for routine service and about two to three weeks for expedited service.

  3. For this day only, appointments and expedite fees are not required for those applying at a Passport Agency.


Last year over 57,000 people took advantage of getting their passports on Passport Day, and the department expects an even greater turnout this year. If you haven't heard ... as of three years ago you can no longer drive across borders or enter any sea ports in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda with a drivers license. Now, you have to have a passport. Moreover if an opportunity to go on a trip of a lifetime comes up in a moments notice - you want to be ready for it, right?! I encourage everyone to go down this Saturday and apply for a passport if you don't have one yet! There is a whole world out there to see and explore.

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." - Saint Augustine

To find the closest passport agency or passport acceptance facility visit ~ http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptday/locations/locations_4442.html

For those of you who do have a passport, stay on top of the expiration date. Many countries require your passport to be valid for three to six months after your ticketed date of return to the United States. Also check to see how many pages you have left for stamps: no free page to stamp = no entry. Unfortunately my girlfriend experienced this first hand when we landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina and she was not allowed in the country because her passport was expired. That was an expensive mistake. She had to pay for another round trip flight back to the U.S., passport renewal, and expediting fees. Additionally the stay in a hotel in Miami for a few days while she waited for her passport. Furthermore, the loss of some of our trip together. But the most interesting adventure happened on my end in having to find her family, whom I had never met, at a very busy international airport and then trying to explain in broken Spanish why their daughter was not with me! Dios Mio ...

For those of you who are in L.A., like myself, here is the regional passport agency where I will be on Saturday getting additional pages for my passport ;-D

11000 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1000, Los Angeles, 90024 ~ Open 10-3 this Saturday.

All the Best,

Christina

P.S. I would love to know when you receive your passport in the mail and where you are going first ...


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Comments

Mtano says:
Friday, March 26th 2010 at 7:12 PM
Hey C,

Well, I just got my new passport a year ago, but I hope to be filling it up with all the traveling that we'll be doing!

Hopefully they keep this going every year cuz it's a great idea to help people experience life outside of the borders :-)

Love ya,

Mtano
Carleen P says:
Saturday, March 27th 2010 at 6:26 AM
Christina what a great way to encourage others to be prepared for the unexpected (Like a spontaneous trip out of the country =)

Based on my experience, I recommend everyone to get a passport, if you don't already have one...which I sure hope you have possessed one at least once in your lifetime! I somehow managed to lose my passport just days before leaving for nearly a month long trip to Europe and had to beg profusely on having to get my passport in time before leaving the country. Thankfully, I was able to get it the day before I left and shipped off. =) A lucky girl I was. But don't put your trip at risk, like I did. Plan ahead and get organized. Make sure you have all the main necessities...passport, money, camera, an open mind and spirit!

Happy Traveling and thank you for sharing =)

Carleen
Mobolaji says:
Saturday, March 27th 2010 at 7:03 PM
Nice job! i will check the dates on my passport so I don't get screwed on my trips to Africa.


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