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Getting a Passport

October 3, 2013
A passport for the United States of America

Check out our video for a quick intro to getting your passport.

The U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Department of State work together issuing passports to U.S. citizens. They provide multiple services to expedite this process and make it easier for you to understand.

The USPS has an interactive map that allows you to find post office locations nearby. However, make sure the location contains passport distribution services. You can find these by clicking the “Location Types” dropdown menu and selecting the “Passport” option.

You can fill out the passport application online, print it out and then bring it (along with the additional required documents) to a relevant post office. This should save you and the post office time. You may, of course, still receive and fill out the application at the post office too.

Once the post office has your application and documents, you will need to:

  • pay a fee (for a regular adult passport book, it will typically cost $110 for the application and $25 for an execution fee);
  • provide a picture (most post offices can take a picture of you on the spot); and
  • let them do the rest.

Once your passport is ready, the post office will mail you your official United States of America passport. 

The USPS recommends that you apply for your passport several months before you need it. Processing times can vary, so it’s better to do it earlier rather than later. Typically, it takes about four weeks to process an application. However, if you need to get your passport in a hurry, they do provide expedited services — such as using Priority Mail.

Even though the process sounds a bit intimidating, it remains completely doable — as long as you've done your research!

Last updated April 6, 2017.

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Editorial Director for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.

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