Whether it's a long awaited retirement trip around the world or a three-day cruise down to the Caribbean, you'd better have a passport tucked in your back pocket when you start your journey. No passport means no crossing country borders--not even into neighboring Canada. So if you've got visions of international travel dancing in your head, you need to know how to get a passport in Nebraska. The application process is straight forward, but you must do it in person at a passport acceptance facility.
Things You'll Need
- Form DS-11
- Proof of citizenship
- Proof of identity
- Passport size photos
Complete Form DS-11. Form DS-11 is also known as the Application for a U.S. Passport. The U.S. Department of State web site offers Form DS-11 in two ways. You can fill it out online, then print it. Or you can print it and complete it with a black ink pen. If you don't have a printer at home, you can pick up Form DS-11 from the clerk at your local District Courthouse. But don't sign the application just yet. You'll be instructed to sign it at the acceptance facility.
Gather supporting documents. Besides Form DS-11 you must verify that you're a U.S. citizen and show proof that you are who you say you are. To prove U.S. citizenship you'll need either a certified copy of your birth certificate, an old, undamaged passport or a consular Report of Birth Abroad. Naturalized U.S. citizens may bring a Certificate of Citizenship or a Naturalization Certificate.
For identification purposes the Department of State requires that you bring either, a valid driver's license, current government or military ID, an old, undamaged passport or a Naturalization Certificate. If you don't have at least one of these items, you must submit a combination of documents, which might include a credit card, social security card, library card and an employee ID.
Photocopy your identification. You must bring a photocopy of your identification on a white sheet of 8 ½-by-11-inch paper. Both sides of the ID must be copied, and each side can be on a separate sheet of paper. There can't be any other writing or markings on the photocopy.
Take two passport size photos. They must be identical, in color and 2-by-2 inches each. Take them within six months of applying to reflect your current look.
Search for the nearest passport acceptance facility. The Department of State web site has a search engine that'll lead you to the closest facility. Just enter your zip code, and you'll be shown the 10 closest facilities within 10 miles. You can even include facilities that take photos, within your search.
Take Form DS-11, supporting documents, photos and the passport fee to a passport acceptance facility. As of 2009, the application fee is $95, plus there's an additional $25 execution fee. If you need expedited service---which shaves a few weeks off the processing time--that's another $60 and overnight delivery is $14.85.
However if you're leaving within 14 days, or you need the passport to apply for a foreign visa within four weeks, you'll need to take the application to a Regional Passport Agency. Depending on where you are in Nebraska, the closet regional office is either in Aurora, Colorado or Minneapolis, Minnesota. You must make an appointment before going to the Regional Passport Agency.
Wait to receive your passport. Processing times vary depending on the current backlog of applications. It could take four to six weeks for regular processing, and two to three weeks for expedited applications.