How to Get a Passport at a US Postal Office

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Start your international vacation with a U.S. passport
Start your international vacation with a U.S. passport (Image: Stock pictures of a passport from the United States of America image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)

It is not possible for United States citizens to travel abroad without a valid U.S. passport. Getting a passport requires a trip to the local post office; locate and fill out some forms found online before you go. will provide you with everything you need in order to secure your United States Passport with ease and be on your way to your trip overseas.

Prior to visiting a post office in order to get a passport, it is necessary to download and complete the United States Passport Application Form -- it is available on the USPS Web Site. (See References 1) You must provide proof of citizenship along with your request, such as a birth certificate, if you were born in the U.S., or a naturalization certificate. It is also mandatory to bring a photo ID, such as a military ID, driver's license, previous passport or government ID.

While some post offices are able to take passport photos on location, many do not and thus it is best to bring two copies of a passport size photo with your documentation. You cannot wear any uniform or head covering, (except for religious attire that is worn every day) or sunglasses in the photo.

Locate which of your local post offices handle passports for your area. Not all USPS locations handle passport requests. Some post offices only accept passport requests by appointment that can be made online.

Arrive at the post office ahead of time if you have an appointment. If you already have an overseas flight booked, bring a copy of your flight information; make sure it shows your departure date. Be sure to bring all the necessary documentation as well as money to pay application fees. As of 2010, there is a $15 fee if you choose to have your photo taken at the post office. If you are over 16 years old and can use form DS-82, a $25 application fee is waved and a renewal costs $75. An first-time application costs $100. Receiving a passport can take up to three months. If you need the passport sooner, expect to pay an extra fee of $60 plus overnight delivery costs. It will take about two to three weeks to arrive.

Tips & Warnings

  • When paying for your passport application, you may have to make two separate transactions so if you plan on paying by check, be sure to bring extra ones.

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