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By Ben Pate
Many people hesitate to apply for a passport because they think the process is too difficult, but it is actually not a complicated process at all. If you take the time to learn about a few facts before going to apply for your passport you will have a much easier time. The Internet can be a great tool that will help you to locate a passport office in your neighborhood. Passport applications must be submitted in person along with fees and verification information. Take the time to gather this information before traveling to your local office.
The first thing to be sure of is that you have the $120.00 required for the passport application and issuance fee. You will only have to pay $95 if your application is denied. After your passport is issued, making changes to it is usually free of charge. Some small changes do require a small fee, but changes made within the first year after issuance normally do not require a fee.
There are many different ways that you can go about applying for a passport and there are different fees depending upon what your needs are. Most people simply apply at the local post office or at a passport office near them. This is a convenient and affordable way to apply for a passport or to make changes to an existing passport. The local post office or passport office will have all of the forms you need.
Many cities and towns have only post offices to process these applications, but some have separate passport offices as well. Government websites give a list of these locations and will even help you to determine which is the closest to you. The passport website will also walk you through exactly what will be needed to apply for a new passport.
It is necessary that you apply for your passport in person because your identity will have to be verified. Citizenship will have to be verified as well and the applicant will be required to provide proof of naturalization, a birth certificate, social security card, or proof of birth abroad. For applicants that cannot provide this proof, the government will verify citizenship, but this will cost an additional $60. These fees will be added to the application and issuance fees.
Picture identification will also be required at the time of application. A driver's license or military ID will work to prove identity. A government employee ID is another accepted form of identification. There may be alternative ways to prove identity if these items are not available.
It is absolutely imperative that photocopies of all identifying documents be submitted with the application and required fees. Your application cannot be processed without these copies of your documentation. It is important that these copies are at least actual size or larger. Scaled down copies will not be accepted.
There are numerous steps involved when applying for a passport, but with a little knowledge the process can be quick and easy. Just start by using resources available to you to locate a passport office near you. There should be many available and at least one right in your city or town. Bring along the ID and documentation you need as well as fees and the process should be quite easy for you.
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