• Traveling outside the United States almost invariably now requires a passport. Even what native Detroiters used to think of as "an afternoon in Windsor" is truly considered travel to another country. Acquiring a passport is not difficult. A few documents and a short visit to an office, and you'll be on your way to international travel.

    Applying in person

    If you're applying for your first passport, you must apply for your passport in person. (People under the age of 16 must also apply in person.) You must go to an official acceptance facility, which can be found in many government offices.

    Fill out the forms

    Find Form DS-11 online or at a passport acceptance facility and fill it out. Save time by printing the form out and filling it out before you go to the office, if at all possible. If you have no access to a printer, use the forms from the office, and step aside to fill them out.

    Bring the correct paperwork

    Save yourself time and aggravation by ensuring that you have all the correct paperwork with you before arriving at the acceptance facility. Bring proof of U.S. citizenship, your state ID or driver's license, a photocopy of your state ID or license (front and back) and two passport photos.

    Making legally accepted copies

    Make sure than anything that you bring for identification is the legally accepted form. Copies of identification must be on regular-sized paper, not legal-sized. White paper is the only shade acceptable. Proof of citizenship must be originals, not photocopies.

    Pay the fees

    Passport fees vary depending on what kind of passport that you desire. Traditional book passports are most common, but for those who live close to Canada or Mexico, a card passport may be all you need. In 2009, the adult passport book is $75, and the card is $20. Any passports also carry a $25 execution fee. Acceptance facilities accept personal checks, money orders and bank drafts, and some locations accept exact cash. Call your facility for details on fee acceptance policies.


    U.S. Department of State acceptance facilities

    State Department passport application page

    U. S. State Department passport fee page

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