Updated: Apr 4
Did you know that there is a new US passport out there? And not all of us are going to get lucky enough to get it. It‘s refered to as Next Gen and within reason. The photo ID page is now a hard acrylic, adding weight to the book. You can attempt to renew or claim you lost your passport to get the Next Gen, but the only problem is, not all 9 of the processing centers have been updated to create these new passports. It’ll be up to you and your luck which one your application will get sent to.
However, getting a passport isn’t as hard or as expensive as one may think. You can find a step by step walk through depending on your passport situation here.
Things to keep in mind
You must apply in person if at least one of the following is true:
You are applying for your first U.S. passport
You are under age 16
Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago
You can fill out the forms online via Form Filler to make sure you are filling out all proper forms. You can also find the forms to print via the links provided. Or you can go in person to any USPS location and grab any forms you may need.
The Form Filler will select the correct form for you based on the information you input. It may generate a different form from what you expect.
Do not sign the application until instructed to do so by the acceptance agent.
You must provide a Social Security number, if you have been issued one.
Should I get the larger passport book with 52 pages?
It’s free, so I personally don’t see why not. Your passport doesn’t expire for 10 years, so on the off chance that you end up becoming a traveler in that time, you’ll have room in your passport for all your new visa’s.
Should I get the Passport Card?
Only if you regularly enter the United States at land-border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. You CAN NOT use a passport card to fly out of the US, however TSA does accept the passport card as ID for domestic flights. Again, MAY NOT be used for international air travel of any sort.
Is it worth it to expedite?
Yes! Yes! Yes! If you are impatient like me, or actually need to travel within the next 2-4 months, I highly suggest checking all the boxes of getting your passport in your hands sooner. The total of expedited and fast shipping put me at a total of around $200 via USPS appointment in Santa Monica, California.
Should I go to USPS or an Agency?
I’d only advise an agency if you are in need of a passport within 4-8 weeks. They can be extremely pricey and honestly, unnecessary. USPS will have you in and out asap.
Got my passport? Now what?
PROTECT IT! Click here to see how.