As the holiday season approaches - the vacation season approaches as well. And if you haven't yet gotten a passport for yourself or your family members - better act now.
While a birth certificate used to do the trick for traveling out of the country, effective January 8, 2007, all US citizens leaving the country and traveling by air will be required to present a valid passport. Yep, even the kids. Why? Better security and safety. Passports are much more uniform than birth certificates, making it much easier for border and security officials to detect any forgery, and help prevent unauthorized entry into the US.
The processing of a passport can take several weeks - so even if you don't have a trip immediately planned, get started now. Here are a few helpful links:
If you are applying for a passport for the first time, simply hit this link - First Time Passport Help - for instructions on how and where to obtain a passport, and to download the required forms to save time. When applying for the first time, you must apply in person at one of the 7,000 passport acceptance facilities.
If you need to renew a passport, the renewal can be done by mail, simply hit this link - Passport Renewal Help - to download the required forms.
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