How to Get a Passport

Sure you can find this info online, but can you find it laid out in a simple, list-ified format? Now you can! Plus the more places people can find this information and see how EASY it is to get a passport, the better!
  1. Apply WAY in advance
    Standard processing can take 4-6 weeks, but play it safe and apply 10-12 weeks (or more) before any international travel dates. The fee to expedite the process and have your passport in 2-3 weeks is $60.
  2. A passport costs $135
    I wish they were free, but just think of all it’ll allow you to see! You can pay by check, credit/debit, or money order.
  3. Applications must be submitted in person
    Archaic but true. More on this in Step 4.
  4. Step 1: Gather the required documents
    Which are...
  5. Evidence of US citizenship
    You must submit ONE of the following: certified U.S. birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad, or a certificate of naturalization/citizenship.
  6. Photo ID
    You must submit ONE of the following: driver’s license, certificate of naturalization, valid government ID (city, state or federal). Tip: try to apply in the state in which your driver’s license was issued (if you don’t you’ll need a second form of photo ID).
  7. * You'll need to present original AND photocopied versions of these documents.
    When you go in to submit, they’ll need to see the originals, but will take the photocopies with your application
  8. Step 2: Get a passport photo
    Passport photos must meet several requirements (I’ll spare you the specifics). The easiest way to get the photo you need is to head to your local pharmacy (like Walgreens or CVS) or your local post office and tell them you’d like a passport photo. They’ll hook you up with what you need in no time. This’ll cost you about $12.
  9. Step 3: Complete form D-11
    Print a copy of form D-11 to fill out by hand here: http://1.usa.gov/1cE4xSK. Or fill it out online and print it (you’ll still need to bring it in in person) here: http://1.usa.gov/1cE4xSK DON’T sign the form as you’ll need to do that in the presence of the passport officer. You can also pick up this form at most post offices.
  10. Step 4: Bring all this into your closest passport acceptance facility
    In addition to passport offices, most post offices can accept passport applications. Find a location near you here: http://1.usa.gov/1cE4UNj (you can also find the hours in which these facilities accept passport applications, and whether or not you’ll need an appointment with the number to call to make one).
  11. You're done!! It was simple and painless and your now free to travel the world! And since you'll be globetrotting and crossing time zones, check out @erichutchinson's list "MY TIPS FOR BEATING JET LAG" to learn how to travel like a pro internationally.