How to get a Passport

Okay, okay. Perhaps I’m a tad paranoid. Perhaps my view of bureaucracies is so skewed that the idea of actually applyign for my passport seems to me like a fight against the Lions in the Roman coliseum.

But really? It’s a breeze… at least so far. I have to wait six weeks before my new passport is supposed to be in the mail. So I’m still a little wary. But, if you are looking to get your passport, you need to do the following:

  • Go here and download the application form. (in PDF format)
  • Fill out form, but for the love of all that is holy DO NOT SIGN IT! Signing it constitutes a felony and you will end up spending a year in jail! Not really….It’s all about bureaucrats witnessing that you are indeed the person who you say you are, and then signing the cod in front of them.
  • Get an official version of your birth certificate (no copies!)
  • Go to Kinkos and get your passport photo taken (mine cost $14.09 and made me looked liek I was perpetually surprised…which is good, because I will probably be perpetually surprised when I go to other countries “What??? You do’t put ice in your water glasses?!?”).
  • Ensure you have previously stated form (unsigned), birth certificate, photos, as well as a driver’s license/picture ID and two checks, one to pay your country courthouse, and one for $55 to pay the state department.
  • Go to the correct office, usually in your county courthouse (this is the only area in which I had problems, as I ended up in an office with a churlish female guard thoroughly confused by the fact that I had read the incorrect address on the State Department’s web site).
  • Give packet to bureaucrat. Sign form when they say to. And go on your merry way.
  • In six weeks time…I hope…your permission to travel abroad!!!

Good luck!!

Note: If you’ve never applied for a Passport before, you have to do the above. You cannot apply via mail.


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