Toronto is only what, nine or ten months away? That's pretty awesome. This means it's time to apply for your passport. Don't mess around with this as it's pretty freakin' expensive to expedite this stuff. I'll be sending out an email with "What to do if you have a record" in the next week or two, but there's hope, so don't despair. I'll also be putting out an email in conjunction with the Detroit folks before you leave for the conference about border crossing behavior standards, options, and such not. Please read all the way to the end of the email.
In the meantime, go apply for a Passport, good for all international travel ($115) or Passport Card, good only for Canada, Mexico, the Carribean and Bermuda ($45). If you are planning on flying to Toronto you MUST get a Passport. A Passport Card will not be accepted for air travel.
As of October 26, 2009, routine applications are being processed in 4-6 weeks. The waiting period may go up DRAMATICALLY, so don't wait. Take care of this now, okay team? Use this link to figure out where you can apply: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/
1. You need a Form DS-11. This is generally referred to as your “Passport application.” You may get a copy at the office you are applying in person at. Don't sign the form until you are instructed to do so by the person certifying your passport application. Follow this link to fill out a form online if you want to save some time (you must still print it out and bring it in to the passport agency office): http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/ds11/ds11_842.html
2. You need ONE of the following as a “primary evidence of U.S. Citizenship”
*Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
*Certified birth certificate (no copies—it needs to have an embossed, raised, or impressed seal)
*Consular report of birth abroad
*Certificate of citizenship
3. If you were born in the states and cannot present primary evidence, you may submit a COMBINATION of the following secondary documents (at least two need to be submitted, and early public records may not constitute the majority of your secondary documents)
*Baptismal certificate/record of bris
*Hospital birth certificate
*Early school record
*Family bible record
*Doctor’s record of post-natal care.
4. Present one piece of photo identification in the form of:
*Previously issued, undamaged Passport
*Valid driver’s license
*Current city, state or federal ID
*Current military ID
5. Your photo id must be copied on a plain, white, 8.5” x 11” standard paperstock (computer paper), showing the front and back of the ID. Your ID may be enlarged, but it may not be decreased.
6. You need two passport photos. These can be taken at most places with photo-processing, such as a pharmacy. These photos must be:
*2”x2” in size.
*Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
*Full face, front view, with a plain white or off-white background
*Between 1” and 1/38” from the bottom of the chin to the top of head
*Taken in normal street attire.
7. The current total fee is $115 for a Passport, $45 for a Passport Card.
10. You need to apply in person if this is your first time applying. You may apply in person at an acceptance facility, passport agency, or consulate. Go to the post-office or county clerk. These are your easiest options. Use the link at the top of this email to find a location nearest you.
Ok. So a current
Passport is $115. That’s a lot of
money. If you aren’t planning on going
further than Canada or Mexico,
then you have another option: the Passport Card. SCORE! It’s only $45! SCORE!
You still have to apply in person and use the DS-11 form. There is a section on the DS-11 specifically
for the Passport Card. Make sure you notify the person certifying your application that you want a Passport Card. If you have any further travel plans beyond Canada or Mexico and can afford it I would strongly suggest that you get a standard Passport.
Don’t procrastinate on this. It’s just going to bite you in the butt in terms of money and stress. Don't hesitate to shoot an email to me if you have questions. If I can't answer them, I'll find out who can. Here are the State Department’s FAQs for your reading pleasure, by the way: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/fri/faq/faq_1741.html