FLY away, fly away... do you need a Passport?

@koalatbs (2230)
United States
March 27, 2009 7:17am CST
Get one this Saturday! If you live in the United States you can get your passport book or passport card this Saturday at the Post Office. The Department of the State is sponsoring it this Saturday, March 28th - Passport Day in the USA! Be sure to check your local post office branches for locations as it will not be at every post office. You can go to the following web address, enter in your zip code to find one occuring near you... http://travel.state.gov/passport/about/npic/npic_4442.html My husband and I have been wanting to get our passports but when we called our post office about a month ago they said it is by appointment only and ONLY during weekdays! So, we were unable to get it at the time. They were talking about it on the news on TV this morning so I checked it out. Our post office is having it from 10:00am until 1:00pm. It didn't say, but I'm assuming it is first come first served. You can go online to download and fill out the application beforehand but they will also have applications on location. The form takes quite a long time to fill out so I suggest you do it in advance before going. There are fees charged when getting your passport too so be sure you have enough money with you when you go. I just checked and it costs $100 for those over the age of 16 for a passport book and $45 for a passport card. Here is the web address for downloading the forms you need to complete... http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/forms_847.html They are doing this because there are new regulations starting this summer for traveling going into effect. On June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at all land borders and sea ports of entry. Soooo, if you need one NOW is the time to go! Jill
3 people like this
18 responses
@maximax8 (28247)
• United Kingdom
28 Mar 09
I remember reading the statistics for how many American people have passports. I was surprised that many Americans don't have a passport. I wonder if they used to be allowed to enter Canada without a passport. I know that since 9/11 the USA has changed its rules and for us it likes a machine readable passport. I think that the price is easy for most adults to afford but when a couple have four children the cost would be considerable. It is great the today the government are encouraging its citizens to get a passport if they haven't already done so. I was included on the British Visitors Pass of my mum when I was a child. As soon I got old enough I had my own passport and now I am on my third one. I wouldn't want it to lapse and I am aware that most countries won't let a traveler in to their country with less than 6 months validity. I hope this Saturday many Americans will apply to get a passport and then go off traveling in the future.
1 person likes this
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
I agree with you maximax8. I think it is quite important nowadays for people to have a passport, although I just finally applied for my first one as an adult & I'm now 39! Oops! The one I had was way way past expired. I think I got it in 1985 or right around there. Looking at my photo from it was pretty funny. Wish I still looked that young... although at that time I remember wanting to look much much older than I was! Funny how that works. :) People did used to be able to travel to Canada without a passport. I went about twice with my parents when we lived just outside of Detroit, Michigan when I was a teenager and we didn't need one then. The passport fair this past Saturday was held because the laws are changing and starting this summer all U.S. citizens will need a passport to travel into Canada, Mexico and a few other places that they are not needed currently, like the Carribean and cruises too, I think.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
27 Mar 09
I can't afford to travel but I hope others find your information useful. (I find it ironic that we have to present documentation to go to Canada and Mexico, yet foreigners can pour through our borders like water through a sieve.) Are you planning a trip or is this just to be prepared for one?
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Hi dragon54u - We can't afford to travel overseas right now either but we do want to be prepared to go when we can. My husband is from Jordan and we reallyyy want to visit his family there as soon as we can. We've been married for just shy of 5 years now and I have yet to meet any of his family! His mom wants to visit us here this summer so I'm excited (and very nervous!) about that! :) I know what you mean about our borders! I think it is ridiculous how many illegal immigrants flow through our borders. I lived just outside of San Francisco, CA for two years recently and it reallyyy opened my eyes much more to the problem. A good friend that I met while living there is married to an illegal immigrant from Mexico! I don't quite understand it really... they were able to get married, yet he is here illegally!?? He is also able to work in the U.S. legally. I don't quite understand the logic with that! Don't get me wrong... her husband was a very nice man and a hard worker but the whole situation always bothered me. Go figure... Jill Jill
1 person likes this
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Oopps! SIGNED my name twice! lol
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Oh, I hope you get to go to Jordan! That sounds like a wonderful trip and a great reason to go. I'm sure your in-laws will love you.
• Netherlands
29 Mar 09
While I don't need these documents as I already have my passport and live abroad this is certainly a lot of good information that you have provided and I am sure it will help out a lot of people...good going!
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Thank you greeneyedlady - I figured that many people here on myLot could use this valuable information just in case they needed their passport book or card too. We did go, my husband & I, and applied for ours. They said we should get it in the mail in a few weeks. I didn't like, however, that they actually "take" your birth certificate to be mailed back to you. I'd hate for that to get lost or misplaced! Those are so difficult to get replaced. I'd be really upset if something happened to it.
1 person likes this
• Netherlands
2 Apr 09
I know what you mean! I am always very ill at ease when someone has my original papers and you have this horrible feeling you will never see it again and have to start all over again...you know how easily things happen to get lost. I am an American myself so I have gone through the process a few times as I still have to keep my passport up to date even though I live in Europe now. So far I have had no problems but it's still always in the back of my mind! As bad as it is to loose those "originals" where you live, In the U.S., it is twice as bad when you live in a foreign country, much harder to prove you are who you say you are and takes twice as long to be replaced! It always took me about 4 to 6 weeks when I lived over there, it basically depended on the time of year and if it was high travel season when you apply for it as of course a lot of people wait until the last minute so they are much busier then!! Well good luck and I'm sure everything will work out just fine, now all you have to do when you get it is to go out and have a good time using it!!
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
28 Mar 09
I got my passport in 1992 when I went o see my son and daughter in law, bit Lt's just graduated from West Point and stationed in Germany. I ahve since renewed it as we cruise alot and have gone many palces like Canada, Europe and many places that require a passport. When you fly it just makes life easier.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Hi Barbietre - I envy you that you got to travel to Germany. How long did you stay when you visited your son and daughter-in-law? I bet you had a really nice time there. I also envy you that you go cruising a lot! No fair!! I can't wait to go on one some day... hoping sooner than later. :) Jill
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
1 Apr 09
We stayed for 11 days and went to Bavaria, Paris, and Luxenmbourg along with many castles in Germany. It was the trip of a lifetime. My son had a duplex in Frankfurt, and we traveled with an Army travel agency, so the costs were low. As for cruises, we started with one to Bermuda out of NYC so it was local, and we got hooked. Cruising is one of the cheapest ways of seeing the world. Our trip to the meditteranean was awesome also. But when our children were small, we only did local small trips and did not even get to Disney until our kids were teens. Now my husband is retired so we have a little more free time. We all pay our dues before we get to have so much fun. But I am also a roller coaster freak so I can do that in lots of local places. I am easy to please.
@scififan43 (2440)
• United States
28 Mar 09
I have had my passport allready. I got it four years ago. I will come in handy for traverling across the borlder.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Hi scififan43 - That is good that you already have your passport. My husband and I did go and applied for ours during the Passport Fair this past weekend. The line was not quite as long as I expected it to be but it still took us about an hour and a half.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Apr 09
that is good to hear.
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
28 Mar 09
I wish I had known about this sooner! There was a passport fair at the post office last summer and I was all set to go until I realized I didn't have a copy of my birth certificate! Now that I have one I just have to have some undedicated cash to go and take care of this once and for all. Never heard of a passport card before.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Hi Canellita - I guess a passport card is different from a passport book in that it is mainly just for cruises, going to Mexico & Canada, etc. This might help explain it a little better than I can... http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html Hope this helps! I know what you mean about having some "undedicated" cash for this too. That is not an easy thing to have on hand, especially these days. Jill
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Thanks! I am going to have to look into one of those!
@drannhh (15226)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Hi Jill, are you planning a trip? I've heard it said that it is a good idea to have a passport, but truly I don't plan on going outside of the US anytime soon. Still it is good to know about the new regulations.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Hi drannhh - We are not planning a trip anytime soon as money is kind of tight. But, we want to be ready... you never know when you might win a CRUISE! LoL :) No, really, my husband is from out of the country... all of his family live in Jordan and we do want to have our passports so that we can visit them as soon as we can. I have not yet met any of his family and we've been married for 5 years this coming May! I sure HOPE they like me!
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15226)
• United States
1 Apr 09
I am sure they will like you! How exciting it will be to go there and meet his family. Wahoo!
@walijo2008 (4648)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Thanks for the info. I've been needing to get a passport made, sometime this year, my sister and her husband are renewing their wedding vows, his family is in Mexico, and they were wanting to do it in Mexico, so she wants all of us to be there, so that means we'll all have to get our passports, this may be a good time to do it..Have a good day
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Oh wow walijo2008... that is wonderful that your sister & her husband are doing that! That will be really interesting. I hope you get to stay awhile to see Mexico. Have you ever been there before? What area of Mexico are they planning on renewing their wedding vows? I guess you really do need to get on the ball and get your passport then because, as I mentioned, this summer you'll need one since the regulations are changing. Have fun! Take lots of pictures too! :)
• United States
29 Mar 09
Yeah, I think it will be fun..but its also scarey, we've been hearing all kinds of things happening in Mexico, I know my mom doesn't want to go...but she never goes far from home anyway..ha. Its in a place called Toluca, not far from Mexico City, way down South. My sister says its really pretty there, and she and her husband are building a house there, so we'll all have a place to stay. I'm excited about myself, I've never traveled that far from home.
@Barb42 (4217)
• United States
27 Mar 09
I'll probably never need a passport since I'm not planning to leave the country. That is not to say I wouldn't like to visit some places overseas. But my granddaughter is going to Germany this summer. Her mother got the papers and they got them filled out. From what she told me, it only cost them $70 or $75 for the passport. And it came yesterday.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Oh wow, that is wonderful Barb42 that your granddaughter is getting to go to Germany! My 14 year old son is taking German in school for the first time this year. He seems to really enjoy it. I'd love for him to be able to go to Germany (or any other country for that matter) because his favorite subject is history. You might want to consider getting a passport for yourself anyway, even if you are not planning a trip out of the country any time soon. You never know when the chance might come along! :)
@Barb42 (4217)
• United States
28 Mar 09
She is overly excited and we are excited for her, although we will worry the whole time she is gone. I think she'll be there around 3 weeks, IF her supervisor lets her off. She said he keeps saying 5-7 days and she said there is NO way she can go to Germany for that time. My Mother's brother took her with him and his wife maybe 3 times overseas when he was alive. She was getting way up in age then, and she enjoyed it. She's visited lots of countries I would enjoy going to, including Germany.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
27 Mar 09
thanks fo rthe info.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Hi Lakota12 - Your welcome... just wanted to share it with everyone else here on myLot just in case some of you needed a passport but were having trouble getting one during the work week. That can be a real pain when you are working and you need to get something done and can't take time off.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
28 Mar 09
know it. we have certain places here that do passports not just the post office so it is easier to do here1
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
28 Mar 09
I need to get my husband a passport but we don't have the money for him to get it tomorrow. It is nice that the post office is doing this. I think that it is fairly easy here to get a passport but I am not sure. Thanks for passing this info along and I will share it with some friends.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Your welcome carolscash. I am sure the post offices will be having another passport fair before the new laws go into effect this coming summer. Maybe your husband can get his then.
@ricknkae (1726)
• United States
27 Mar 09
very useful discussion even though we do not need any passports right now I am sure many will appreciate the heads up it is nice to see a new kind of discussion ..informativ, instead of all those BS thank you Rick
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Hi Rick - I'm glad you found my discussion informative. I thought many people here on myLot would find it useful. My husband & I did go to the post office here locally this past Saturday for the Passport Fair and applied for ours. Not that we are planning any international trips any time soon but it will be nice to have ours just in case.
@dlr297 (5387)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Thank you for the information. I do not think that i will ever need one i have never been out side the united states. I do not think that i will ever need one. But the information is good to know.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Hi dlr297 - I have not yet been outside of the United States either except for a quick day trip into Canada as a teenager with my parents. We lived near Detroit at the time and you didn't need a passport so we drove into Windsor, Canada to go to a mall shopping and for lunch. Needless to say, the first time we went the border officer asked us "So, what is the reason for your visit today into Canada?" My dad said, "We're going to the mall to go shopping." Ok, no problem... BUT, the stupid officer didn't tell us that the stores in Canada were CLOSED on Sundays! What a jerk! LoL! I don't know if their stores are still closed on Sundays but looking back, it was quite hilarious! :D
@Savvynlady (3686)
• United States
27 Mar 09
My mom wants to travel to Englad to see her brothers, and on Tuesday, we went down to the Post Office downtown to get it done. I did hear while there about some fair they are having on Saturday but I didn't hear nothing else or see any signs posted. But from what you are saying, that has to be the same thing folks was calling in about. I should put in for mine, but can't at this time. Thanks for the info.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Hi Savvynlady - That is good that your mom got her passport earlier this week so that she can go visit her brothers in England! How long has it been since she has seen them? You mentioned that you saw a sign at the post office about the passport fair. I know what you mean, the post offices are having this fair to make it easier on people to get their passports but it is almost like they are keeping it secret. We heard it on the morning news and when I visited the U.S. Postal Service website, it was like pulling teeth to try to find the information about when and where and what it was all about. Even on the news they just said the date, the locations in our area that were having the Passport Fair and that was it! I was like "A Passport Fair... what the heck is that?!" LoL
@savypat (20246)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Thank you so much for this information, I'll pass it on to the rest of the family, we will probably not go out of country but many family members may.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
You are very welcome savypat. Glad you are passing it along to your other family members just in case they need a passport. You never know... you could win a trip overseas or on a cruise! :)
@Shar19 (8236)
• United States
27 Mar 09
My husband and I just got our first passports last year. Thanks for informing everyone else though.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
28 Mar 09
Hi Shar19 - I'm glad you & your husband got your passports. Are you two planning to go on a trip out of the country soon or did you just get them "just in case"? Hope you get to do some traveling! :)
@tammytwo (4304)
• United States
27 Mar 09
I have to get my son's but won't have the money to do it this week and our post office isn't participating.
@koalatbs (2230)
• United States
27 Mar 09
Hi tammytwo - Oh bummer! Sorry about that... it is cheaper for children. My son is 14 and we need to get his too but we can't do his this weekend. His father and I are divorced and in cases like that you need to get their signature as well. Since he isn't local I'll have to get him to sign the form next time I see him at Easter. Don't know if he will do it or not though. He'll probably be afraid I'll wisk his son off to some foreign country. Wish me luck! Hope you have a nice weekend! Jill
• United States
5 Apr 09
Thanks for the information. I do have a passport and hopefully; I like to visit Canada sometime soon. I miss being in Niagara Falls and the Toronto area.