- 1. What is a passport?
A passport is an official document, commonly in the format of a small booklet that has several functions. A passport authorizes people to to travel outside of the borders of their home country. While a passport does not automatically grant the holder the right to enter every country, United States passport holders and Canadian passport holders may travel to many countries without being required to obtain any further documentation, such as visas, prior to travel. A passport also serves another function as proof of citizenship. A person holding a U.S. Passport is recognized internationally as a citizen of the United States. Situations in which visas are required, the visa stamps or stickers are inserted on the pages of the passport themselves. Upon entering or exiting a country, border control officials will also stamp the pages of the passport as proof of travel.
- 2. What is a passport card?
Passport cards, available since July 14, 2008, are wallet-size travel documents that can be used to travel from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land and sea, but not air. It is offered as a convenience for travelers who live within close proximity and frequently travel across borders by land or sea. Currently, they cannot be used for travel to destinations other than Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, or for air travel.
- 3. What is the length of time for which a U.S. passport is valid?
A passport's validity is determined by the passport applicant's age. In the United States, passports issued to adults ages 16 and older are valid for 10 years. Children 15 years of age and under receive passports that are valid for 5 years. However, there are two exceptions to this rule: second passports are valid for 2 years and emergency passports are valid for 1 year. Additionally, when replacing a lost passport, the Department of State may issue a passport valid for 1 or 2 years.
- 4. When does a person need a U.S. passport to travel?
Travelers need a passport to travel each time they leave the United States or US territories. However, as mentioned above, American citizens, traveling by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda may opt to use a US passport card instead of a standard US passport.
- 5. Are US passports a right to all US citizens or can US passport applications be denied or rejected?
While US passports are a right to all US citizens, some stipulations apply which can result in the US passport application being denied. The most common reason for the denial of a US passport is due to the application missing the necessary required documents such as Birth Certificate, Letter of Authorization, proper passport photographs, or the itinerary. Another common reason is that the passport fees are missing or incorrect. Other reasons why a US passport application can be denied include: outstanding non-payment of child support, outstanding felony charges or criminal warrant, or certain prior felony convictions that prohibit international travel. Also, be advised that the Department of State reserves the right to request additional documentation at their discretion.
- 6. What is a Passport Acceptance Facility?
A Passport Acceptance Facility is an authorized location where you can apply for a U.S. Passport. Generally, they are located within local post offices or county clerks. Rush Passport is registered with the US Department of State and Foreign Consulates as an Official US Passport Expeditor. You can visit us in person at: 875 6th Avenue, Suite #1606, New York, NY 10001 . Click here for directions to our NYC Passport Agency.
- 7. How can I find the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility?
To find the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility, visit http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/ and enter your zip code. You may be required to make an appointment by telephone. You can call us at 212-643-9305 New York, 877-937-7277 All 50 States. Rush Passport is registered with the US Department of State and Foreign Consulates as an Official US Passport Expeditor. You can visit us in person at: 875 6th Avenue, Suite #1606, New York, NY 10001 . Click here for directions to our NYC Passport Agency.
- 8. Do I need to appear in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility?
When applying for a new passport or replacing a lost passport or stolen passport, you must appear in person to be eligible to receive a passport. After being asked to swear an oath that you have been honest in your application you will need to sign the application in front of the Passport Acceptance Agent. Be sure not to sign the application prior to your arrival, because it will render your application unacceptable. Once the Passport Acceptance Agent is satisfied and your identity has been confirmed, the Passport Acceptance Agent will seal the appropriate documents in an envelope. This is the envelope that you must send to RushPassport for expedited processing.
- 9. How are passport name changes handled?
In the event that you need to change the name on your passport, and your passport is less than one year old, use Form DS-5504. However, if your passport is more than one year old you will need to apply for Passport Renewal. The original court document indicating the name change or original marriage certificate must be submitted along with your current passport and any other supporting documents.
- 10. For what reason would a passenger need a second passport?
Those who travel frequently, may request a second passport. In addition, travelers who are unable to wait for a visa to be issued may opt to request a second passport to permit travel while getting a visa for the next destination. Another reason to apply for a second passport is for travelers with Israeli stamps in their current passports who need to travel to countries where any evidence of travel to Israel will bar you from entry. Second passports are generally issued for two years, however they may be extended.
- 11. If I am renewing my passport, will I get my old passport back?
In most cases, the Department of State returns the old, canceled passport. However, the decision to return or destroy canceled passports is entirely at the discretion of the Department of State. In the event that the passport is mutilated or damaged, the Department of State will generally destroy the passport rather than return it.
- 12. I already submitted my application to the Post Office directly. However, it is taking too long. Can Rush Passport assist me?
While we wish there was something we could do to help, unfortunately, we cannot. Once you have submitted a US passport application directly to your local post office, we cannot assist you. For more information, please call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.
- 13. Can a parent sign the passport application for a child who is too young to sign?
In the event that a child is too young to sign the passport application, the parent shoudl sign their own name and print the child's name.
- 14. Why does a Passport Acceptance Agent need to seal my passport documents?
A Passport Acceptance Agent must seal the passport documents so that the Department of State can be 100% certain that your application has not been tampered with. Once the envelope is sealed, be sure not to open it, or you will have to begin the entire passport application process over again.
- 15. What are the fees involved with the passport application process?
The fees associated with the US passport application process vary and may be changing shortly. Regardless of the method that you use, you will still need to pay the Department of State fee for issuing a passport. This is why check or money order made payable to the Department of State is a part of the passport application. In addition to the fee to the Department of State fees, you will also need to pay a passport expedition fee to RushPassport to cover the costs of the passport expedition process. Rush Passport is registered with the US Department of State and Foreign Consulates as an Official US Passport Expeditor. We provide a way for you to obtain a passport much faster than if you were to go directly through the post office. Obtaining a passport through the USPS generally takes 4-8 weeks. Rush Passport can get you a passport in as little as 6 hours.
- 16. Why does the Department of State form has a fee that is different from the fee that you charge?
The Department of State fee for expedited passport processing is $135 for an adult. When you complete the expedited passport application for the Department of State, there is a page that itemizes the fees associated with this process. To get a passport application processed faster, you must pay the Department of State surcharge.
- 17. What is a Letter of Authorization?
The Letter of Authorization enables RushPassport to apply for a US passport on your behalf. The letter is available for download on all our passport pages: Letter of Authorization
- 18. What special documentaton is required to for those with political asylum to travel outside of the United States?
Asylees are subject to special rules when traveling outside the United States. Asylees who plan to travel outside of the United States, must obtain permission to return to the United States before departing. They should do so by obtaining a Refugee Travel Document (RTD).
- 19. How can I get a copy of my original Birth Certificate?
Official Birth Certificates are kept on file in the locality where the birth took place. The Federal Government does not keep birth certificates on file. These records are permanently kept of file in the vital statistics office of a particular city, state or county. To obtain a certified copy of a Birth Certificate, write to or visit the vital statistics office in the area where you were born.
- 20. Can US passport forms be copied or faxed?
No, US passport forms may not be copied or faxed. Original forms must be used. They can be downloaded from the State Department website.