Passports in Washington DC
It is necessary to include a Washington DC passport application in your international travel plans. Passport documents are used to verify your identity and citizenship while traveling between countries. In fact, most countries check your passport at the airport or border, including the United States. Whether you apply for a passport card or book, processing times are generally between four and six weeks.
As a result, it is important to have this document ready well before your trip to avoid any issues during your travels. Otherwise, you may need to apply for expedited passport services in order to receive your document on time. If you already have a passport, then make sure it does not require renewal or replacement due to damage. For information on all of your passport needs, read the following guidelines.
Where to Get a Passport in Washington DC
To submit your first passport application in DC, you must visit an official acceptance facility or passport agency in person. Which location you go to largely depends on how fast you need to obtain your passport. In most cases, a local acceptance facility can handle all of your passport needs. The following are the main differences between these two locations:
- An acceptance facility is a local business that is capable of reviewing passport applications, such as a post office or library. Once an employee at the facility approves your application, the U.S. Department of State processes and mails your new documents to you. With this option, you can expect your passport card or book to arrive within four to six weeks.
- A passport center is an agency that is specifically dedicated to fulfilling passport needs. In particular, these agencies are responsible for handling expedited passport If you need to receive your passport within less than three weeks, then this option may be best.
Even if you apply to replace a lost passport, then you must apply for a new document in person at one of the above locations. In order to submit an application, you must first decide what type of passport document best suits your needs. You can learn the difference between the card and the book format below.
Washington DC Passport Books vs Cards
Passport documents are available in two formats, a card and a book. You may ask, “What is a passport book, and how do I know if I need one?” The answer to this question depends on how you plan to travel outside of the U.S. This is because the main difference between the card and a book is what they are used for. In general, the book format is the most widely used because it allows you to travel internationally by air.
Alternatively, you cannot use the passport card to board an international flight. It is only accepted for international travel that occurs on land or sea. For example, you can use a valid card to enter the U.S. at the Canadian or Mexican border. Passport card cost is also significantly lower than the cost of the book. As such, if you do not plan to travel abroad by plane in the foreseeable future, the card offers a more affordable option. You can apply for either or both of these formats with the same application.
How to Get a Passport in Washington DC
When getting a passport in DC, there are several items you must provide at the acceptance facility. Once you are ready to apply, bring the following documents with you to complete the application process:
- An application form: Make sure not to sign the form until you are in front of an agent.
- A photo: Passport photo services are sometimes available at acceptance agencies. You can also take your picture at certain photo centers that offer this service.
- Proof of citizenship and a photo ID: Make sure to bring the originals or certified copies, as well as photocopies of each. Photo identification can include a state-issued driver’s license or ID card.
- A fee payment: Processing fees are generally accepted as cash, credit or debit payments. Alternately, you must submit your application fee with a money order or check made out to the Department of State.
Both parents must be present to obtain passports for children younger than 16 years of age. Otherwise, a signed consent form is also necessary. The passport replacement and renewal processes also involve additional requirements. If you require one of these services, then read the sections below for more information.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Washington DC
The process to renew US passport documents is completed through the mail. However, renewal is only available if you are able to meet the necessary requirements. You are qualified for U.S. passport renewal as long as your current document is:
- No more than 15 years old.
- An adult passport.
- Submitted with your application.
To prepare your renewal application, make sure to include a new photo, your current passport and the fee payment in the envelope. As far as the question, “How much does it cost to renew your passport?” the amount is usually the same as your initial passport price. Additional fees are included if you choose expedited processing services or express shipping. Send all of this to the Philadelphia National Passport Processing Center to complete the process.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Washington DC
As stated above, a damaged passport is not eligible for renewal. Similarly, passports that are damaged are considered invalid and cannot be used. With this in mind, you want to protect your document from serious damage or loss. Otherwise, you must undergo the application process for a new passport all over again.
More importantly, lost or stolen passport documents must be reported to the U.S. Department of State. Your passport is a valuable document that can be used to steal your identity if you are not careful. As a result, you must submit a lost passport form before you apply for a new document. This form is accepted online, in person or by mail. If you choose to submit the form by mail, then make sure to notify the authorities by phone first. That way, your current passport is made invalid in the system and cannot be used again.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Washington DC
In order for your passport to remain valid, it must reflect your current name and other identification details. As a result, you may need to update your passport to continue using it. To update, you must submit an application, your current passport, a new photo and documents to verify the reason for the change. The reasons an update is required varies, but the most common causes are as follows:
- A name change
- A change in sex designation
- An error in printing or information
The nature of the change on your passport book or card determines what supporting documents you need for an update. Name changes usually require a certificate verifying the alteration, while changes in sex designation require a physician’s certification. Generally, the US passport fees are waived in cases where an error was made if proof of the error is submitted. You can also avoid the fees for a name change if you are able to produce a driver’s license that states your new legal name.
Washington DC Expedited Passport Service
Depending on when you need your passport by, you may want to consider expedited processing. This option allows you to receive your new document in under four weeks for an additional fee. All you need to do is select expedited processing on the application form. You can also choose expedite the renewal process by writing “expedite” on the envelope of your application.
If you need your passport faster due to urgent travel plans, then you must apply at a passport agency. Fortunately, there are two US passport locations in DC where you can receive this service. Make sure your appointment is made within two weeks of your trip and bring proof of travel urgency. Once your application is approved, you will receive your passport in less than two weeks.