Passports in Delaware
Completing a passport application in Delaware is one of the first steps toward preparing for an international trip. A passport card or book is a form of identification that can be used for domestic and international travel. However, keep in mind that the card comes with certain limitations.
When you want to obtain a passport, you must go through a series of steps that include visiting a passport office and providing documents. This comes at a cost, especially for an expedited passport. However, passports can last anywhere from two to 10 years, based on a variety of factors.
A passport book or card is an important piece of documentation and there are certain measures you must take to protect and accurately reflect your identity. For instance, once you obtain the passport, you may need to update it if you undergo a major life change. Below, find out everything you need to know about passports in Delaware from obtaining one and renewing it to reporting it stolen.
Where to Get a Passport in Delaware
When obtaining a new passport card in Delaware, it is mandatory that you complete the process in person at a passport acceptance facility. There are several types of acceptance facilities located in Delaware, and they include libraries and clerk offices.
Post offices are also common locations to process passport applications. Visiting an acceptance facility does not require an appointment. They do require applicants to bring several documents to prove their identity.
It generally takes four to six weeks to receive a new passport book or card from an acceptance facility. If you need an expedited passport in less than two weeks, you must visit a passport agency, which has stricter guidelines. For more information on passport agencies, review the last section on this page.
Delaware Passports Books vs. Cards
If you wonder, “What is a passport book and how is it different than a card?” the answer is that while both documents serve as valid IDs, the card has limitations that the book does not. A passport card in Delaware is a wallet-sized document that you can use to identify yourself and re-enter the country through border crossings and sea ports from four locations:
- The Caribbean
In terms of air travel, you may only use the passport card to travel domestically, as it is compliant with REAL ID regulations. You can only travel by air internationally with a passport book, which is bigger and more expensive. The pages in the book allow customs agents to document your entry and exit in foreign countries.
How to Get a Passport in Delaware
When getting a new passport, you must provide several documents. This includes proof of citizenship in the United States, photo identification and color passport photos.
Delaware residents who are under 18 years of age must provide a parental permission form from their parents or legal guardian. Guardians may also have to prove their relationship to their minor with a birth certificate, adoption decree or other certified document.
As for passport card costs, it varies. Minors pay less for passport fees than adults do. Moreover, you will pay more for a passport book than for a passport card.
It is important to know that in Delaware, a child support debt can prevent you from obtaining a passport. If you have an excessive amount of past due child support, your passport application may be rejected. You can also be rejected if you have defaulted on state assistance loans or have tax debts.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Delaware
When you renew your US passport, it is because it is near its expiration date. Applicants should renew their passports nine months before its expiration date. This is because some countries require passports to be valid up to six months after traveling to the country.
As such, renewing your passport early will allow you to travel in and out of the country with no issues. In some cases, you may be required to obtain a new passport altogether if you do not meet eligibility requirements.
To obtain a passport renewal via mail, you must have an undamaged passport, aside for regular wear and tear. You must also have a passport that is less than 16 years old and that was issued to you past 16 years of age. If you recently changed your name, you must have proof of it to submit it via mail.
Once you meet these qualifications, you must gather your documents and submit them. You must include the completed passport renewal form, old passport and color passport photo in your envelope. For expedited passport services, you must write “EXPEDITE” on the mailing envelope.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Delaware
Having a lost passport can be a huge inconvenience. It is critical that you replace the lost passport as soon as possible, especially if it is your only form of ID. To complete this task, you must visit a passport acceptance facility near you.
You may also visit a passport agency if you need a passport in less than three weeks due to travel. Once you set an appointment at one of these offices, you must fill out an appropriate form and provide the necessary documentation. If you have a severely damaged passport, you must complete a new application.
Before getting a replacement, you must report it immediately to the State Department, especially if you suspect it was stolen. A stolen passport leaves you at risk of identity theft. As such, it is imperative that you invalidate the old passport before getting a new one.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Delaware
You are entitled to a passport update if your current passport doesn’t accurately reflect your identity. The process to obtain an updated passport varies based on the reason:
- Name Change – If you have recently legally changed your name due to a marriage or other reason, you must also reflect that change in your passport. With a passport that is less than one year old, you may submit your request via mail by completing a passport name change You must also send a passport photo in color, your previous passport and along with it. If your request happens after the one-year period, you must go through the renewal process via mail or online, depending on your eligibility.
- Sex Designation Change – There are two types of passports that you can obtain in this case and it depends on your transition stage. If your transition is complete, you will receive a new passport, which will last five years if you are a minor and 10 years if you are an adult. However, if you are still transitioning, you will receive a limited-validity passport, which only lasts two years. To qualify, applicants must present a medical certification, recent passport photos ad recent ID.
If there is an error on your passport, such as a misprint or missing information, you must get a passport update as soon as possible. You can submit the request via mail if you have evidence of the error and provide your old passport. You may also visit a passport agency to fix the error if you need your passport in a rush.
Delaware Expedited Passport Service
Passport agencies are processing centers where you can complete a passport application and receive one in less than three weeks. This service is ideal for those who have lost a passport or must renew one in a limited amount of time.
There are only 27 agencies in the country and they have strict guidelines on who can visit. To qualify for an appointment at the agency, applicants must prove that:
- They have an immediate need for a foreign visa.
- They have international travel plans within two weeks.
- They have an error on their new passport that must be corrected.
Once you meet these basic requirements, you visit an agency to submit an expedited passport request. Unfortunately, Delaware does not have its own passport agency. You can visit one of the closest US passport locations in Philadelphia.
Once there, you must provide proof of U.S. citizenship and color passport photographs. US passport fees vary depending on your age and the type of application you are obtaining.