Passports in Florida
Completing a passport application in Florida is an important first step if you want to take an international trip. A passport card or book can serve as identification for various purposes, including domestic travel.
Applying for a new passport is a process that can take several weeks. As such, it is important to perform this step months in advance to ensure you will receive it in time. However, you may obtain an expedited passport in urgent cases.
There are several steps to complete when obtaining a new passport book or card. You must provide documents to prove your identity and complete various forms.
While residents under 18 years of age may obtain a passport, they must go through additional measures to obtain the document. For a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a passport, review the sections below.
Where to Get a Passport in Florida
To obtain a new passport card or book, applicants may visit a passport agency or passport acceptance facility. While they both fulfill the same requests, the speed with which they process the requests varies. Agencies are reserved for special circumstances and emergencies, whereas acceptance facilities are for routine passport requests.
You can find several acceptance facilities in Florida in clerk offices, libraries and post offices. However, only 27 states in the U.S. have passport agencies. In Florida, the only passport agency is in the city of Miami.
Florida Passport Books vs. Cards
Passport documents come in two forms: cards and books. While they both serve as valid identification documents, there are some key differences in how and when they are used.
What is a passport card?
A passport card is a wallet-size document that you can use for various identification purposes. The passport card is REAL ID-compliant, meaning it can be used to travel domestically.
You may also use it to re-enter the United States from land and sea through Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean. However, it cannot be used for international flight travel. It is also important to note that you cannot obtain an expedited passport card for two-day delivery if that is your only purchase.
What is a passport book?
The passport book, on the other hand, is valid for both domestic and international travel. It contains several pages to document your entry and exit in foreign countries.
It is bigger than the card, at 5 inches in width and 3.5 inches in length. The passport book is also more expensive to purchase.
How to Get a Passport in Florida
To complete a passport application, you must present a series of documents. This includes a completed application form, proof of your citizenship in the U.S. and a passport photograph. There are additional required documents for residents who are under 18 years of age.
- Minors – Those who are 15 years of age or younger must provide a parental permission documentation form that is signed by both parents. If they only obtain one parent’s signature, the parent must submit a notarized consent statement from the other parent or prove that they have sole parental authority. Parents and legal guardians must also provide proof of their relationship with a birth certificate or adoption decree.
- Residents between 16 and 17 years of age – Individuals in this age group must also provide a signed parental permission form in addition to proof of relationship with the parent or guardian. The parent or guardian may have to present photo identification.
The passport card cost in Florida varies. Passports for residents who are under 18 years of age cost less than for adults. If you obtain an expedited passport, you will pay more than you would if you were just obtaining a routine passport.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Florida
Residents must renew their US passport in Florida every five years for children under 16 years of age and every 10 years for adults. There are certain factors that affect the renewal process:
- The passport’s condition
- The issuance date
- The applicant’s age
- If the applicant has undergone a name change
These factors will influence whether you will have to renew your U.S. passport in person or via mail. If your passport has extensive damage, for instance, you must renew in person and complete the new application form. If you can submit via mail, you must submit the proper completed form, your expired passport, fee payment and a recent passport photograph.
To receive an expedited passport, you must write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the mailing envelope. How much does it cost to renew your passport in Florida? It depends on the type of passport you obtain.
Passport cards cost less than passport books, and minors pass less for passports than adults do. Keep in mind that when submitting payment via mail, you cannot send cash. It must be a money order or check made payable to the U.S. Department of State.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Florida
A big risk of having a lost passport in Florida is lack of proper identification when you travel. As such, it is imperative that you work toward replacing it as soon as you notice it gone. To replace your lost passport, you must first determine which passport center you will visit.
Visiting a passport acceptance facility means you will receive the passport replacement in four to six weeks. A passport agency can provide a passport in less than two weeks if you meet the proper eligibility requirements.
In both cases, you must provide a form of ID (such as a valid Florida drivers license), a color passport photo, proof of U.S. citizenship and a completed lost passport form. It is important to note that if you have a damaged passport, you must complete the same steps.
As for a stolen passport, residents must report it to the Bureau of Consular Affairs immediately. If your passport is stolen, it may lead to fraudulent activity on your accounts and put you at risk of identity theft.
The bureau offers three ways to report this: online, via mail or by telephone. Once you file a report, the passport will become invalid and unusable. Once this step is complete, you may begin the steps toward getting a new passport.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Florida
A passport update is an important step to complete if you have undergone a big change that could affect your ability to be accurately identified. The reasons to update your passport include:
- A data error or misprint. If you recently obtained your passport and you noticed an error, such as missing information or crooked image, it is important that you update the passport as soon as possible. To complete this task, you must complete a passport update form and include proof of the error along with a color passport photograph.
- A name change. To reflect a name change on your passport, there are two procedures you must undergo depending on when you submit the request. If you submit it when the passport is less than one year old, you must complete a passport name change form and attach an original or certified document to show the name change, such as a court order or marriage certificate. You must also include your current passport and a color photo. Once you have collected all necessary documents, you may send it via mail to one of the US passport locations near you.
- A sex designation change – If you have transitioned or are in the process of transitioning, you must indicate this change on your passport card or book. If you are still in transition, you will get a temporary or limited-validity passport that will last two years. However, if your transition is complete, you will get a passport that will last as long as a new passport. When submitting this request, applicants must submit a medical certification and a photo and ID displaying current appearance.
Florida Expedited Passport Service
If you are in need of an expedited passport in Florida, you may obtain one at a passport agency. To visit an agency, you must meet certain requirements to justify the urgent passport. Qualifications include:
- Proof that you are traveling internationally in two weeks or less, such as a flight itinerary or hotel reservation.
- Proof that you need a foreign visa within four weeks.
- Evidence of a data or printing error on your recently issued passport.
Once you can provide proof for one of these requirements, you must contact your local passport agency and set an appointment for the expedited passport. Note that agencies do not allow walk-in visits.
Every visit must be done with an appointment except on designated special passport days. As for the US passport fees required to obtain the passport, it depends on the type of passport the applicant is purchasing and their age.