Passports in Louisiana
There is a lot that goes into planning a trip abroad, including submitting an LA passport application to obtain a U.S. passport. It is very important that you secure a U.S. passport well in advance as you will need it to leave and reenter the country.
Your passport will protect you abroad if you are ever in an emergency and need to verify your identity or U.S. citizenship. If a natural disaster or attack occurs in the country you are visiting, you will be able to visit a US embassy or consulate to seek help.
The process to obtain a new passport requires a few important documents and procedures to be completed on your part. Once your application is in possession of a qualifying passport office, your passport will be processed and mailed to you.
A passport card and book generally take a while to process. While you may obtain an expedited passport, it does come at an additional cost. To learn more the different passport services offered in Louisiana, read the following sections below.
Where to Get a Passport in Louisiana
There are many passport acceptance facilities located throughout Louisiana that will accept your passport application. While the most popular location seems to be the post office, you can apply for a passport at your local public library, county clerk office, city clerk office or university.
The majority of these facilities require that you call beforehand to make an appointment. Other facilities have designated hours that welcome walk-ins.
If you have urgent plans to travel within two to three weeks, you will need to visit the New Orleans passport agency in person to request an expedited passport. You must make an appointment online or by phone for this service.
If you are applying for a passport for the first time or a minor, you must visit one of these US passport locations in person. You may only submit your application by mail if you are renewing your US passport.
Louisiana Passport Books vs. Cards
A passport card and book are both government-issued travel documents that are valid for up to 10 years for adults and 5 years for minors. While they both can be used for domestic air travel, they do differ in limitations, size and cost.
You may be wondering, “What is a passport book?” It is a booklet that contains a personal identification page and several pages designated for visa stamps. Residents may use a passport book to travel internationally by air, land and sea.
Unlike a passport book, a passport card can only be used to travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. It is a plastic card that is much smaller than a passport book and can be placed in your wallet for light travel. Additionally, a passport card cost is about half the price of a passport book and it is the more affordable option if you plan to travel to one of the permitted destinations.
How to Get a Passport in Louisiana
You must be a U.S. citizen in order to apply for a passport card in Louisiana. If you owe a substantial amount of child support or unpaid federal loans, you will be disqualified from receiving a U.S. passport. If there are no financial or legal factors preventing you from applying, you may move forward with your passport application.
If you are a first time applicant or minor, you must complete the process at your nearest acceptance facility or the New Orleans passport agency. Make sure that you provide the office with the following documentation:
- A completed passport application
- A color passport photo
- A valid Photo ID
- Certified proof of citizenship
- Payment for US passport fees
If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you will need to provide proof of parental awareness. This means bringing a parent with you or providing the agent with a signed, notarized statement from one of your parents authorizing consent. If you are a parent bringing a child younger than 16 years of age for a passport, you must show the agent proof of parental relationship and parental consent.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Louisiana
You must be eligible to renew your US passport by mail. If you do not meet renewal requirements, you will have to visit your acceptance facility in person and apply for a new passport. Otherwise, you can renew your passport card if you can return it in good condition and the following applies.
- It was issued in the last 15 years
- It was issued after you turned 16 years of age
- It displays your current name
How much does it cost to renew your passport? The total cost will depend on whether you are purchasing a passport book and/or card and whether you are requesting expedited service. Enclose the appropriate fees in an envelope along with your new passport photo and recent passport. Mail the envelope to the National Passport Processing Center located in Philadelphia, PA.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Louisiana
While you may replace your lost or stolen passport at your earliest convenience, it is vital that you file an official report with the U.S. Department of State as soon possible. Simply submit a lost passport form and your previous passport will be deemed invalid. Once this has been completed, you can replace your lost passport by visiting your local acceptance facility or regional passport agency.
The process is similar to applying for a U.S. passport for the first time, as you must provide the same application, proof of identity, evidence of citizenship and a passport photo. If you are overseas, you must visit a U.S. embassy or consulate and provide the above documentation as well as your travel itinerary. You must also replace your passport if it mutilated or damaged to the point that it becomes illegible to read.
Getting a new passport requires that you submit your damaged passport with a statement describing its current condition. Remember that if you will need to go through a separate process to replace other documents, like driver’s license.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Louisiana
While a passport remains valid for 10 years, there are circumstances that can occur within this time frame that will require you to obtain a passport update. For example, you may have recently changed your name after getting married. If you are requesting a name change on your passport within a year of its issue date, you may receive a new passport free of charge.
If it has been over a year since your passport card was issued, you must renew your passport instead. This will require that you pay the appropriate renewal fees. If you are not eligible to complete the process by mail, you must visit your local acceptance facility with legal name change documents.
You may also update your passport if you have gone through a gender transition or are in the process of receiving clinical treatment. In this case, you will need to provide a medical certification from your doctor.
Louisiana Expedited Passport Service
While a U.S. passport typically takes four to six weeks to process, you may receive an expedited passport if you have last minute travel plans. For an additional fee, you can receive your passport card in less than four to six weeks. If you need your passport much sooner, you must visit the New Orleans passport agency to request an expedited service of two to three weeks.
For a life-or-death emergency, make sure to call the National Passport Information Center to obtain an emergency passport. You will have to provide proof of a serious illness, injury or death within your immediate family.