Filling out a passport application in Maryland should be at the top of every resident’s travel checklist. A U.S. passport is the most important document when traveling abroad. Without it, residents will not be able to leave the country and return.

Furthermore, passports keep U.S. citizens safe while exploring a foreign country. In the event of an emergency, residents can visit a U.S. embassy or consulate to seek assistance with their passports as proof of citizenship.

Depending on where a resident plans to travel, he or she may obtain a passport card, passport book or both. Additionally, a resident may apply for an expedited passport to receive their travel document just in time for an upcoming trip.

The process of obtaining a passport may vary depending on a resident’s eligibility. For example, if he or she is a minor or recently underwent a gender transition. To get a better understanding about the passport services offered in Maryland, read the following sections below.

Where to Get a Passport in Maryland

To obtain a U.S. passport card, you must visit a local acceptance facility to have an authorized agent collect your application, supporting documents and verify your signature. There are several facilities located throughout the state, including your nearest post office, municipal office and public library. You must call to determine whether an appointment is necessary as some offices allow walk-ins.

While acceptance facilities offer expedited service, you must visit a passport agency if you need your passport within two weeks. Your nearest agency is the Washington DC passport agency and requires an appointment. Before visiting one of these US passport locations, make sure to gather the necessary documentation.

Maryland Passport Books vs. Cards

If you are traveling abroad, you will need a passport card or book depending on the country you are headed. Both documents will serve as your ticket when crossing country borders. Additionally, they are both REAL ID compliant and can be used for domestic air travel.

What is a passport book? It is the most common form of a U.S. passport and can be used to exit and re-enter the U.S. when traveling to countries all around the world. It contains several pages designated for foreign visa stamps to track all of the destinations on your bucket list.

How is a passport card any different? Many wonder why they would need a passport card when they already have a passport book.

A passport card is lighter to travel with and is much more convenient in size. It is a wallet-sized card that can be used to prove your identity and U.S. citizenship. With it, you can travel between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and Caribbean by land and sea. A passport card cost is a much more affordable option if you only plan to travel to these selected locations.

How to Get a Passport in Maryland

If you are a first-time applicant or minor, you must visit an acceptance facility in person to apply for a U.S. passport card and/or book. You must be a U.S. citizen and you must be 18 years of age or older to apply independently.

If you are a minor, you will need to provide additional documentation that grants you permission from you parent(s) to apply for a U.S. passport. To make sure the process goes smoothly, make sure to bring the following documentation to your nearest acceptance facility or agency.

  • A passport application: You may fill out the application online or by hand. However, make sure that it is unsigned. You will need an authorized agent you witness your signature.
  • Color passport photo: Call to inquire if your local acceptance facility offers photo service. You may have to obtain a passport photo at a photo center, like Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy.
  • Valid photo ID and evidence of U.S. citizenship: You will need to present the original or certified documents as well as photocopies. An example of a valid photo ID includes your driver’s license.
  • The appropriate US passport fees: Fees will depend on a number of factors. For example, if you are an adult or minor.
  • Proof of parental relationship, consent and/or awareness for all minors: Both parents should accompany your child when obtaining a passport for him or her. If a parent or both cannot appear, you must provide consensual documentation.

U.S. Passport Renewals in Maryland

Getting a new passport after it has expired is a very simple process that can be completed by mail. However, your passport must be in good condition and issued within the last 15 years while you were older than 16 years of age. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a U.S. passport in person.

If you meet eligibility requirements for renewal, you may proceed with obtaining a new passport by mailing the appropriate documentation to the National Passport Processing Center. This includes:

  • A renewal passport application
  • Passport photo
  • Recent U.S. passport
  • Payment for US passport fees
  • Name change document, if applicable

How much does it cost to renew your passport? This is all dependent whether you are obtaining a passport book, card or both. Furthermore, the price varies if you are requesting expedited service.

Keep in mind that you cannot send cash by mail. You must make the fees payable to the U.S. Department of State via money order or check.

Note: You will not be able to renew your US passport at an acceptance facility if you meet renewal requirements by mail. Your application will be turned away.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in Maryland

If your passport has been lost or stolen, you must notify the Department of State by filling out a lost passport form immediately. Once this has been completed, you may complete the process to replace a lost passport. You may do so by mailing an application for a passport while filing your report.

If you would like to wait to replace your lost or stolen passport, you may visit an acceptance facility at your earliest convenience. Make sure to bring a standard passport application, proof of identity, evidence of U.S. citizenship, your recent passport along with the required fees.

If you would like to replace a damaged passport, you must return the passport along with a statement explaining the details of its current condition. This may include a ripped off cover, water damage or missing pages.

How to Complete a Passport Update in Maryland

Your passport card contains important information regarding your identity, including your date of birth, name, gender and appearance. Having a passport that does not accurately reflect your identity can be dangerous and cause confusion when traveling.

It is vital that you obtain a passport update if any changes occur within 10 years of its validity. This requires that you submit a current passport photo, your recent U.S. passport and a supporting document depending on the update.

  • Name Change: This update requires that you submit the appropriate passport application depending on when your passport was last issued to you. If you are updating your passport less than a year after it was issued, you will not need to pay any fees. You must present a legal name change document or a valid ID that displays your current name.
  • Sex Marker Change: You may receive a passport that is valid up to 10 years if you have completed clinical treatment for a gender transition. If you are in the transition process, you may obtain a limited validity passport for up to two years. You must provide a photo ID and a signed medical certification from your physician.
  • Data or Printing Error: If your passport card inaccurately displays your information, you may obtain a new passport at no cost. You will need to provide the passport with evidence of the error. For example, you may provide a U.S. birth certificate if your name was spelled incorrectly.

Maryland Expedited Passport Service

If you are in a hurry to leave the U.S., you may obtain an expedited passport for an additional fee. Routine service for a passport generally takes four to six weeks. To receive a passport under this time frame, you must request expedited service at your local acceptance facility.

If you need your passport in less than two weeks, you must visit your nearest passport agency. You do not have to go through this process if you are in a life-or-death emergency. In this case, you may called the Department of State to provide proof of a grievous situation, such as a serious illness or death.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.