Passports in New Jersey
It is necessary to submit a New Jersey passport application if you plan to travel internationally in the near future. Without a valid passport, you are unable to enter certain countries or re-enter the US. Depending on which type of passport you get, you can travel to many foreign locations for work or pleasure.
A passport card is an affordable option if you wish to travel to nearby countries by boat or land. Alternatively, the booklet format allows you to board international flights. Whichever option you choose, you must apply promptly in order to receive a passport in time for your trip.
It is possible to apply for an expedited passport to receive your document faster, but this involves additional fees. If you already have a passport, it is important to understand renewal and replacement requirements. You can learn all of this information and more with the following guidelines.
Where to Get a Passport in New Jersey
New Jersey passport applications are accepted at a variety of locations throughout the state, including libraries, post offices and several municipal buildings. These locations are known as acceptance facilities, and are responsible for reviewing applications. Once reviewed, applications are forwarded to the US Department of State where they are processed and mailed out.
In many instances, to order a passport card or book you must apply in person at one of these facilities. It is a good idea to make an appointment beforehand, as the process generally takes 30 minutes to an hour. Circumstances that require you to apply in person include the following:
- You are applying for your initial passport.
- Your current passport was issued when you were younger than 16.
- Your current passport is more than 15 years old.
- You need to replace a damaged, stolen or lost passport.
Once you submit your application, processing takes four to six weeks. However, if you need your passport within two weeks due to imminent travel plans, you cannot apply at an acceptance facility. Instead, you must make an appointment with a passport agency to access expedited processing. You can find more information on this option in a later section.
New Jersey Passport Books vs Cards
Before you make plans to apply for a passport, it is important to consider which type of document you want. Passports are available in a book and card format, and you can purchase one or both depending on your needs. In order to decide, “What is a passport book or card?” is an important question to ask. While both documents are used to travel abroad, only the book is accepted to board international flights. Meanwhile, the card is only accepted to travel across the US border by sea or land.
The passport card cost is also much lower than the cost of the book option. With this in mind, you must consider your travel needs to determine which option is best for you. The requirements and application process is the same for both options. In fact, it is possible to order both using the same form as long as you submit the necessary fee for two documents. The following section further outlines the application process.
How to Get a Passport in New Jersey
Like with any other identification document, you must follow certain procedures to obtain a passport. This includes verifying your identity and citizenship and paying the necessary fees when you submit your application. To begin the process of getting a new passport, follow these steps:
- Collect the necessary documents. This includes your photo ID and proof of citizenship. You must provide an original or certified copy of both documents, as well as photocopies for submission with your application.
- Choose an acceptance facility. If you plan to visit a passport center for expedited processing, additional requirements are outlined in a later section.
- Fill out the passport application. Make sure to select whether you want the card, book or both.
- Have your picture taken. Make sure the facility you plan to visit provides this service. Otherwise, you will need to visit a business that offers passport photo services beforehand.
- Pay the application and processing fees. You must provide the application payment in the form of a check or money order and address it to the US Department of State.
To get a passport for a child younger than 16, both of you must visit the acceptance facility. You must also provide proof of parental consent if both parents are not present. If your child is between the ages of 16 and 17, proof of parental awareness is necessary. It is important to note that passport replacement and renewal involve additional steps. You can find out if you are eligible for renewal by mail below.
US Passport Renewals in New Jersey
Most passports are valid for 10 years from the issue date. As such, you must renew US passport documents in order to continue using them. This process is easily completed by mail, but you must meet certain qualifications to do so.
Otherwise, you are required to apply for a new passport at an acceptance facility. You are likely eligible for US passport renewal if your passport fulfills all of the following requirements:
- The document is less than 15 years old.
- It was issued prior to your 16th birthday.
- It reflects your current name (unless you provide a certified name change document).
- You are able to submit the passport with your renewal application.
If you are wondering how much does it cost to renew your passport, the price is the same as the cost for a new document. Additional fees are included if you choose expedited processing or one-to two-day shipping. When you are ready to mail your application, send it to the National Passport Processing Center located in Philadelphia, PA.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in New Jersey
As a form of identification, it is vital that you protect you passport document from damage, theft or loss. A damaged passport is considered invalid and therefore is not accepted for travel or identification purposes.
More importantly, failure to protect your passport from getting lost or stolen can even result in identify theft. In order to replace a damaged or missing passport, you must apply for a new document in person.
Before you replace a lost or stolen passport, you must first report the missing document to the US Department of State. That way, the document cannot be used by another person. There are three ways to file a report for a missing passport:
- Over the phone
- By mail
You must submit a lost passport form, regardless of the reporting method you use. This form is easily submitted online or through the mail. If you choose to report by phone, you must turn in this document when you apply for a new passport.
How to Complete a Passport Update in New Jersey
In most cases, you can submit applications for name changes or corrections by mail. Conversely, changes to the sex designation on your passport are only made in person. You must also present an ID card that reflects your current appearance.
To update a passport for any reason, you must submit the following items:
- Obtain your certified supporting document. This can be a marriage certificate for a name change or a medical certification for a sex marker change. To make a correction, you must include proof of the error.
- An application for an updated passport.
- A new passport photo. The new photo must reflect your current appearance.
- Provide your current passport. If this is damaged or lost, you must apply for a new document in person.
- Include the fee payment. Fees are not required for passport updates if you are making a correction or changing the name on a passport issued within the last year.
New Jersey Expedited Passport Service
It is a good idea to apply for your new passport before solidifying any international travel plans. That way, you can make sure to receive your document on time. Passport processing generally takes between four and six weeks.
However, some US passport locations are able to expedite the process for you. If you apply for this option at a local acceptance facility, you can receive your passport in less than four weeks. If you qualify for renewal by mail, you can also choose this option by writing “expedite” on your application envelope.
It is possible to get your passport application processed even sooner, but you must meet certain qualifications. Passport agencies are able to process your passport in less than two weeks. You must make an appointment and have proof of plans to travel within less than two weeks in order to qualify.
Unfortunately there are no agencies located in New Jersey, but there are two nearby. Make an appointment at the Philadelphia or New York City locations to get your passport fast. Keep in mind that US passport fees include an additional charge for expedited processing.