When planning to go abroad, remember to include a New Mexico passport application in your travel checklist. In order to travel outside of the United States, you must carry a passport with you as proof of your citizenship and identity. Otherwise, you may be barred from entering a foreign country or even from reentering the United States.

Whether you obtain a passport card or book, make sure to protect your travel document throughout your trip. A stolen, damaged or lost passport is a serious issue that can negatively affect your international travel plans.

A document that is severely damaged may not be accepted to board your flight or cross the border. More importantly, lost or stolen documents must be reported and replaced promptly, or you may run into consequences. Fortunately, you can find all of the information you need to apply for and maintain your passport documents below.

Where to Get a Passport in New Mexico

When it comes to submitting your NM passport application, there are plenty of locations to choose from. The U.S. Department of State designates certain buildings in every county as acceptance facilities.

Representatives at these facilities accept and review your forms before submitting them for processing. The following are examples of designated passport acceptance facilities:

  • County clerk offices
  • Libraries
  • Universities
  • Post office

If you require an expedited passport, acceptance facilities can usually fulfill this need as well. However, if you need your passport document in less than two weeks, you must visit an official agency instead.

Passport agencies are only located in certain states, and you must meet certain requirements to make an appointment. The application process for both of these options are outlined further in later sections.

New Mexico Passport Books vs Cards

You must decide whether you need the card or the book before you submit your application. While the application process is the same for either option, these documents have several differences. These differences are explained below:

  • What is a passport book? The book contains your passport document along with additional pages for entry stamps from the countries you visit. While this option is more expensive, it provides the most flexibility. The book is accepted for any form of travel, including international flights.
  • What is a passport card? The card is similar in form to your driver’s license. Unlike the book, the card is only accepted at U.S. border crossings and sea ports-of-entry. It cannot be used to board an international flight.

Make sure to take your travel needs and your budget into consideration before you decide on passport credentials. You also have the option to apply for both the card and the book on the same application.

In that case, you simply add the passport card cost and the cost for the book to your fee payment. Once you know which document you want, you can move on with the application process.

How to Get a Passport in New Mexico

The application process for your first passport is completed in just a few steps. First, you must collect the necessary documents. When getting a new passport in NM you will need:

  • An application. Make sure to complete the document but leave it unsigned.
  • A photo ID and citizenship document. These must be originals or certified copies. You must also bring photocopies of both documents for submission.
  • A passport photo. If your acceptance agency does not offer photo services, you must bring a valid photo from a third-party photo center.
  • Fee payment. This includes the application fee, which must be in the form of a check or money order, and the processing fee.
  • Proof of parental consent or awareness, if applicable. Children younger than 16 years of age must also have a parent present to apply for a passport.

Take these documents to an acceptance facility or passport agency in order to complete the application process. While there, a representative will look over the documents to make sure your application is in order and allow you to sign it. Your forms and payment are mailed to the U.S. Department of State for final processing, and your passport will arrive in four to six weeks.

U.S. Passport Renewals in New Mexico

It is important to renew US passport documents before they expire in order to continue using them. Adult passports are valid for 10 years from the issue date. Conversely, passports for children younger than 16 years of age are only valid for five years.

You can apply for US passport renewal by mail, but you must meet certain qualifications to do so. In order to renew the document, your passport must be:

  • An adult passport. Passports obtained before your 16th birthday do not qualify for renewal.
  • Less than 15 years old.
  • In your current name. If you require a name change, you must submit a valid name change document.
  • Undamaged and submitted with your application. If your current passport is damaged or missing, you must follow the procedures for replacement.

The next question is, “How much does it cost to renew your passport in New Mexico?” In general, the cost to renew the document is the same as the cost to apply for a new one.

However, if you choose expedited processing or one to two day shipping, additional fees are incurred. Submit the necessary fees along with your application, current passport and a new photo to the National Passport Processing Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in New Mexico

Your passport is not only helpful for travel, but it also serves as a valuable identification document. With this in mind, you need to protect your passport from any theft, loss or damage. If you present a damaged passport for travel or identification purposes, it will likely not be accepted.

Unfortunately, a stolen passport can be used to steal your identity. As such, it is important to notify the US Department of State if your passport becomes lost or stolen. Once your document is reported, the department renders it invalid so it cannot be used for identity theft or other crimes.

You must also submit a lost passport form in order to fully report your missing document. This can be done online, or by mail. If you choose to report your passport over the phone, you must complete additional steps. In this case, you must submit this form in person when you apply for a new passport document.

How to Complete a Passport Update in New Mexico

In order to update a passport for any reason, you must provide a new photo and your current passport with your application. For corrections, there are no application fees. This also applies to name changes made on passports less than one year old. The supporting documents needed for various passport updates are outlined below:

  • A sex designation change: To change the sex marker on your passport, you must apply in person and provide a signed medical certification from a physician.
  • A name change: You can usually change your passport name by mail. In fact, if your current passport is over a year old, you can apply to change your name during the renewal process. You must include a certified copy of your name change document or updated driver’s license with your application. The drivers license name change process may take longer than expected, so you must make sure to account for this process when applying for passport documents.
  • An error correction: Passport corrections can also be made by mail, as long as you include proof of the error.

If you are unable to submit your passport due to damage, loss or theft, you must follow the passport replacement procedures instead.

New Mexico Expedited Passport Service

The routine processing time for a passport is generally four to six weeks. In the event that you need your passport sooner, you have the ability apply for expedited processing. With this option, most US passport locations can deliver your document within two to three weeks

. Passport agencies are able to deliver your document faster, if you present proof of imminent travel plans or an emergency. You must make an appointment within two weeks of your trip in order to utilize this service.

Keep in mind that US passport fees include an additional fee for expedited services. All you need to do is select the expedited option on your application and pay all of the necessary fees.

You can also choose to expedite the renewal of your passport by writing “expedite” on the envelope. Make sure to mail your application to the processing center in Philadelphia.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.