Passports in New York
Submitting a New York passport application is an important part of your international travel preparations. A passport is necessary any time you wish to travel between countries, whether by land, sea or air. With this in mind, it is a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to apply for a passport before your trip. To apply, you must decide if you want a passport card or book, and submit the necessary documents.
Similarly, it is important to replace a damaged or lost passport, or apply for renewal if your document is expired. You can also apply to update your current document if you recently changed your information. There are specific requirements for each of these processes. Fortunately, the following guidelines contain all of the basic information you need to get your passport in no time.
Where to Get a Passport in New York
There are several places to submit a NY passport application, depending on your needs. For routine services, you can visit a local acceptance facility. These services are offered throughout the state at locations like libraries, municipal offices and post offices. Acceptance facilities review and submit your application to the US Department of State, which handles processing. Before you visit a facility, make sure to gather the following for your application:
- A completed but unsigned application.
- A valid photo ID card and proof of citizenship. Make sure to bring a certified copy or original, along with additional photocopies to submit with your application.
- A passport photo. The acceptance facility may offer this service for a small fee. Otherwise, you must obtain an acceptable picture from a photo center.
- The application and processing fees. While the facility may accept debit or credit for the processing fee, you must provide a check or money order for the application fee.
- Proof of parental consent or awareness, for applicants younger than 18. If you are applying for your child, both of you must be present.
You also have the option to apply for expedited passport services at acceptance facilities to get your passport faster. However, you must apply at an official passport agency if you need your documents in less than two weeks. More information on this is provided in a later section. Either way, you need to decide if you want a passport card or book in order to complete your application.
New York Passport Books vs Cards
Passport documents are available in two formats: a book and a card. While both of these are accepted for international travel, they have several differences. It is important to compare these differences to help you choose the document that best suits your travel needs.
To start with, you must first determine “What is a passport book?” The book option is the traditional passport format, and is accepted for all types of international travel. This includes international road trips, cruises or flights. Alternatively, the card option is similar to a driver’s license and is more limited. Cards are only accepted at US border crossings and for sea travel, but not for air travel.
The passport card cost is also different from the book. Cards are the more affordable option, but may not fit your travel plans. Keep in mind that the application process for either of these options is the same. You even have the option to purchase both the card and the book with your application, for extra convenience.
How to Get a Passport in New York
Whether you are getting a new passport or replacing a damaged or missing one, you must submit your application in person. This is so that the acceptance facility is able to verify your identity and your documents. When you are ready to apply, follow these five easy steps:
- Gather the necessary documents, outlined above.
- Find your nearest acceptance facility. Keep in mind that certain locations require an appointment.
- Present your documents and sign your application.
- Take your photo, if you did not bring one with you. Make sure to follow the proper proto guidelines.
- Pay the application and processing fees. Include the additional fee for expedited processing, if applicable.
Keep in mind that if you are replacing your document, you must complete additional steps. The same is true for renewal, which is only possible if you meet specific qualifications. You can learn more about NY passport replacement and renewal in the following sections.
US Passport Renewals in New York
In order to renew US passport documents, you must submit your application by mail. However, not all passports are eligible for this option. If you are unable to meet the following requirements, you must submit an application for a new passport instead. You are likely eligible for US passport renewal by mail if your passport is:
- Less than 15 years old.
- Issued in your current name, unless you provide a certified name change document.
- An adult passport, issued after your 16th birthday.
- Undamaged and able to be submitted with your renewal application.
If you are eligible for passport renewal, you must mail your application to the National Passport Processing Center located in Irving, TX. Make sure to include your application form, your current passport, a new photo and the fee payment. The next important question is “How much does it cost to renew your passport in NY?” Overall, renewals cost the same as the original document, depending on which format you chose. However, if you select expedited processing or one to two-day shipping, you must pay additional fees.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in New York
If you have a damaged passport or your document goes missing, it is important to replace it before your trip. Damaged documents cannot be used for travelling or verifying your identity, because they are considered invalid. Likewise, you must be able to present the document in order to use it for travel. The process to replace your damaged or missing passport is generally the same as the process to get a new one.
However, a lost or stolen passport involves one additional step. If your document is missing, you must report it to the Department of State. Your passport can be used to steal your identity if it is not rendered invalid by the authorities. To report your document, you must submit a lost passport form either online, by mail or in person. If you plan to submit the form in person, make sure to file a verbal report over the phone as soon as possible. Once this step is completed, you can submit your application for a new passport.
How to Complete a Passport Update in New York
As an identification document, your passport must reflect your current identity, including your legal name. With this in mind, it may be necessary to update your passport for a few different reasons. In order to complete an update you must submit a supporting document, a new photo and your current passport with your application. You can learn about the specific requirements for each type of update below.
- Name Change: To update your passport name, you need to present a certified name change document or your amended driver license. If you update the name on a passport that is less than a year old, you do not have to pay an application fee. You can make this type of update by mail as long as your passport is undamaged.
- Sex Marker Change: You must visit one of the many US passport locations in order to update the sex marker on your passport. Along with your application, you must submit a medical certification signed by a physician.
- Correction or Printing Error: Error corrections are made at no charge to you. However, you must mail in proof of the error with your application.
New York Expedited Passport Service
It is important to take processing time into consideration when you submit your passport application. Routine processing times generally fall within four to six weeks. If you need your travel document before then, you must select the expedited shipping option. With this service, acceptance facilities can ensure that your document is delivered in less than four weeks. This option is also available for renewals, if you write “expedite” on the application envelope. You must mail your application to the National Passport Processing Center in Philadelphia, PA.
In the event that you have impending travel plans or an emergency, you must take different steps to get your passport in time. Mainly, you must make an appointment with an official passport agency within two weeks of your trip. Fortunately, there are two passport agencies in NY for you to choose from, located in New York City and Buffalo. At this appointment, you need to present proof of your travel plans along with your other required documents. Additional US passport fees are also incurred for expedited processing. You must include this in your application fee payment.