Residents of Rhode Island that are preparing for an international trip will need to complete a U.S. passport application. Passports are travel documents used to verify a person’s citizenship and identity.

When travelling abroad, a passport allow U.S. citizens to access services offered by American embassies and consulates around the world. In fact, international travel is not possible without a valid passport.

If you do not already have one, you can apply for a new U.S. passport at a local passport acceptance facility. Typically, you will need to have a passport to even purchase a ticket on an international flight.

When you visit a new country, the immigration officers will verify your identity and stamp your passport book with their country’s official seal. Once you are ready to exit the country, your passport will be stamped once more.

Where to Get a New Passport in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, you must submit your new passport application in person at a passport acceptance facility. There are only 23 passport offices located throughout the state, mostly at post offices, courthouses or public libraries. If there are no locations nearby your home, check your neighboring towns.

Since these facilities serve other functions, they usually have established business hours. You may also be required to schedule an appointment before visiting a passport facility. In order to avoid delays, call ahead to see if you can walk-in or if you need to make an appointment to submit your passport application.

Note: Applications for a passport replacement or renewal must be submitted by mail. This process only applies to requests for new passports.

Rhode Island Passport Books vs. Cards

Since 2008, passports have been available to U.S. citizens as both the standard passport book and the new passport card. Both types are travel documents that prove your U.S. citizenship and remain valid for 10 years.

They provide information about your identity such as your name, birthday, home address and your photograph. Both documents are Real ID compliant, however, there are some significant differences between these two forms of passports.

What is a passport book?

For Rhode Islanders, the U.S. passport book is the key to traveling around the world. This small dark blue booklet with a national seal on the cover is mandatory for all international air travel to and from the United States. Passport books are larger than passport cards because they provide empty pages for international visa stamps, which permit entry into another country.

What is a passport card?

First issued in 2008, a passport card is a convenient pocket-sized card that can be used as a travel document in certain circumstances. Traveling by sea or land to neighboring countries such as Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean are the only cases in which a passport card can be used as a valid travel document. Due to the lower passport card cost, travelers who frequently visit those nations may prefer to get a new card instead of a passport book.

How to Get a Passport in Rhode Island

The passport application process in Rhode Island transpires the same way as the rest of the United States. The only eligibility requirement to receive a passport is to be a U.S. citizen, either through birth or naturalization. If you are eligible to receive a passport, the application methods differ depending on whether you are getting a new passport or renewing your current passport.

All applications for a passport replacement or renewal must be submitted by mail. Applications for new passports can only be processed in person at a passport acceptance facility. If any of the following circumstances apply, you must visit an acceptance facility in person:

  • You are applying for your first passport.
  • You are applying to replace a damaged, lost or stolen passport.
  • You are younger than 16 years old.
  • Your most recent passport was issued when you were younger than 16 years old.
  • Your most recent passport was issued over 15 years ago.

Required Documents

If you arrive at the passport office without the correct documents, your application may be denied and you will have to return later. In order to avoid this inconvenience, ensure that you bring the following documents with you:

  • A passport application
  • Proof of your citizenship or naturalization.
  • A valid photo ID or driver’s license.
  • A color photo for your passport (unless you took your picture at the post office).
  • Payment for U.S. passport fees.

Additional Requirements for a Child’s Passport

The application for a child’s U.S. passport has a few additional requirements in order to ensure the safety of children. Applicants must prove their relationship to the child.

Additionally, both parents must appear at the passport acceptance facility. If either of the parents cannot make it, they will sign a consent form that must be submitted with the rest of the application.

U.S. Passport Renewals in Rhode Island

Rhode Island passport renewals follow the same national procedure to renew a U.S. passport. All passport renewal applications are submitted and processed by mail. Moreover, you must be in possession of your most recent passport and it must be in good readable condition.

If your most recent passport was issued over 15 years ago or when you were younger than 16 years old, you will have to apply for a new passport. Otherwise, mail the following items to a National Passport Processing center to renew your passport:

  • Your current passport.
  • A completed passport renewal
  • A color passport-sized photograph.
  • Payment for renewal fees.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in Rhode Island

A damaged passport that is no longer legible will not be valid for international travel. If you have a passport that is damaged, you will need to replace it before you can travel internationally. Likewise, if you have a stolen or lost passport, you will also need a replacement.

Report any misplaced or stolen passports immediately to protect your personal information for potential identity theft. You can replace your lost passport whenever you like, but report a missing passport as soon as possible. You can file a missing passport report:

  • By mailing a completed and signed lost passport form.
  • By calling the National Passport Information Center.
  • By filing a report online on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

How to Complete a Passport Update in Rhode Island

After certain life events such as marriages or divorces, you may need to perform a passport name change to update your passport and other vital records. There are three different situations that dictate the update process.

  1. If your passport was issued less than one year ago, you will not have to pay any fees for your passport update.
  2. If your passport was issued over one year ago, you must apply in person and bring your certified name change documents.
  3. If you are already using your new name but you have no certified documents for record, you will need two other people to vouch for your name change. These two people must have known you by both names and they will need to sign an affidavit. You will also be required to submit three certified or original public records showing that you have been using your new name for at least five years.

Note: Data or printing errors can be submitted for correction free of charge.

Rhode Island Expedited Passport Service

The standard processing time for passports is around four to six weeks, but you can order an expedited passport if you need yours in a hurry. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for different application processing times. In Rhode Island, you can request expedited services for:

  • Standard passport applications.
    • All applications can be expedited for a fee.
    • Passports will be processed in less than four weeks.
  • Urgent travel plans.
    • You must provide proof of your imminent travel plans.
    • You must make an appointment and visit your nearest passport agency in Boston.
    • Passports will be processed in around two weeks.
  • Life-or-death emergencies (within 72 hours).
    • Call and request the emergency passport services provided by the National Passport Information Center.
    • Standard passport application documents are required.
    • You must provide proof of the crisis.
    • Passports will be processed within one to two days.
Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.