Passports in Texas
Residents need to complete a passport application in Texas in order to be able to travel outside of the country. Passports verify a person’s country of citizenship as well as serves as a federal form of identification.
They can be used in place of identification cards supplied by state Department of Motor Vehicles offices. Passports are printed and distributed by federally managed offices like Post Offices and Department of State buildings.
Both a U.S. passport card and passport book are REAL ID compliant and it is beneficial for all U.S. citizens to carry a passport document. This is because these documents are valid in all federal buildings and will allow travelers to cross state and country borders with ease. Continue reading below to learn about how to get a passport application, where to apply, how to renew and more.
Where to Get a Passport in Texas
There are several places certified to provide assistance and documents for people wondering where to get a passport. The most common places are Post Offices. Below you will learn about the other US passport locations that offer passport services.
Post offices, certain public libraries or clerk of courts are considered eligible US passport locations. These types of locations often have limited walk-in hours but some also require appointments.
Some passport offices offer on-site passport photo services. Waiting times for these passport locations may vary depending on the time of day and the amount of people waiting in line.
Passport agencies are regional Department of State offices and are one place to consider getting a new passport at. Unlike passport offices, they require appointments. Applicants must be eligible to apply at an agency. Eligible applicants are those who are traveling internationally in less than two weeks or need a foreign visa within the next four weeks and have proof of an international trip.
Agencies primarily serve travelers who need an expedited passport. These types of passports add an extra fee on top of all other passport fees. Agencies can also perform a passport update in the case of errors on your current credential without a fee or appointment.
Texas Passport Books vs. Cards
There is often confusion about passport books vs. cards. The U.S. Department of State can issue a passport book and passport card or just the card alone. Continue reading below to understand the distinction between passport cards and books.
The passport card is similar to a state issued ID in that it can function domestically, but not necessarily for air travel. Passport cards became available to accommodate the needs of residents on America’s borders.
The card may be used to cross the borders of Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea-port as well as suffice for domestic U.S. travel. The passport card cost is less for applicants younger than 16 years old than for it is for older applicants. Mail order renewals require an additional fee payment.
People often wonder “what is a passport book?” and how it is different from a passport. A passport book is the U.S. Passport. Unlike a passport card, books permit international air travel in addition to domestic.
Passport books contain the same information as the passport card such as country of origin, identity and nationality. The book form allows for stamps of entry and exit of foreign countries.
How to Get a Passport in Texas
Passports are available for all U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals. Applicants of any age are eligible to obtain a passport application.
However, 16 years of age is the dividing line for application prices; older applicants must pay more. In addition, passport applicants must have qualifying photo identification.
Methods for Applying
Applicants are able to obtain a passport application online or at any passport office or agency. While forms can be filled out at home, applicants can only complete and submit a new passport application at any passport servicing location.
Required Documents, Forms, Fees and Other Materials
The first step in acquiring a passport involves filling out a passport application form. It can be acquired online and printed out or requested at a passport servicing location. With you, you must bring certain documents like evidence of citizenship and identification.
Then, you must supply a photo. It can be a 2 inch by 2 inch photo supplied by you (that satisfies passport photo requirements) or taken at the US passport location. US passport fees can be paid for using debit or credit cards, cashier’s or certified checks or a money order.
Passports for Minors and Other Special Cases
For child applicants younger than 15 years old, both parents must be present to complete the passport application process. If one parent is not available, he or she must provide a signed and notarized Statement of Consent to be brought with the child. US passport fees are lower for minors.
Child applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age need only one parent present. Children too require proof of citizenship. Their passports are also only valid for up to five years until they turn 16 years of age.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Texas
U.S. passports require renewals every 10 years. To renew a US passport, you must complete a passport application and your current passport cannot be damaged beyond normal wear and tear. US passport renewal is required nine months before the expiration date. Some countries allow the passport to be within six months of expiration though.
After filling out the application to renew your US passport, you can submit it to your local passport office or agency with your most recent passport, payment and passport photo. Unlike new passport applications though, you may send in your documents and payment through the mail to a State Department office.
Residents often ask “how much does it cost renew your passport?” Renewals cost no more than brand new passports. They also eligible for an expedited passport service and overnight delivery at an extra cost.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Texas
Because it is not uncommon for people to lose their passports, there are clear instructions on how to replace a lost passport in Texas. Passport replacement for a stolen or lost passport involves notifying the Department of state. There is a lost passport form available online or in person.
Immediately reporting a lost, stolen or damaged passport helps to protect you from identity theft. A lost or stolen passport will be deemed invalid and cannot be used for international travel.
You can begin the process to replace a lost passport at any time after you report the incident to the Department of State. You must apply for a brand new passport by filling out a new passport application form, submitting appropriate documents and paying the fees.
Replacing a damaged passport involves submitting your current passport with the new application. Both applications can only be submitted in person.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Texas
A passport update in Texas may be completed for things like name changes, misprinted or incorrect information or discoloration. Applicants are exempt from paying US passport fees for correcting data or printing errors.
Correcting those kinds of issues involves submitting at a passport correction form and any required supporting documents such as a form showing the correct spelling of your name. Name changes that are requested within the same year that the passport was issued are free. They require applicants to fill the same form for corrections, submit their current passport and submit a colored photo with an original name change document.
Applicants requesting a name change more than one year after receiving their passport or do not have supporting name change documents must pay fees. Unlike new passports, applications for a passport update are allowed to be sent to a State Department office by mail.
Texas Expedited Passport Service
Applicants can elect to undergo an expedited passport process for several reasons. They may be traveling abroad in the next few weeks or may simply wish to receive it earlier than the usual four to six weeks. An expedited passport is available at any time an applicant completes a passport application whether it be for a brand new passport or renewal or replacement for a damaged, stolen or lost passport.
Individuals who choose the expedited option will be able to travel sooner especially those who must travel for an emergency. People who need to travel internationally due to an immediate family member’s disease, death or injury may be eligible to receive a passport in 24 to 48 hours. Travelers who need a passport within two weeks are also eligible to receive an expedited passport as long as they supply proof of their upcoming travel arrangements.