Passports in West Virginia
Submitting a passport application in West Virginia, along with required identification documents, sets you on the right path to obtaining a passport. Passports are a necessity for international travel and can even serve as REAL ID compliant documentation. Acquiring a passport enables you to travel practically anywhere in the world.
There are many locations in West Virginia where you can submit your documents or ask for detailed answers regarding your personal circumstances. Passports typically take four to six weeks to process but there are ways to receive an expedited service. Keep reading this guide to learn how to get a passport application in West Virginia and get your own passport book or card.
Where to Get a Passport in West Virginia
There are two types of places where applicants can go to a get a passport application. They are available at passport agencies and offices. Both are considered passport acceptable facilities.
Passport agencies are U.S. Department of State offices, which processes and administers all U.S. passports. They are located regionally throughout the United States, so there isn’t one in every state or city. There are no agencies in West Virginia so applicants must go to either neighboring Pennsylvania or Washington, DC.
Passport offices on the other hand are locally based in cities and there are multiple locations within cities. County clerk’s offices, municipal buildings and post offices are the most common US passport locations in WV.
Passport offices typically accept both walk-ins and appointments, but it depends on the location. Agencies on the other hand only accept appointments for passport applications. Unlike offices, agencies only accept expedited passport applications so applicants must qualify to have their passport processed there.
West Virginia Passport Books vs. Cards
Although both contain the same personal information, there are differences between passport books vs. cards. A passport card is a REAL ID compliant form of identification. It allows holders of it to travel domestically across the United States and cross the sea and land borders of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
The passport card cost is less than a passport book due to its smaller size and decreased travel privileges. And, what is a passport book? Passport books on the other allow holders to travel both domestically and overseas.
They contain your identification information including country of origin, citizenship, date of birth and unique passport document number. The remaining pages of the passport are for visas and stamps acquired in the entry and exit of foreign countries.
How to Get a Passport in West Virginia
Those seeking to learn how to get a passport in West Virginia can start at their local passport office. There they can acquire a new passport application and fill it out. These applications are also available online.
While applicants can fill out the application online, they can only submit it in person. There is not an option for online or mail submission.
In addition to the application, individuals must submit proof of U.S. citizenship, a photo ID, Social Security Number and a passport appropriate color photo. Payment of the US passport fees is required for the application as well as the processing fee and can be paid for by check, money order or credit or debit card.
Passports for Minors
All U.S. citizens are required to hold their own passport to travel internationally, including minors. The application for minors follows the same procedure as for adult applications to receive a passport card or book. However, minors younger than 16 years of age must be accompanied by both of their parents when getting a new passport.
Applicants between 16 and 17 years of age must be accompanied by at least one parent. Parents who cannot be in attendance are required to attach a signed and notarized statement of consent along with a copy of their photo ID.
U.S. Passport Renewals in West Virginia
All U.S. passport holders are eligible for passport renewal. It is advised that passports are renewed six to nine months before their expiration dates. To renew a US passport, individuals must mail in their current passport, along with a passport renewal application and a new color photo.
Many question, “how much does it cost to renew your passport?” Passport renewals only require that you pay for the application and not a processing fee, so renewing a passport is cheaper than getting a new one. The option for an expedited passport is also available when renewing.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in West Virginia
For such a small document, it is not difficult for a passport to get lost, stolen or damaged. For a damaged passport, follow the procedures to obtain a new passport but make sure to submit your damaged passport with your documents along with a signed statement describing the damage.
To replace a lost passport, you first need to inform the Department of State. This can be accomplished by filling out and submitting a lost passport form.
The same must be done for a stolen passport. Then, to obtain a passport replacement, you are required to fill out a new passport application, submit the appropriate documents and pay the fees.
How to Complete a Passport Update in West Virginia
If your passport was delivered with inaccurate and misprinted information, you may qualify for a free passport update. Misprinted or inaccurate data includes incorrect spellings of names, sex or birthplace or incorrect numbers.
Missing data and discoloration could also qualify citizens to get a new passport. These changes can be accomplished by filling out a correction form with documents supporting the information change and either sending it the Department of State by mail or going to an agency in person.
Name changes also warrant for a passport update. However, only name changes made within a year of the passport’s issuance will be corrected with no fees. To accomplish this, passport holders can follow the same instructions as those for passport information correction.
Changes to a sex marker are determined by an individual’s stage of their transition. Those who have a two-year limited validity passport book or card can update to a full validity passport using the same process as above as long as the individual includes an ID that resembles their current appearance, a passport photo that resembles their current appearance and medical certification.
West Virginia Expedited Passport Service
Expedited passport services in West Virginia allow for applicants to get their passports sooner. Typical processing is four to six weeks but an expedited services can decrease that time to within two to three weeks.
An expedited passport in West Virginia is available for applicants seeking a new passport, renewal or replacement for a damaged, stolen or lost passport. For life or death emergencies, applicants can request to receive a passport in 72 hours at an agency.
Qualifying circumstances are injuries, illnesses or deaths. Applicants must supply proof of the family member’s condition as well as an expedited passport application and appropriate documentation.