Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Brownsville Post Office is hosting a Passport Fair on Thursday, October 10th from 10AM to 12 noon to assist international travelers. Customers concerned with the looming REAL ID Act deadline may also consider applying for a passport. Fairs serve customers on a first come, first served basis. No appointments are needed. (There is a limited capacity for acceptance.)
You may need to allow for extra time if you are looking to apply for or renew a passport. According to the State Department, the average time for passport applications and renewals is currently six to eight weeks.
The Postal Service suggests travelers check the expiration date on their U.S. passport. Many countries require a passport have as much as six months’ validity remaining for entry.
The fees listed above must be paid with a personal check or money order. There is a $35 processing/acceptance fee and a $15 fee for photos, which can be paid for by cash, personal check, debit and credit cards or money order. The Passport Fair offices offer passport photo services.
Travelers are encouraged to apply for a passport several months before they are scheduled to travel overseas. However, for an additional fee, the State Department will expedite the application and process it within three weeks.
To apply for a passport, travelers need to complete Passport Application Form DS-11 (unsigned) and provide one of the following: a U.S. birth certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics (not a certificate of birth) or naturalization papers. Applicants must also show either a valid driver’s license, a previous or current U.S. passport book or card, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, military I.D. or a federal, state or municipal government employee I.D. card. Applicants 15 & under must be present with both parents unless consent is given; ages 16 & 17 require only one parent be present.
For more information about passport application requirements and to download forms, visit the State Department’s travel website at www.travel.state.gov.