3 On Your Side: Applying For Passports

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Does the warm weather have you thinking about summer and maybe taking a vacation? Well if that trip involves going abroad, you’ll need a passport.

As soon as you know that you are leaving the country, start thinking about your passport.

First, check the expiration date. If you need to renew or you don’t have a passport, it’s time to do some research.

You need to factor in cost and processing time. Passports start at $110 for adults and $80 for minors, plus you have to pay a $25 processing fee.

Routine passport applications are currently being processed within four to six weeks.

If you need a passport in a hurry, prepare to pay $60 in addition to the regular application fees, plus any overnight mail costs. Expedited service currently takes two to three weeks.

Sometimes an application by mail isn’t enough. The government says you have to apply in person at a designated agency if:

You’re applying for the first time.

You’re under the age of 16 or were under the age of 16 when you got your previous passport.

If your previous passport was lost, stolen, damaged or issued more than 15 years ago.

Or, if you’ve changed your name.

There can be lots of special requirements and forms depending on your age, circumstance and location.

To ensure that your trip doesn’t take off without you, check out the U.S. State Department website where the most up-to-date information can be found.

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