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  1. What is an Emergency Passport Slot (EPS) and why do I need to reserve it?
  2. I submitted my application to the passport agency directly. Can you help me?
  3. What is a passport?
  4. How long is a passport valid for?
  5. When do I need a passport to travel?
  6. Do I need to obtain a separate passport for my child?
  7. What do I do if my name has changed?
  8. What else should I know about passports?
  9. Is there any reason my passport application would be denied?
  10. What should I do if my passport Is lost or stolen?
  11. My child is too young to sign the passport. Do I sign my child's passport?
  12. I'm renewing my passport. Do I get the old one back?
  13. Is the US Passport Office open on the weekends? Holidays?
  14. What is a Passport Acceptance Facility?
  15. Why do I need to appear in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility?
  16. Is my proof of citizenship returned?
  17. Why are the documents placed in an envelope and sealed by the Acceptance Agent?
  18. What is the difference between a passport and a visa?
  19. What does Passport Visa Express.com do?
  20. Are documents submitted to you secure?
  21. What should I do if my baby is born abroad?
  22. What do I do if I was born abroad and there is no birth record on file?
  23. How do I claim US Citizenship if my parents were naturalized?
  24. I have run out a blank visa pages on my passport, what do I do?
  25. How do I obtain copies of my Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350)?
  26. Do I have to provide my Social Security Number?
  27. How do I obtain my diplomatic, official or regular no-fee passport?
  28. What is an E-Passport?
  29. Who should maintain a valid U.S. passport?
  30. I was recently married/divorced. How do I change my name on my passport?
  31. I found someone's lost passport, what should I do with it?
  32. My passport has been damaged. Can I continue to use this passport?
  33. How do I get information about my child's passport, or, prevent passport issuance to my child?
  34. It is true that passport applications for minors under 16 require the consent of both parents and legal guardians?
  35. What is the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)?
  36. How do I get a certified copy of my U.S. birth certificate?
  37. What do I do if there is no birth record for me on file anywhere?
  38. I was born abroad. How do I get one or more copies of my birth record?
  39. How do I replace my lost or damaged Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)?
  40. How do I amend my Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)?
  41. Why did the Department of State create a new Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)
  42. I was married overseas. How do I get one or more copies of my marriage certificate?
  43. I lost a loved one overseas. How do I get one or more copies of the death certificate?
  44. How do I obtain copies of a previous passport application?

Answers:


1.
What is an Emergency Passport Slot (EPS) and why do I need to reserve it? (Top)

An Emergency Passport Slot (EPS) is a guaranteed reserved application submission. The U.S. Passport Agency has a limited number of Emergency Processing Slots (EPS). If your departure date is in 5 business days or less, you must call Passport Visas Express.com immediately at (888) 596-6028 to reserve an Emergency Passport Slot. If you do not reserve an EPS there is no guarantee we will be able to honor your request for Emergency Passport Processing.

2.
I submitted my application to the passport agency directly. Can you help me? (Top)

Unfortunately, if you have submitted an application directly to the US Passport Agency, we are unable to assist you. You must call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

3.
What is a passport? (Top)

A passport is an officially recognized government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship and permit's a citizen to travel abroad and the case of a United States passport to re-enter the United States.

4.
How long is a passport valid for? (Top)

A passport's validity is determined by the applicant's age: Age 16 and older- 10 year validity Age 15 and under- 5 year validity

5.
When do I need a passport to travel? (Top)

The answer depends upon the country you are planning to visit. A passport is required by most countries in order to enter. A document indicating proof of citizenship is always required to re-enter the United States. In some instances when traveling by car or overland (Mexico, Canada, etc.), a valid passport card will suffice as the proof of citizenship; however, as indicated many countries require a passport to gain entry. The United States State Department "recommends" a passport as evidence of citizenship in ALL cases.

6.
Do I need to obtain a separate passport for my child? (Top)

Yes. All persons, including newborn infants, are required to obtain passports in their own names.

7.
What do I do if my name has changed? (Top)

If you need to get a valid passport amended due to a name change, use Form DS-5504. You will need to submit the original court document indicating the name change along with the DS-5504 form and your current passport for amendment.

8.
What else should I know about passports? (Top)

Before traveling abroad, make a copy of the identification page so it is easier to get a new passport, should it be necessary. It is also a good idea to carry two extra passport-size photos with you. You should also check to see if you have run out of visa pages. Please note the last few pages of your passport are for amendments only and cannot be used for adding visas to your passport.

9.
Is there any reason my passport application would be denied? (Top)

The most common reason passport applications are denied is due to applicants not submitting the required information. For example; a photocopy of a birth certificate or passport photos that are on a dark background. The Passport Agency screens an applicant's background during the application process. Passports will be denied for the following reasons: 1. Outstanding child support 2. Outstanding Felony/Criminal Warrant (Not including Civil infractions or parking tickets) Prior Felony Conviction that prohibits international travel

10.
What should I do if my passport Is lost or stolen? (Top)

If your valid passport is lost or stolen, you can report the loss when you apply for a new passport. In addition to Form DS-11, you will need to complete Form DS-64, "Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport." You may also call 202-955-0430 to report the loss or theft of your passport. It is further advisable to report the loss or theft to your local police department. If you are abroad, immediately report the loss to local police authorities and the Consular Section of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

11.
My child is too young to sign the passport. Do I sign my child's passport? (Top)

In the space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print the child's name and sign their own name. Then, in parenthesis by the parent's name, write the word (mother) or (father) so the Passport Agency knows who signed for the child.

12.
I'm renewing my passport. Do I get the old one back? (Top)

Yes, we return the old, cancelled passport to you. It is a good idea to keep it in a safe place as it is considered proof of your U.S. citizenship.

13.
Is the US Passport Office open on the weekends? Holidays? (Top)

No. The US Passport Office is also closed on weekends. The US Passport Office observes national holidays.

14.
What is a Passport Acceptance Facility? (Top)

A Passport Acceptance Facility is a government agency, such as a Main Branch Post Office or a local Clerk of the Court, which has been given the authority by the Department of State to act on its behalf in assisting US citizens applying for passports. An agent at the Passport Acceptance Facility will check that your application is in proper order and prepare it for submission.

15.
Why do I need to appear in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility? (Top)

You need to appear before the official in order to pledge an oath that you have faithfully and truthfully completed the application for a US passport. You will be asked to sign the application after having sworn to the oath. Your signature will attest to your having done so. The official will check your state issued ID to verify your signature and physical description.

16.
Is my proof of citizenship returned? (Top)

Yes. Your proof of citizenship is returned along with your newly issued passport. Any documentation used to show proof of name change will also be returned to you.

17.
Why are the documents placed in an envelope and sealed by the Acceptance Agent? (Top)

This procedure ensures the Department of State that no one has tampered with your application prior to submission. Do not open the envelope! Breaking the seal will invalidate the procedure and the application will be cancelled regardless of your travel circumstance. The sealed envelope must be submitted for processing within 5 business days or the execution becomes invalid.

18.
What is the difference between a passport and a visa? (Top)

A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The passport serves two purposes: to regain entry to the country of citizenship (i.e. the United States) and is a requirement by many countries to gain entry to the country you are visiting. A visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country you are visiting. Many countries require a visa to gain entry. The visa usually is in the form of a stamp placed on one of the visa pages in your passport and is obtained from the country you are visiting.

19.
What does Passport Visa Express.com do? (Top)

Passport Visa Express.com assists individuals, travel agents, and corporate travel departments, allowing them to meet travel deadlines without worry. We understand the passport process can be confusing, time-consuming, and extremely stressful when your trip is on the line. Passport Visa Express.com is not a government agency, but we work face-to-face with the US Passport Agency, the Department of State, and foreign Consulates, to get passports and visas processed and back to our customers in time for their trips.

20.
Are documents submitted to you secure? (Top)

Passport Express is a passport-expediting service registered with offices of the US Passport Agency to act as an agent on behalf of US Citizens in need of a passport quickly. Our services also receive recommendation from several reputable organizations including The Washington Post, Budget Travel Magazine, travel agencies and was named the top rated Passport Service Provider by Top Consumer Reviews.com Our privacy policy explains more in depth the steps taken to insure the security of all information provided to Passport Visa Express.com by our clients and customers.

21.
What should I do if my baby is born abroad? (Top)

The birth of a child abroad to parent(s) who are U.S. Citizen(s) should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to establish an official record of the child's claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record is a Consular Report of Birth of a Citizen of the United States of America, or Form FS-240. This document, know as the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, is a basic United States citizenship document. An original FS-240 is furnished to the parents at the time the registration is approved. A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at a U.S. embassy or consulate. It cannot be prepared if the child has been brought back into the United States, or, if the person is 16 years of age or older at the time the application is made.

22.
What do I do if I was born abroad and there is no birth record on file? (Top)

If you were born in a foreign country to a U.S. citizen parent or parents and your parent did NOT register your birth in the form of a Consular Report of Birth FS-240, you can apply to your local office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service for a Certificate of Citizenship to document your U.S. citizenship. If you submit satisfactory documentary proof that you acquired citizenship at birth, a Certificate of Citizenship will be issued in your name. For more information, you can contact your local office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. You may consult your local phone book for the telephone number listed under the U.S. Department of Justice. Note: a U.S. passport, even if expired, also serves as proof of U.S. citizenship.

23.
How do I claim US Citizenship if my parents were naturalized? (Top)

If you claim US Citizenship through the Naturalization of your parent(s), submit the Certificate(s) of Naturalization of your parent(s), your foreign birth certificate, and proof of your admission to the United States for permanent residence.

24.
I have run out a blank visa pages on my passport, what do I do? (Top)

If your current, valid passport is running out of visa pages AND will not expire for more than 1 year you can add additional visa pages to your passport. If your passport will expire within a year we highly recommend you renew your passport instead.

25.
How do I obtain copies of my Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350)? (Top)

As of December 2010, the Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350) is no longer issued. Instead, you may request multiple copies of your Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240). All previously issued DS-1350s are still valid as proof of identity, citizenship and for other legal purposes.

26.
Do I have to provide my Social Security Number? (Top)

Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6039E) requires you to provide your Social Security Number (SSN), if you have one, when you apply for a U.S. passport or renewal of a U.S. passport.  Failure to provide your Social Security Number may result in significant processing delays and/or the denial of your application. 

If you have not been issued a SSN, enter zeros in box #5 of the passport application form you are completing.

Contact the Social Security Administration to request a Number. If you are residing abroad, you must also provide the name of the foreign country in which you are residing. The U.S. Department of State must provide your SSN and foreign residence information to the Department of Treasury. If you fail to provide the information, you are subject to a $500 penalty enforced by the IRS. All questions on this matter should be directed to the nearest IRS office.

27.
How do I obtain my diplomatic, official or regular no-fee passport? (Top)

The Special Issuance Agency, located in Washington, D.C., issues no-fee passports to citizens traveling abroad for the U.S. Government, their dependents (if permitted to accompany them), and certain others who are exempt by law from payment of the passport fee.

28.
What is an E-Passport? (Top)

An Electronic Passport is the same as a traditional passport with the addition of a small integrated circuit (or chip) embedded in the back cover. The chip stores:
  • The same data visually displayed on the data page of the passport;
  • A biometric identifier in the form of a digital image of the passport photograph, which will facilitate the use of face recognition technology at ports-of-entry;
  • The unique chip identification number; and
  • A digital signature to protect the stored data from alteration.


29.
Who should maintain a valid U.S. passport? (Top)

Passport Services recommends that the following U.S. citizens maintain valid U.S. passports. Those:
  • with family living or traveling abroad
  • thinking about a vacation abroad, or
  • with a job that could require international travel.

In the event of an emergency involving a family member abroad, a short-notice airfare bargain, or an unexpected business trip, already having a valid U.S. passport will save time, money and stress.



30.
I was recently married/divorced. How do I change my name on my passport? (Top)

You will need to complete Form DS-5504: Application for a U.S. Passport: Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement, within one year of the issuance date of your current valid passport and submit along with the following:
  • The same data visually displayed on the data page of the passport;
  • The passport to be replaced
  • Certified documentation of your name change (e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree with your new name); and
  • One recent passport photo.

After one year of the issuance date you must submit Form DS-82: Application for Passport by Mail, your current passport, certified documentation of your name change, one recent passport photo, and pay all applicable fees.



31.
I found someone's lost passport, what should I do with it? (Top)

Please mail found passport, using a sturdy envelope, to:

U.S. Department of State
Passport Services
Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036



32.
My passport has been damaged. Can I continue to use this passport? (Top)

If your passport has been significantly damaged, especially the book cover or the page displaying your personal data and photo, you will need to apply for a new passport. You will need to submit the following:
  • The damaged passport
  • Form DS-11
  • All documents required by Form DS-11, including citizenship documentation (i.e. birth certificate)

Water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch and other injuries may constitute “damage” requiring use of Form DS-11.

Normal wear of a U.S. passport is understandable and likely does not constitute “damage”. For instance, the expected bend of a passport after being carried in your back pocket or fanning of the visa pages after extensive opening and closing. In most cases of normal wear, you may renew your passport by mail using Form DS-82.

Please remember, if you try to renew a significantly damaged passport using Form DS-82, you may be asked by the Passport Agency to apply again using Form DS-11 and incur additional fees.



33.
How do I get information about my child's passport, or, prevent passport issuance to my child? (Top)

Parents involved in international custody disputes may receive information about the United States passport of a minor from the Department of State, Passport Services.

For passport assistance for parents and information on International Child Abduction see Passport Assistance - International Child Abduction.



34.
It is true that passport applications for minors under 16 require the consent of both parents and legal guardians? (Top)

Effective February 1, 2008, Public Law 106-113, Section 236 requires that U.S. passport applications for children under the age of 16 require both parents' or legal guardians' consent.

35.
What is the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)? (Top)

Separate from the Two-Parent Consent requirement for U.S. passport issuance for minors under the age of 14, parents may also request that their children's names be entered in the U.S. passport name-check system. The Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program provides:
  • Notification to parents of passport applications made on behalf of minor children, and
  • Denial of passport issuance if appropriate court orders are on file with CPIAP.

For more information, contact the Office of Children's Issues at 1-888-407-4747 or by email at ChildrensPassports@state.gov.



37.
What do I do if there is no birth record for me on file anywhere? (Top)

If you were born in the U.S. and there is no birth record on file, you will need several different documents to substantiate your citizenship. You will need:
  • A letter of no record issued from the Vital Statistics office of the state of your birth with your name and what years were searched for your birth record.
  • Early public records to prove your birth in the U.S. Learn More

If you were born outside the U.S. and your U.S. parent(s) did not register your birth at the U.S. embassy or consulate, you may apply for a U.S. passport. You will need:

  • Your foreign birth certificate showing both of your parents' names
  • Evidence of your parent(s) U.S. citizenship and
  • Your parents' marriage certificate Learn More


38.
I was born abroad. How do I get one or more copies of my birth record? (Top)

Request a Certification of Report of Birth or learn more about birth records for U.S. citizens and nationals born abroad.

If you were born in the Panama Canal Zone, learn how to request multiple copies of your PCZ Birth Certificate.

As of December 31, 2010, the Department of State no longer issues the Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350). All previously issued DS-1350s are still valid as proof of identity and citizenship.



39.
How do I replace my lost or damaged Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)? (Top)

If your Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) is lost or damaged, learn how to Request a Replacement.

40.
How do I amend my Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)? (Top)

To change a name or update your Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240), learn how to Request an Amendment.

41.
Why did the Department of State create a new Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) (Top)

The Department introduced a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) in January 2011. The new design has state-of-the-art security features to help prevent fraud and identity theft. The FS-240 is an official record confirming that a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and serves as proof of citizenship.

You may now request multiple copies of your Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240).

As of December 2010, the Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350) is no longer issued. All previously issued FS-240 or DS-1350 documents are still valid as proof of identity, citizenship and for other legal purposes.



44.
How do I obtain copies of a previous passport application? (Top)

For information on how to obtain copies of your passport records seeObtain Copies of Passport Records.


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