“PASSPORTS FOR DUMMIES”
Okay, so you want to visit Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) but you heard that the United States is requiring passports for return travel into the U.S. after June 1, 2009. What do you need to do? Well, we have crafted a guide in the spirit of the “for DUMMIES”‡ books. This is a comprehensive and simple guide to all the information and forms that you will need to apply for your U.S. Passport. We have taken the guess work out of the whole process. Here it goes…
I need a U.S. Passport and have never applied for one before. Where do I start? Well, if this is your first time applying, you need to do it in person. Lucky for you, you can download the form from the computer, fill it out, and have it ready when you go to the Acceptance Facility. (I will give you the list of those facilities a little later in this guide.) To get a copy of the form online click on http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/79955.pdf. You will need to take a few things with you to complete your application. You will need proof of citizenship (certified birth certificate, etc.), proof of identity (driver’s license, certificate of naturalization, military id, etc.), two recent color photographs, and your fee. Where do you get the two recent color photographs, you might ask? Well, you can go to most Walgreens or CVS photo departments and get them taken quickly and usually for less than $10. You can also create your own at http://www.epassportphoto.com for free. Pretty simple, huh? So now you’re wondering how much is all of this going to cost me. Well, you actually have a couple of options…
If you are going to travel outside of North America you have to get a U.S. Passport Booklet. If you are going to limit your travel to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the countries of the Caribbean by land or sea you can get a U.S. Passport Card. This is a quicker and cheaper alternative than the U.S. Passport Booklet. For more details on the Passport Card go to http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html. Okay, okay, so tell me what I actually have to pay? Well, the U.S. Passport Booklet is $100 for adults 16 years and older, and $85 for minors under age 16. The U.S. Passport Card is $45 for adults 16 years and older, and $35 for minors under age 16. For the detailed list of fees go to the link at http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/fees/fees_837.html. For a minor under age 16 you have to fill out an additional form, and will have some other special instructions. The consent form can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/80106.pdf. The easiest option is to have both parents present at the Acceptance Facility when applying for a U.S. Passport Booklet or Card. If that is not possible, there are some other options. To read more, go to http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html.
So you have all your forms filled out, all your identification and two great-looking photos. Now where do I go? Well, lucky for you we have a list of Acceptance Facilities within 150 miles of Phoenix, which covers a lot of ground. Just click on the link to see all the locations with their addresses and phone numbers at http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/DefaultForm.aspx. If you don’t see a location near you just type in your zip code and find one closer. It’s pretty darn simple.
Alright, let’s say I want to take my family to Puerto Peñasco for vacation in June, but am worried that we won’t get the passports back in time before we leave. Is there any way to get it done faster? You bet! As of right now you can only expedite the U.S. Passport Booklet, not the Card. However, the Card is normally processed much quicker than the Booklet anyway. If you want to expedite the Booklet it will cost an additional $60. In some cases it can be done in less than 3 weeks. You will need to inquire at the Acceptance Facility for the current turn-around time. The closer it gets to June 1, 2009 the more people will be applying. So, the sooner you turn in your application the better off you will be. For more information on expedited passport services click on http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_831.html.
So now that you have seen how easy it is to get your U.S. Passport Booklet or Card, what are you waiting for? Get it done! And when you get your new documents in the mail why don’t you hightail it down to Mexico and enjoy our beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches. We hope to see you soon…
Thanks to whomever wrote this - for more information about Rocky Point give us a call
RE/MAX Rocky Point
‡ This statement does not reflect an association in any way with the “for DUMMIES” series of books, authors or their representatives. We are in no way representing or endorsing any of the aforementioned.