Last year I took my first trip outside of the United States. We were planning a trip to the Bahamas, which now requires you to have a passport. Yes, you HAVE to have a passport!
That all sounds easy, but there are forms of ID that you will need in
order to get your passport, so before you hop into your car to get your
passport, you want to make sure you have the proper forms of ID on you,
otherwise they will deny you.
First and foremost, you will need to show up with a certified Birth Certificate!
We ran into a huge issue with this, because my boyfriend lost his
during his move into my house. We didn't know what to do, but we did
know that without one it would cause issues when trying to get his
I looked online for websites or services that would offer to send him a
new one. We could have went down to the township to get a new one, but
from what I heard doing things that way could take forever!
I found numerous websites online, but I was not sure which site I
could trust. Seeing that one site had a very good reputation for speedy,
fast, fully certified copies of birth certificates, I took my chances
and used their service.
The site was easy, and within 2 days he had his copy shipped to our home! Phew!
The website can be found here, and I highly recommend it. Although some sites say copies are not valid... this is not true. His was a copy but this site gives official copies with the RAISED NOTARY SEAL which is a must. (The
Notary Seal on birth certificate can be felt, it is sort of like a
raised embellishment with texture. If it is not raised it likely will be
Besides just your birth certificate, you will also want to bring photo
ID, for instance your license, government ID, or Military ID.
Also bring your social security card, as you will need it to add your
social security number to the passport application forms.
These forms can be found at the post office. Check your area for post offices that do passports. Not all post offices do them.
You can also bring 2 photographs with you to the post office, or you
can have them take the photos of you right at the post office. We had
this done at the post office as it made things easier for us.
Fill out your forms, bring them up to the post office desk, and wait
for your fees. If you need your passport in a rush you can pay an
additional fee to have them rushed to you. Otherwise it could take from
2-2 months for the passports to arrive to your door.