The Dagsboro Post Office, at 28290 Clayton St., Dagsboro, will host passport fairs from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 23, and Saturday, April 13. No appointment is necessary to process applications at these events, but they are limited to first-time passport applicants and children, who must submit Form DS-11. Many families with school-aged children find it hard to leave work early and take their children out of school to process their passport applications, and these two dates can help accommodate their needs.
Citizens who wish to renew existing passports must still do so by mail, preferably at least six months prior to the expiration date, using Form DS-82.
Travelers planning to go abroad in 2019 should be aware that it is important to check expiration dates on U.S. passports. Many countries require that one’s passport have as much as six months’ validity remaining for entry.
The Department of State is expecting a surge in passport renewals this year due to millions of passports set to expire. The United States passed a law 10 years ago requiring its citizens to have a passport for travel to all countries, including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The increased demand in passport renewals is anticipated to create processing delays, maybe as much as six weeks.
Adding to the uptick in passport applications are travelers with state driver’s licenses that don’t meet requirements of the Real ID Act (www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs), a 2005 law that requires stricter standards for state-issued IDs. As more states adopt these standards, driver’s licenses may not be adequate proof of identity to allow boarding of a domestic flight.
Customers have the option of applying for a passport book (good for all international travel) or the passport card (good only for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda).
Passport fees for adults ages 16 and older for are $30 for a passport card, $100 for a passport book and $140 for a passport card and book. Fees for minors are $15 for a card, $80 for a book and $95 for card and book.
The fees must be paid with a personal check or money order for each applicant; no exceptions. There is also a $35 processing/acceptance fee plus a $15 fee for photos, which can be paid by cash, personal check or money order.
Travelers are encouraged to apply for a passport several months before they are scheduled to travel overseas. The average time for passport applications and renewals is six weeks but, 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) at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/forms.html and provide either a U.S. birth certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics (not a certificate of birth) or naturalization papers, along with a photocopy of the documentation. 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 ID, or a federal, state or municipal government employee ID card, along with a photocopy of that information as well. Applicants ages 15 and under must be present with both parents unless consent is given; ages 16 and 17 require only one parent present.
Those renewing their passport may do so by going to www.travel.state.gov and filling out Form DS-82 (U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals) and mailing the renewal directly to Passport Services. Due to the sensitivity of the documents being sent, Passport Services recommends using a trackable mailing service when submitting the application.
For more information about passport application requirements and to download forms, go to www.travel.state.gov.