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Expedited Passports for Mother and Child

Both Hil and I needed to renew our passports.  I expedited the renewal for my trip down to Mexico in June and I received the new passport within 11 days of sending it off via US postal service.

Because mine was a renewal, within 15 years of original issue, I simply downloaded the paperwork off the  internet here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/renew/renew_833.htm

The normal fee for your passport by mail is $75 plus the mailing cost.  For expedited service the cost rises to $135 for passport renewal for US citizens over 16 PLUS the return overnight postage fee of $14.85 for a total of $149.85.  Add to that the overnight postage to send the package your total cost to expedite your passport rises to $164.70.

You need your original passport that was issued within 15 years, 2 recent passport photos, and marriage license or court decree if you changed your name since the last passport plus the check or money order for the expedited fees.

You now have a choice between a Passport Book and a Passport Card.  The Passport Card is ONLY good for Canada and Mexico.  If you never plan on going ANYWHERE else besides the Canada or Mexico the Passport Card should work for you.  I like the flexibility of the book.

As my wife says, “You Gotta Be Ready…”

Hilarys application was basically the same as mine.  She had to include our marriage license for the name change, but otherwise it was the same.  We went to the local CVS and they took the passport photos for $7.99.  Frankly I wasn’t impressed at either the quality of the picture or the price considering they stand you in front of a white backdrop and take a picture with a cheapy digital camera and then use the same instant print machine you would use for a 4×6 print that would cost you $0.29 for a single print and they charge you almost $8.00!

If you have a modicum of photo talent and a digital camera you can save a few bucks and pick a picture you like by using this FREE website at epassportphoto.com to make your own passport photo. We had sch a hard time with Emma’s photo at the CVS (red eye, poor resolution, crappy picture…) that we ran home and took an picture of Emma with a white pillow case as the backdrop against the wall.

Applying for a minor is a little trickier.  First, you must apply in person.  There are designated passport centers located in US post offices through out the country.  Click on the link to find a local passport acceptance agency.  They charge an additional $25 fee for processing the paperwork at the acceptance agency (i.e. Post Office most of the times).

As parents, we both had to show up and sign a consent document.  If one parent is unable to attend you can have the other parent sign a notarized document ahead of time and take it with you.  We also signed as witness for Emma since she didn’t have a second form of ID.

We needed a certified copy of Emma’s birth certificate and her Social Security Card (unsigned) as well.  Otherwise the application was pretty straight forward.

The passport application for a minor is located here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_830.html

I’d print one out and review it before hand and even fill it in as best you can, but don’t worry the agent will fill in the paperwork and review it for completeness for the $25 fee.

All the other fees were similar including the expedited fee.  The passport application for a new passport goes to a different location than the application for a renewal.  We were surprised when Emma James passport arrived ONE day after Hilary’s did.  Even then we received the passports within 4-5 business days (a weekend in between).  I wouldn’t count on it arriving that quick, but within 2 weeks would be reasonable.

You know an ICE COLD draft beer in Mexico is a very affordable price of approximately $1.25! Click Here to Buy Us a Beer.

2 comments to Expedited Passports for Mother and Child

  • Doug Davis

    Wish I was able to join you for your Mexico adventure. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you for a safe and successful journey.

  • John

    Another passport photo generator site:

    http://www.idphoto4you.com

    It uses face detection to set size and position of head.
    It is free
    Important:
    This site (www.idphoto4you.com) sets the correct crop angle,
    but epassportphoto doesn’t!
    (Angle correction is turnable (on/off) on idphoto4you).