Be Prepared to Travel
Passport – this is a formal document that identifies you and the country of your citizenship. If you do not already own a passport, you will want to apply for one immediately, since it can take 4-6 weeks to process your application. If you already own a passport, you will want to check the expiration date to verify the passport will not expire for at least 6 months after your trip dates. In the event that your passport will expire within 6 months of your trip, you will need to apply for a renewal before the trip.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, please speak with the Missions Ministry staff as soon as possible to find out if there are any special requirements for you to travel with the team. Some countries will require you to get a visa when it may not be necessary for a U.S. citizen to travel with one.
Visa – In some cases a visa may need to be obtained prior to travel on your mission trip. The cost of this visa will be included in the price of your trip. Be sure to follow up with your trip leader as to how your visa will be obtained.
If you have any questions about how or where to obtain any of the above documents, please feel free to ask the Missions Ministry staff who will be able to assist you.
PASSPORT INFORMATION AS OF 3/2010
First Time Application for a U.S. Passport
YOU MUST APPLY IN PERSON FOR YOUR PASSPORT IF:
- You are applying for your first U.S. passport
- You are 17 or younger
- · Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
- · Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
- · Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago
- · Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to an Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency located throughout the United States and complete the following steps:
For more detailed information on the special requirements for all minors and for more information on obtaining a new passport for the first time please visit:
Renewal of a U.S. Passport
RENEW BY MAIL IF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE TRUE:
Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:
Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
Was issued when you were age 16 or older
Was issued within the last 15 years
Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change
If the above statements do not apply to you, you must Apply in Person .
How to Renew Your U.S. Passport by mail:
To renew your U.S. Passport by mail, you must submit Form DS-82, Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail. Locate Form DS-82 and step-by-step instructions at Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail.
How long will it take to process your passport application? See Application Processing Times.
- If your most recent U.S. passport has been mutilated, altered or damaged, you cannot apply by mail – you must Apply in Person.
- We strongly encourage you to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method.
- In order to protect the contents of your mailing from the elements throughout the delivery process, we strongly encourage you to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a secure means of packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope.
- Passports renewed by mail in the United States may only be mailed to United States and Canadian addresses.
- If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport (See Child Support).
Checking the Status of Your Application
Currently, it is taking 5-7 days for passport applications to be tracked online. Please allow at least that amount of time before checking the status of your application.
To check the status of your application online you will need:
- Your last name, including suffixes without punctuations except the hyphen, (for example: Jones III, Patton Jr, Jackson-Smith, O Brian, Mc Queen, Varela Garcia),
- Date of birth in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY, and
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number.
Securely input your information to check your passport application status here:
Note: For security reasons, we recommend that you close your browser after you have finished accessing your passport application status.
You may also contact the National Passport Information Center if you have any questions regarding your application or other general passport questions.
Call The National Passport Information Center at:
- 1-877-4-USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778)
- TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793
- · Passport Information is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- Speak with a representative Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., EST, excluding federal holidays.
- THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR AN APPOINTMENT AT A PASSPORT AGENCY. CUSTOMERS SHOULD NOT PAY ANYONE OR ANY BUSINESS MAKING SUCH A CHARGE.
- Passport Agencies assist customers with urgent travel needs (generally if you are traveling within 2 weeks) and require proof of departure.
- Most Passport Agencies are open by appointment only and require proof of your travel date or need for foreign visas.