Tips for Getting Your Passport

Tips and tricks for getting your passport in the PNW.

Share this Article

First article

So, you’ve decided to explore another country. Good for you! Traveling can enrich your life and expand your horizons. There are a few things that you need to have taken care of before you embark on your glorious journey. The most important checklist item is getting your passport. Give yourself a few months before your trip to apply for and receive your passport. Being prepared will make for an easy application and a little organization can go a long way. Before you seek out the passport application, there are a few things you’ll need.

First-time applicants, minors, and applicants who can’t renew by mail can submit their passport application at the Post Office. Who knew!? Here is everything you’ll need:

First thing’s first: Photo shoot time! Bartell’s can help you navigate the requirements for the perfect passport photo – guaranteed! Simply come into any of our locations and ask an employee for assistance. We’ll take your photo using the latest technology to guarantee your photo is government approved.

Once you have your photo in hand, click here for the online form. Fill it out and print a copy.

Note: Do NOT sign the application form. You must have a witness – and that witness is a government worker at the post office.

Before you head to the post office, make sure you have the correct proof of U.S. Citizenship documents (driver’s license, Certificate of Naturalization; Certificate of Citizenship; military identification; or federal, state, or municipal government employee identification card). Bring one of those with you and a black and white, single-sided photocopy of the front and back.

Lastly, you’ll need to pay passport fees

    • Post Offices accept credit cards, checks, and money orders for their fees
    • Note that State Department fees are different and are mailed with your application. You will have to pay with a personal, certified, cashier’s, traveler’s check or money order

 Make that payable to “U.S. Department of State”

Keep in mind that Post Offices have set hours for passport services. Many require an appointment. Use the Find USPS Locations tool to find the nearest Post Office offering passport services.

Need a Passport in a Pinch?
Did you wait too long to apply for a passport and you’re panicking because your trip is in less than 2 weeks? You’re in luck! In Seattle, you can go to the Seattle Passport Agency and apply in person if you’re traveling internationally within two weeks. They’re located at the Fifth and Yesler Building downtown!

You’ll need to provide proof of international travel like your flight itinerary or cruise tickets and have all of the necessary documentation listed above.

The Seattle Passport Agency only operates on an appointment basis to apply in person. Applying for a same-day passport this way will cost $110 for the application fee, $35 for the execution fee and $60 for the expedited service fee for a total of $195.

Armed with your new passport, where will you travel to next?