Faster, Cheaper Passports

Posted by lilac on Aug 05, 2010

Lilac Dude and I decided that we should invest in passports to make travel easier. Since we are leaving the country in October we decided to apply this summer and not rush anything. While we were discussing applying for passports we found out that prices were going to go up by $35 on Tuesday. We managed to make it to the Clerk of Courts on Monday and spent 10 minutes in the office applying and now… we wait.

Photo from

I would have been writing this post sooner had I known sooner about the price hikes in advance. Regardless, some of you out there may still need passports so I’d like to help you get started on that and spend as little time and money on the process as possible.

The one and only piece of advice I can give anyone applying for a passport: BE PREPARED

1. Go here: and find the appropriate application, fill it out and print it.

2. Also while you’re at this site, look up a close location for processing and then call them to be sure that they still process applications and see if you need an appointment or if they take walk-ins.  Post offices and title agencies usually process passports.

3. Take your own picture. It will take about 20 minutes at home and save you about $12. You can find picture requirements here: the pros to this include as many takes as you’d like, access to mirrors and make up.

Lilac Dude and his passport photo. (Personal Photo)

4. Here’s what to take to the processing facility: Filled out application (but not signed, you have to do that there!), 2 pictures, a copy of your driver’s license and your sealed birth certificate.

As soon as you have a marriage license get to getting your name changed on the passport (if you’re changing your name). The last thing you’ll want to do is pay for a renewal in order to get a name change.