Applying For Passports On The Road and Out Of State!

So your on the road fulltime and no where near the state which is your state of residence and you decide you want to cross the boarder in to Canada or Mexico, now what?  Get a passport easy peasy, right?  Well not so much as we soon found out while doing our research.

Us waiting outside cause it was freezing in the middle of June inside the building, totally not loitering.
Because you are trying to obtain a passport out of state you will need to provide more than your drivers licence and birth certificate. And when I say more, it’s a lot more, it’s crazy how much more! Good news is all the paperwork can be filled out ahead of time on line here!

Here is a list of a few acceptable ways you can prove your a US citizen to obtain your passport. This is the website we got our information from as well as calling local office to confirm! You can also check out this PDF!

*All the ones that are in bold font are what we used.

  1. Drivers License
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. State ID
  4. Military ID & photo
  5. Pilot Licence & photo
  6. Student ID card
  7. Current Green CARD
  8. Employment ID card & photo
  9. Expired passport

OK the list goes on and here is where it starts to get weird with the Secondary list!

  1. College Diploma
  2. High school yearbook
  3. Baptism certificate
  4. Credit card
  5. Voting registration
  6. Vehicle registration
  7. Proof of vehicle registration
  8. Proof of health insurance
  9. Marriage Certificate
  10. Divorce Decrees
  11. Welfare Card
  12. Mortgage
  13. Pay Stub
  14. W-2
  15. Social Security Card

OK not so weird but the baptism cert was interesting, and interesting enough I had mine thanks to my parents shoving it in the envelope with my birth certificate, thanks guys! Also a fun fact when clearing out everything and downsizing to move into our RV we were totally gonna trash our college diplomas.  They have sat rolled in a tube for almost 2 decades, never needing to be used to show proof of our brain power.  We decided we’d minimize their space and fold them up and stick in an envelope and put in out travel filing bin.  That was the first time those ever came in handy and probably the last!

When you go to a USPS location to apply you need to have made a photo copy of all the piece of documentation your submitting. Note: you will also need to make sure you make a copy if the documentation has any writing or info on the back. As we found out while we were in their office double sided photo prints are not acceptable, they need to be on a separate piece of paper. If your submitting your credit card make sure you take a black sharpie and cross through the number and 3 digit number on back, as well as cross through the number on the back copy cause you can still see the imprint of the credit card number.

When submitting this info to the person handling your application put the copy with original in your file. Show both to the employee and they will keep the copy, except for the birth certificate. This they will take your original along with copy and send in with your application. When you receive your Passport a separate envelope will be mailed back with all your copies and the original birth certificate.

If you are applying for your child’s passport who is under 18 you will need to copy and submit the same documentation. Make sure each child has their own set of copies to submit with their application.

Exhausted yet from the crazy amount of steps needed to take, we were too. What made our experience with the USPS worker a slight nightmare was the fact that she was extremely vague and made us feel like we were trying to pull a fast one on her. A long and tedious process was made harder by the fact that she wasn’t so awesome. And she wasn’t having a bad day, the lady where we paid our fee at said the passport lady was “hard”. Grumpy was more like it!

Ok so when you go to get your passport at the office you can call to set up an appointment or find a location that accepts walk-ins. We called a lot of offices and none of them had any appointments before 3 weeks out, our time was getting tight. We did find a walk-in place and prepared to be there a while not knowing what to expect. When we arrived there were 2 solo people ahead of us and a family finishing up. Families will just take longer cause it’s a lot of documentation to dish out and paperwork to sign, photos to take, checks to sign. But we were in and out in about 2 hours, which we thought under the circumstances for a walk-in where pretty good!

Here is where everything got awesome!  So the processing time is generally 6-8 weeks. You can pay extra for a faster turn around time. These things ain’t cheap so adding this fee on top of our family of fours budget was too much so we decided to take our chances that they would be a little speedy, we had heard that 3-4 weeks was more the norm.

So a week after we submitted our application we get a phone call from a passport office cause the whole out of state application situation I guess isn’t common and we got red flagged? The guy was just wondering why we were doing it out of state. We told him the truth that we are traveling around and decided to go visit friends in Canada and our home base state isn’t on our traveling path before then. Our state of residency is Texas for Fulltime RV/biz/homeschooling purposes. Before that we resided in Georgia for several decades and had a brief stay in Mississippi. All the different address I guess seemed fishy to them. But the guy said it all sounded fine and said they would ship out our passport in the next few days!

2 weeks, it was 2 weeks from application submission to them being in the mail and on their way to us. This is incredible, especially for the USPS and any government office turn around time. We almost wonder if our out of state/red-flagged situation got put on that special guys desk and that made it get fast tracked through their system?  Either way I’ll take it!

So we are now officially free to wander the world! First stop is Canada this fall for an RV rally at our friends RV resort. We also need to swing through Mexico for some dental work this Winter. But after that, who knows! It’s just nice to know if we had an out of the blue invitation to Bali for the weekend we could just get on that plane and go!

Ohh and a bonus, I have a pretty decent mugshot pic on mine I don’t have to hate for the next 10 years!  My youngest daughter on the other hand has a giant scratch on her nose and looks like a serial killer, Just kidding, not really!

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