Getting Your Passport

For all of those getting ready to embark on a trip abroad, your first order of business is to obtain your passport. I suggest doing this at least four to five months or so before your trip so that you don’t have to pay any extra to have your passport expedited. If you don’t have it, you can’t get on the plane. Also, your passport number is necessary for the tour company to book your flights, so the earlier the better on this!
Watch this video for a Step-by-Step Guide to obtaining your passport.
The following steps should get you going in the right direction.

1) Find your Birth Certificate or another acceptable form of identification to prove citizenship. You will need this!
2)  Download the Passportbooth app to save time on retrieving your photo and take a photo that you will like! Check out the website at

OR go to Walgreens, or a similar place, to have your 2″ x 2″ passport photo taken. This must follow the following guidelines:

  • Your head must face the camera directly with full face in view.
  • You must have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open.
  • Taken in clothing normally worn on a daily basis
  • Taken in the last 6 months
  • Use a plain white or off-white background
  • Be sized correctly
    • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
    • Head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 – 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • Printed in color
  • You cannot wear glasses.
    • If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with application.
  • You cannot wear a hat or head covering.
    • If you wear a hat or head covering for religious purposes, submit a signed statement that verifies that the hat or head covering in your photo is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously in public.
    • If you wear a hat or head covering for medical purposes, submit a signed doctor’s statement verifying the hat or head covering in your photo is used daily for medical purposes.
    • Your full face must be visible and your hat or head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
  • You cannot wear headphones or wireless hands-free devices.
3) Be ready to pay somewhere around $145 for your Passport. A passport card will be insufficient. You must purchase a Passport Book.
4) Fill out the DS-11 Form on the State Department Website and print out the form.
5) If you are renewing an existing passport, see the State Department Website for more details.
6) To apply for a passport in Fond du Lac, you will need to take all necessary documentation to:

160 S. Macy St. City-County Government Center
Fond Du Lac, WI 54936

7) Finally, when you have your passport in hand, make sure to obtain a color copy for your group leader. This is important if you were to lose your passport while traveling. This color copy would help to expedite the process for getting back home. Also, make sure to take a picture that you can save to your phone and Google Drive so that it can be accessed from anywhere.
For more information and to begin your application, please go to the U.S. Department of State Website. Also, take a look at the U.S. Passport Help Guide Website for more information, if necessary.

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