Do you need to apply for a passport or is your current passport about to expire? If so, you may need extra time for processing. According to the State Department, the average time for passport applications and renewals is currently six to eight weeks.
The Cohutta Post Office at 325 Wolfe St. will have a Passport Fair on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. The fair is on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are needed. There is a limited capacity for acceptance.
Passport fees are:
• Passport card, adults age 16 and older, $30; under 16, $15.
• Passport book, adults age 16 and older, $110; under 16, $80.
• Passport card and book, adults age 16 and older, $140; under 16, $95.
The fees must be paid with a personal check or money order. There is a $35 processing/acceptance fee and a $15 fee for photos, which can be paid for by cash, personal check, debit and credit cards or money order. Passport Fair offices offer passport photo services.
Travelers are encouraged to apply for a passport several months before they are scheduled to travel overseas. For an additional fee, the State Department will expedite the application and process it within three weeks. The Postal Service suggests travelers check the expiration date on their U.S. passport. Many countries require a passport have as much as six months' validity remaining for entry.
To apply for a passport, travelers need to complete Passport Application Form DS-11 (unsigned) and provide one of the following: a U.S. birth certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics (not a certificate of birth) or naturalization papers. Applicants must also show either a valid driver's license, a previous or current U.S. passport book or card, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, military I.D. or a federal, state or municipal government employee I.D. card. Applicants 15 and under must be present with both parents unless consent is given; ages 16 and 17 require only one parent be present.
For more information about passport application requirements and to download forms, visit the State Department's travel website at www.travel.state.gov.