Ok, while I know it probably isn't a priority to travel outside of the United States right now, do you have passport? Do you need to get your first one or just renew one that you have had expire or that is close to expiring? 

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Let me just tell you this, do not get suckered into paying a third party service to do this for you. To be honest, I have only ever renewed mine because I got my first one when I was 12 or 13 and my mom did all the work the first time around. To renew a passport, you get the forms online or at the post office, you fill them out, pop the old passport in the envelope with your payment and then voile, in 6 to 8 weeks (depending on when you send it) you get a new passport in the mail and in a second envelope you get the old one back for you to keep in the back of the sock drawer.

If you do not have a passport, but want to get one, it is relatively easy once you collect a few things. You will need your photo, your birth certificate and then something else like your drivers license.

You then have a few options, you can make an appointment at your local post office (they are an approved passport center), you can make an appointment at your City Hall, or you can just fill out the forms and mail everything to the US Department of State. 

Also, here is a tip. Do it as soon as you know you will need it. The processing could take some time. If you need it less than 4-6 weeks, you might want to go ahead and pay the additional $60 to have it expedited.

I only bring this whole thing up, because I found out that one of my friends looked online "how to renew your passport" and she ended up with a third-party service who was only too willing to take a $45 fee from her to pretty much make sure she fills out the forms and then mails everything to the correct address.

Now is the additional fee worth it to her? Maybe. If you are not sure about how to get a passport or it seems just too daunting, go to your local post office. They will be able to answer a few questions for you, get you going in the right direction and also help you make an appointment to come back and get everything processed. You will be able to travel soon and you should be ready! Good Luck.

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