Passport Information

  1. Start early!!  They want you to send in all your materials at least 6 weeks prior to travel.  In peak travel months, it may be longer!! That means if your trip is in March, you should apply in January; if you are traveling in May, you should apply by spring break (March).

  2. Go to the U.S. Government Passport website for detailed information, including what MATERIALS you need to have to apply:

  3. You can download applications there, OR you can go to your local post-office. But call ahead. Not all post-offices handle passports. If they do, they may have limited days and hours.

  4. If you are applying for the first time, YOU WILL HAVE TO APPLY IN PERSON, either at the post office or at whatever passport facility you choose to go to. Passport facilities are listed on the website too.

  5. For our 2004 trip to Spain, Dr. Wager had to get an EXPEDITED passport. (It was too close to our departure for him to renew his passport the usual way, by dropping it in the mail). Here is what the procedure is, according to him:
  • You can pick up an application for a new passport OR a renewal form at almost any post office, or print out the renewal form from the website listed above. Fill it out before you do anything else.

  • Before you can take your form to the passport office downtown, you MUST call for an appointment; this is the ONLY way to do it!  Call the automated appointment number at 1(312) 341-6020.  The voice will ask if
    you want an appointment and offer you one, as soon as the next day.

  • Take your stuff downtown to the Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn. What stuff should you take?
      1. Your application. (If you don’t have one when you get downtown, they do have them available in this office, but you may not have all the information they need if you wait until then to fill out the form, so get one at a post office or online first!)
      2. 2 photos (untrimmed) of the correct size (see website)
      3. 2 proofs of I.D. (one should be original birth certificate, if possible).
      4. Personal check or credit card  .  The cost for a new passport is around $140 in Spring, 2004.
      5. Take the itinerary I will give you once we have our flights, and show it to them if they ask you.
According to Dr. W., the lines are not long, and the whole process can be accomplished in under an hour.

They will give you a ticket or a form, which you will bring back the next day. Dr. Wager was able to pick up his renewed passport within 24 hours. (There was only a 20 minute wait to get the passport the next day.)  Main U.S. Government website for all passport information  U.S. Government website directions for applying for a passport renewal  Print out application for NEW passport or RENEWAL of passport