Category Archives: General Info

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You don’t have to be at the mercy of other people, the public transportation system, or taxis when you travel internationally. If you have a valid U.S. driver’s license and you are over 18-years of age, you just qualified for an International Driver’s License.

Why get an International Driving Permit?
If you want to be in command of your own time when you travel, the best way is to get an international driving permit and see your destination country on your own schedule.

I have a driver’s license here in the U.S., can’t I just use that to rent a car overseas?
Your state issued driver’s license in the United States won’t be recognized as a valid instrument for operating a vehicle in another country. That’s where an International Driving Permit (IDP) comes in.

Where do I take the driver’s test?
There is no special test required to obtain an IDP. You will need to be a legally licensed driver in the United States. Most foreign governments will allow you to legally operate a vehicle in their country.

I’m 19 and a licensed driver, can I get an International Driver’s License?
Yes! The minimum age to get an IDP is 18 years of age.

How long is an IDP good for after issuance?
An IDP is good for one year from the issue date.

How can I check to see if the country I am traveling to will allow me to use an IDP?
If you aren’t sure that you’ll be able to use an IDP during your travels, contact our office and we can give you the latest information on the validity of using an IDP in the country or countries you plan on traveling to. Just call 713-874-1420 during regular business hours or reach out to us at Twitter or Facebook.

What does an International Driving License look like?
Here’s one example:
idp

Is it possible to apply online for an International Driver’s License?
Yes, the process is easy. Just fill out our order form, and we’ll do the rest for you.

Those are some of the most common questions for International Driving Permits. Got a question we didn’t answer? Just ask!

dont-let-your-travel-plans-hit-a-brick-wallIf you need non-English documents translated to facilitate your passport or travel documents, let us help!  We offer full translation services to our clients to or from any language.
The reason is many governments require that travel documents such as your passport are translated for easy processing.

Our translations are accepted by the USCIS and other U.S. agencies.

Certain countries will require that your police report, medical records, or work history are translated in both English as well as the native language. If you lack these translations, your travel visa or work permit can be denied.

If you would like a quote, just call our offices to get an estimate for the cost of your translation of your travel documents.

Contact us today to get started : (713) 874-1420

Thank you for your service Veterans!

Today, Veteran’s Day is observed. The Post Office is closed and no mail will be delivered, however, Fed Ex and UPS will be delivering on their regular schedule according to their website.

USA Today put together a killer list of deals and freebies for Veterans available today:

Monday freebies and discounts

Another Broken Egg Café: Free Patriot French Toast Combo and coffee Monday.

Benihana: Free appetizer with purchase of an entree Monday.

Ben’s Soft Pretzel: Free regular Jumbo Soft Pretzel 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.

Bertucci’s: Free small cheese pizza Sunday and Monday.

Black Angus SteakhouseSpecial top sirloin steak meal for $9.99 Monday.

Boston MarketBuy one individual meal and a drink, get one individual meal free with a coupon posted at www.bostonmarket.com Sunday or Monday. This deal is not only for veterans.

Bruegger’s BagelsFree drip coffee Monday.

Burgerim: 50 percent off Monday.

Chicken Salad Chick: Free Chick Special and regular drink to veterans and active-duty military Monday.

Claim Jumper: Free meal Monday.

Corner Bakery CafeFree “Choose 2” meal Sunday with military ID.

Country KitchenFree Country Scramble Monday at participating locations.

Country Pride: Free meal and beverage from a select menu Monday.

Creamistry: 50 percent off any single item Sunday and Monday.

Denny’sFrom 5 a.m. to noon Monday, active, inactive and retired military personnel get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam at participating locations.

Famous Dave’s: Free two-meat lunch combo Sunday and Monday for veterans or active military with valid identification.

Farmer Boys: Free Big Cheese cheeseburgers Monday.

Fatz Southern Kitchen: Free World Famous Calabash Chicken Basket Monday. Plus, in November active military and veterans get 25 percent off entrees.

Gigi’s CupcakesFree cupcake Monday for to veterans and first responders.

Golden Corral: Free dinner buffet with a beverage from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday to any person who is serving or has served in a United States Military branch, including the National Guard and Reserves.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria15 percent off Sunday and Monday. Not valid in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

HMSHostFree Budweiser BBQ Cheddar Burger at participating HMSHost-operated airport restaurants Monday.

Hopdoddy Burger BarEvery location will give 50 percent off to veterans, active military and their guests Monday.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea HouseFree salad bar and dessert 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. Or buy a meal and add on the salad bar for free.

Huddle HouseFree order of Sweet Cakes through Monday.

Hy-VeeFree breakfast Monday.

IHOPFree Red, White and blue pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday or a free patriotic pancake combo offer varies by location.

Country Pride: Free meal and beverage from a select menu Monday.

Metro Diner20 percent off Monday.

Pilot Flying J: Saturday through Monday, there will be a coupon on the myPilot app for a free Pilot Coffee with choice of a fresh breakfast sandwich, packaged pastry item or a Cinnamon Center of the Roll. This deal is open to all.

Ponderosa and Bonanaza SteakhousesVeterans can choose a free buffet and beverage or 50 percent off a menu item. Some locations will honor veterans Sunday and other locations on Monday so check with your closest location.

Potbelly Sandwich ShopFree cookie with any purchase Monday.

Ovation Brands: Free buffet and bottled water at Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet and Country Buffet and Furr’s Fresh Buffet Monday.

Red LobsterFree appetizer or dessert Sunday and Monday.

Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries: Vets eat free Saturday through Monday. Plus, each brewery will be brewing a limited-edition Veterans Day IPA and Saturday through Nov. 17, 25 cents from every pint will go to a local veterans charity.

Rock & Brews RestaurantsFree meal from the select menu for veterans, active military and first responders Monday.

Shoney’sFree All-You-Care-To-Eat breakfast bar 6 to 11 a.m. Monday.

Sonny’s BBQ: Free pulled or sliced pork big deal combo for veterans and active duty military Monday. Dine-in only.

Texas de Brazil: Two veterans dine for free plus 20 percent off for up to six additional guests on Sunday and Monday.

Twin Peaks: Free meal from a special menu 11 a.m. to midnight Monday.

White CastleFree combo meal for veterans and active military members who dine in or go through the drive-thru Sunday and Monday.

Zaxby’sFree chicken fillet sandwich Monday at more than 600 locations.

Other Monday freebies

Cinemark: Free tickets Monday to veterans, active-duty and their spouses for Universal Pictures’ movie First Man at more than 60 locations nationwide.

Hair ClubFree haircuts to veterans and active military personnel in honor of Veterans Day for the month of November. Also get half price off select hair restoration solutions through Nov. 30, an offer also available to first responders.

 

India

Individuals planning a trip to India will find along with your passport, you need a travel visa for entry to the country. There are business and tourist class travel visas required, depending on the nature of your trip.  Here are some common questions about getting your visa to India.

Can Texas Tower process visas in all jurisdictions?
Yes! However if you are within the jurisdiction of Houston, we do charge an extra fee. You can read more about that here.

What is the average processing time for an Indian visa?
You will need to allow 10-business-days once the application has been submitted by us.  Some applications can take 3 weeks to process.

Chittorgarh-Fort1Is there a way to get rush service?
Due to the detailed nature of the visa process, there is no rush service available. The standards for acquiring a travel visa from the Embassy are very exacting and something as small as the signature on your passport not matching the signature on your visa application exactly can result in your visa application being denied.

May I get the visa upon arrival in India?
Although many countries let you obtain your visa upon arrival, India currently does not.

I was born in India, can you process my travel visa require for India?
Unfortunately, we may not be able to help you. You will most likely need to apply at the Embassy in person if you born in India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka.

What will I need for a travel visa to India for business?
Here is everything you will need, including links to forms.
India Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular

What documents do I need to get a tourist travel visa for India?
Just like the business visa for India, we have put together a handy list for everything you need to make application for your visa a breeze.
India Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular (1)
If you have a question about getting your passport or visa to India, call our office at 713-874-1420 or  just send your question to @txtpassportvisa on Twitter or Texas Tower on Facebook.

passport service in houston texas
Before a trip overseas, one of the things you don’t have to do is spend time renewing your passport. Using a passport expediting service, you simply pay a fee and let the agency do the work for you.

Going through the Passport Office or Post Office for renewing your passport can average 4-8 weeks.

Utilizing a passport service like Texas Tower will lower the time to 1-12 days and if you need to expedite service, they can turn around your passport renewal in 24 hours.

Issues Won’t Stop the Process
Another difference in how your paperwork is handled. If there are any issues with your paperwork, the passport agency will deny your application and return your paperwork. From there, you will have to start over from square one. Texas Tower  will work with you to quickly resolve any issues.

Isn’t it expensive to use an outside service?
Not really. There are fees on top of the existing government fees for this service, but our company works for you, one-on-one, to get your passport and travel docs. It saves a lot of time , and isn’t your time worth it? Our passport pages have the fees listed for each type of service to keep the process as transparent as possible. Just choose the type of passport service you need and you can see the total cost.

The process for getting your passport online is simple: 
1-Fill out your paperwork for the type of service you want.
2- Send to Texas Tower with your completed order form.
3-Receive your new passport!

You have plenty to do before you go on an international trip, gathering paperwork and waiting for your passport renewal doesn’t have to be one of those tasks.

Planning a trip to Ghana? You will need a travel visa to enter the country if you’re visiting for business or tourism purposes.  The good news is we can get your travel visa in 1-2 working days if you need it expedited.

We have put together a handy list for obtaining both business and tourism class travel visas.  Just gather the required documents and we can do the rest for you. Best of all, you’ll save a trip to the consulate. We do the legwork for you.
Ghana Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular
Ghana.clipular (1)Travel tips
It’s not a constant rule, but Ghana frequently requires a yellow fever vaccination for travelers over nine months of age. We can check to see if it is required at the time of your travel.

For travel warnings, the State Department has a portal for Ghana-issued travel warnings.

Sights to see in Ghana
Here is a fantastic overview of just a slice of what you can see in Ghana from the official tourism board.

Let us make your trip to Ghana easy as possible, leave the acquisition of your visa to us! Get started here at our Ghana visa page.

 

questions-and-answersaboutchina-travel-visas

If you’ve been putting off renewing your passport because you don’t want to deal with chasing the paperwork or standing in the long lines, it’s time to consider outsourcing the task. You can fill out the documentation you need to renew your passport, send it into us and get your passport back much faster than using the U.S. Passport Agency. Here are some of the most common questions and answers we get regarding passports.

Can I just apply for a new passport online?
Yes and no. You can do much of the documentation you need online but you will have to print your forms and send them to Texas Tower. We created a passport renewal checklist to follow for passport renewal that makes it easy to get your documents gathered and sent so you can get your passport renewed quickly.

Which form is the correct one for renewing a passport?
The usual form for renewing a passport is Form DS-82 is used for passport renewals. Depending on your situation, additional forms may be required.

How  Close to the expiration date of my passport do I need to renew?
Some international destinations will require that your passport has more than 6 months before the expiration date at the completion of your trip.

I changed my name, do I have to renew my passport?
If your name has legally changed due to marriage, divorce, or other reason , and you have updated your state-issued identification- you’re going to need to renew and change your name on your passport and travel documents. The name on your passport much match your other identification or it can halt your travel plans.

I got my passport at 14 and it’s now expiring.  How do I renew this passport?
You will most likely need to apply for a new (adult) passport.

I understand that a passport photo needs to have a plain background, can I just take a selfie?
You can take your own photographs for your passport photo, but there are some requirements you need to meet.
You can’t just snap a selfie for your passport photo. We highly recommend using a professional passport photo service to get your passport photos.
Here are the requirements :
Size : 2×2 inches
Identical images
Must be full color
Frontal face view only with plain white background
No headgear
If you use a hearing aide, hairpiece or wig, – wear them for your photo.
No eyeglasses or sunglasses may be worn for your photo as of November 1st, 2016

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The State Department quoted me a wait time of 6-7 weeks for my passport.I need to leave before then.  Can Texas Tower get it any faster?
You bet we can. Our standard service time is 8-12 working days and if you need an expedited passport, we can get you a 24-hour passport renewal.

What happens to my expired passport? 
Your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new passport.  It’s a good idea to keep your old passport in a safe place as it is one method of showing proof of your U.S. citizenship.

What is the renew passport process?
We streamlined the process so it’s very quick and easy.
1- Gather the documents on the passport renewal checklist.
2- Send to our office with the passport agency fee + service fee.
3- Receive your passport in 8-12 business days or 24 hours for expedited service.

If you have a passport renewal question, contact our offices at 713-874-1420 or on Twitter, we’re ready to answer!

Tips for Getting a Burma Myanmar Visa
Once known as Burma, the country of Myanmar requires a visa for United States citizens wishing to enter the country. It also has a few special requirements you do not normally have to meet to obtain a visa.

The maximum stay for either a tourist or business visa is 30-days, Myanmar Tourism Showcase (3 minutes 40 seconds) -- myanmar branding video - YouTube.clipularand this is a visa you cannot obtain upon arrival in the country.  To get your travel visa, just fill out the required paperwork and we can make the visit to the consulate for you.

United States travelers living in New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey addresses will need to apply for their visa directly at the Myanmar consulate located in New York City. Texas Tower can do the legwork for you if you live in those cities, but there is an additional $40 service fee.

Requirements for Travel Visas to Myanmar

Myanmar Visa - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular
Myanmar Tourism Showcase (3 minutes 40 seconds) -- myanmar branding video - YouTube.clipular (1)
Myanmar has had travel warnings issued in the recent past. Especially around elections. Check with the Department of State to get the latest travel warnings at their Myanmar/Burma page.

If you’re curious to get a glimpse of Myanmar before you go, check out this travel video from Myanmar Travel Information:

If you have any questions regarding the acquisition of your Myanmar travel visa, call our office at 713-874-1420, we have someone ready to help you.

How to Change Your Name on Your Passport to Your Married NameJune is often thought of as the month to get married, with that in mind, we’re going to show you how easy it can be to change your name after your wedding.  Many people feel that one spouse assuming the other’s last name is an old-fashioned and outdated tradition. There are others that want to keep the tradition alive and do so.

The good news is there are no wrong answers, whatever a couple mutually decides regarding keeping former names or assuming spousal names, is fine.  We put together some tips to make the process even easier if you choose to take your spouse’s name.

Change your name soon after your marriage.
Many states have time limits for a name change, make sure you know the time allotted in your home state.

Getting a new social security card is simple. Just either take two forms of identification along with a certified copy of your marriage license to your local Social Security office. You can also do it by mail, but you’ll probably want to get a duplicate copy of your marriage license to mail in.

Changing your driver’s license is easy to accomplish. Just make an appearance at your local Department of Motor Vehicles with your certified copy of your marriage license. You will be able get a new, updated license with your new name on it the same day in most locales.

name changeNow,  let’s talk passport. If you need to change your name, you’re going to need to reapply for your passport. Remember, your travel documents must match your identification or it will put the brakes on your travel.  The TSA will not accept a marriage certificate as proof of a name change.
Normal turnaround time can be four to six weeks, however, you can obtain your passport in far less time, 24-hours if necessary.
Here are the documents you need to get started:
[click to see larger]

Reapply - Name Change - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular

Another sometimes overlooked area is something you’re probably in at least once a day.  You’ll need to update your name will be your email. This can usually be accomplished in a short and sweet email to everyone on your contact list about your status change.

Update your bank in person, as each financial institution has their own set of guidelines, ask what they need from you to verify the name change ahead of your appointment. Most major credit cards will have a form to fill out and send in with copies of your proof of name change.  Memberships and loyalty programs are other good accounts to remember to update. They usually have basically the same requirements as updating your credit cards.

Those are just the basics for getting your name changed! If you’re a newly wedded, congrats! If you have any questions about your passport and visa for your honeymoon travel, just contact us!

Get more tips and information for all your travel and personal documents on our Facebook page.

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How (1)There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport, ready to get your boarding pass- and your passport name doesn’t match your identification.

Newly married, newly divorced  are among the most common reasons for a name change. If all your identification doesn’t match, you’re not going anywhere until it does.

A good thing to do is either change your name well in advance of your departure or wait until you get back to handle all the name changes. Otherwise, your trip might stall in the security check.

Photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security
Photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security

Here’s all you need to do to get the ball rolling for an updated passport. First make sure you meet the requirements to reapply.

Then gather the following documents and items: (click to view larger)
Reapply - Name Change - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular

Call our offices today at (713) 874-1420 if you need to change the name on your passport and have any questions. A team member can walk you through the process.