Tag Archives: new passport

Passport Questions and Answers

Here at TexasTower.net we process a lot of passport requests. All types of requests like new passports, renewing passports, helping people handle lost or stolen passports, and a lot of other situations that fall in between those reasons. Here are some common questions about passports.

How long does it take for a first time applicant to get a passport?
It depends on the time service you request. Our standard turnaround time for processing a new passport request is 8-12 business days. If you need your passport faster, we can expedite it as fast as 24-hours and even meet you at the airport if necessary.

I’ve heard using a passport service is a scam.
We’ve heard the same. There are some bad eggs in our industry like many other industries. We work hard to make sure every client we process a passport, visa, or certified birth certificate request gets the best service. We exist to take the legwork out of getting your travel documents and have been in business for decades. The service you pay for is getting your passport or visa much faster than going through the U.S. government agency and you don’t have to make an appearance at the embassy or consulate for your travel visa. The good news is, the companies that are set up to merely scam people don’t last too long.

At what age does a baby need a passport to travel internationally?
We’ll answer that question with a question: how soon are you traveling? Even newborns need a passport if you’re traveling outside the United States. If you have a child traveling with you under 15-years of age, you’ll need to apply for a child passport.

A friend told me if my passport has less than six months before the expiration date it’s basically expired. Is that true?
Yep. If you have less than six months left, most countries won’t allow entry. If you need to renew – we can renew your passport as fast as 24-hours.

My dog chewed on my passport but it’s still 100% intact, can I use it for travel?
Probably not. The best thing to do would be send us an image and let us see it. If you need to replace a damaged passport, we can help.

Do I need to renew my passport to reflect my name change after my divorce?
You need to reapply for a passport – contact us and we can walk you through it.

Is it possible to have two passports at the same time?
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: there are some special requirements to meet to have a secondary passport. Having a travel destination between politically sensitive countries is one of the most commonly approved reasons. Second passports have a validity of 2 (two) years and many not be renewed.   Approval of the issue of a second valid passport in determined solely by the U.S. Passport Agency, based the applicant’s requirement for the passport.

If you have a question about passports we didn’t answer here, just ask us at 713-874-1420 or on Twitter  at @txtpassportvisa .

If you’re unsure which service you need, here is a fast answer for you.

Already have a passport? If you can answer “yes to all these questions, then you can renew – otherwise, you’ll probably have to reapply for a new passport.
passport-renewal-requirements

Here is all you need to do to renew your passport:

If the above does not apply to your current situation. You might need to apply for a new passport instead of renewing. If you can answer “yes” to all these questions – you need a new passport.
new-passport-requirements

Here is all you need to do to get your new passport, there are three basic steps:

Step 1 – Documents you will need Where to Get
Complete and print the passport application online at the Department of State. Do not sign. Department of State’s passport portal.
Make a copy of the unsigned DS-11 (passport form) This will be included with your Texas Tower order
Include 2 passport quality photos. We recommend that you have these pictures taken by a facility
familiar with passport photo requirements such as Walgreens, CVS, or Kinko’s
Proof of U.S. citizenship One of the following :
Original U.S. issued birth certificate

Original U.S. Naturalization Document

An expired U.S. passport that was issued for 10 years

Authorization for Texas Tower to act on your behalf . . Please place one inside the sealed envelope and leave one out for us. Authorization letters
 
Step 2 Visit your local post office
You will need to take the above documents to an authorized Passport Agency Deputy (also known as a local United States Post Office.
Most require appointments and do not accept walk-ins.
You can find a complete list of agencies athttp://iafdb.travel.state.gov
Passport Agency Deputy is required to charge an execution fee of $25.00 and should be paid separately from the Passport Agency fees. Execution fee $25
The Passport Agency Deputy will collect all of the above documents in step 1, witness you
signing your passport application and place into an envelope that will be sealed by the
Deputy.
Do not open this envelope once sealed as it will void your application.
Get your sealed envelope back from the Passport Agency Deputy Inform the clerk you will forward the sealed envelope to a service in Houston for processing.

 

Step 3 Almost done!
Make sure you have the following documents: Sealed envelope
Texas Tower order form
Copy of your DS-11 form you made in step 1
Authorization form
Mail to Texas Tower Texas Tower Passports & Visas
2020 Montrose Blvd. Suite 400
Houston, TX 77006
Phone (713) 874-1420

We can expedite either type of passport application as fast as 24-hours. If you’re unsure which service you need, just call our offices at (713) 874-1420 or email us at info@texastower.net and one of our staff members will be happy to help you.

 

There’s no denying that getting your passport photo done can make it difficult to incorporate a little extra style and flair–especially considering the federal requirements that need to be met. But don’t lose hope: enigmatic musician and performer Prince is here to show us how it’s done. This was taken just before his latest world tour, which started on February 16 in Australia.

Now, looking at the lighting and quality of the photo, you might think it’s a bit unusual, but the legendary artist meets every requirement for passport photos outlined by the U.S. Department of State. These requirements are:

Full color photo
Dimensions should be 2” x 2” (51mm x 51mm)
Sized such that the head is between 1” and 1 ⅜” (or 25mm and 35mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
Taken within the last 6 months, so as to reflect your current appearance
Background of the photo is entirely white or off-white
Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
Facial expression is neutral (preferred) or a natural smile, with both eyes open and easily visible

Now, what did Prince do differently here to make himself stand out? The main key that makes this picture stand out is the lighting, which looks to professionally done to highlight his facial features while still adding a little bit of dynamic shadow to the background for contrast. This effect–well-placed lighting–creates a photo that is both accurate and visually striking. Plus, you get a great look at his eyeliner! The crispness of the wings on the outer corners are masterfully done.

Another thing Prince did right was wear an outfit that was still evocative of his signature style, but with notable subtlety in color and more emphasis on texture, so as to make his face the focal point of the passport photo. This is especially important for photography for important documents because it allows the face to be more easily recognized, even when printed in black and white, while allowing the subject of the photo to express their sartorial individuality in a meaningful way.

So, in summary, here is what you can do to achieve a perfect, Prince-quality passport photo:

Be mindful of federal requirements, as outlined above
Wear an outfit that contrasts with your skin tone to draw more attention to your face
Arrange your lighting carefully and make sure your face is facing fully forward
A neutral expression is preferred, but you can still smile a little if you’d like!
The quality of the photo you’re taking matters, but so does the print quality, even if it’s supposed to be only 2”x2”!
For digital photos, print them out on matte or glossy photo paper at 300 pixels per inch.
The Department of State’s passport site has a photo tool that can help you put together the passport photo you need to get traveling in style!

Happy traveling! If you need your passport renewed, updated, or you’re looking to get your very first one for international travel, Texas Tower has you covered.