Android App
Apple App

Passport Tips For International Travel

Please note: The information below is provided as an informational resource only. Seattle Credit Union is not affiliated with any U.S. Passport facility and cannot assist you in obtaining a passport.

You’ve booked the flights. You’ve reserved the hotel. Now all your trip is waiting on is you.

Before you take off on an international trip, remember to double-check your passport. Do you have one? Has it expired? Be sure to plan ahead, since a new U.S. Passport can take 16 weeks (expedited 12 weeks) to be returned to you. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple.


You must apply in person if one of the following is true:

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport
  • You are under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago

Before going to the passport agency, you can first complete your U.S. Passport application online (Form: DS-11) ahead of time to save a step at the acceptance facility. 


  • State-certified birth certificate, a previous U.S. passport or an original certificate of naturalization. These will be returned to you, in a separate envelope, around the same time you receive your new passport. Children under 16 must always submit an original birth certificate, even when renewing and submitting a previous passport. Hospital certificates, photocopies and keepsake certificates are not accepted.
  • Two current, color passport photos sized 2 inches by 2 inches, with a white background. Also, remember that it needs to be taken within a few months. Having to take a photo on-site can get very expensive and not the most flattering, so try and make a stop at a Bartells, CVS, or Walgreens before you stop by the Passport Agency.
  •  A valid photo ID or Driver's License as well as a photocopy of the front and back.
  • Cash, Check, or Money Order for application fees.The application cost is $110 for a passport book and $30 for a passport card. If you're applying for the first time, there will be an additional acceptance fee of $35.


Adult passports are valid for 10 years and will need a renewal if it expires. Many countries require that passports be valid for at least 6 months after you enter their country, so make sure you check your passport’s expire date. Remember to renew your passport in plenty of time for those trips.

The Department of State does not offer online passport renewal, but you may be eligible to renew your U.S. passport by mail if you meet the following requirements:

  • You have your current passport to submit with the renewal application.
  • It is undamaged other than normal wear and tear.
  • It was issued when you were age 16 or older.
  • It was issued within the last 15 years.
  • It was issued in your current name or you can document your name change.

You will need to mail your most recent passport along with a completed passport renewal form (Form DS-82), a photo, and fees in the form of a personal check or money order. Visit U.S. Department of State for full details.
If you do not meet those requirements, you need to apply for new passports in person at a passport acceptance facility.


A regular passport application can take up to 16 weeks to process. Need it quicker? You can pay an additional $60 fee to get an expedited service of passport renewal by mail or at a passport acceptance facility, which will generally take 12 weeks. If you will be traveling internationally within 72 hours, you may be able to expedite at a passport agency that accepts appointments. 

To make an appointment at Seattle Passport Agency, call 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 during 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.



Share this post: