PassportWith this new year underway, some readers will need to renew (or purchase) passports in the coming months. The hubster and I recently did this and found that the process required a level of organization akin to a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles or our Certified Public Accountant. Well, you might not have to be that organized – but close enough! The process cost us a good chunk of denero, and required us to complete some exciting government forms in a very specific manner – with a few nuances thrown in for fun (i.e. if you want to change your last name on the passport or if you want to renew a passport that was purchased before you were age 15) . And so in this brief post, following are three tips to help make your passport renewal process as easy and breezy as possible in 2011:

  • Carefully read the State Department’s website about your passport renewal situation so you know exactly what forms, method of payment, and other items you’ll need. They spell everything out so the key here is to invest the time that’s needed to read the nitty gritty details and instructions.
  • Next, download the State Department’s forms and fill them out exactly as asked. It’s okay to rely on the nitty gritty instructions for clarification, if necessary.
  • Assuming you need new passport photos, find a quiet post office nearby where they’ll take a lovely photograph of you, akin to a driver’s license Kodak moment. Or bypass the lines at your local post office and get your passport photo taken at a local drugstore (most CVS locations on the East Coast offer this service) or through AAA, if you’re a member.

Happy travels to you and yours!

* Photo by Benjamin Earwicker