Tips on Getting a U.S. Passport

Whether you’re taking a vacation or traveling for business, if you’re traveling outside the U.S. you will need a passport. The best time to renew a passport is at least nine months prior to the expiration of your old one. New passports are taking about four weeks for processing, so heed these tips and enjoy carefree international travel!

► Applying for a new passport can be started online at www.travel.state.gov/passport, but then the applicant must appear in person at a U.S. Passport Office. Offices are located in the U.S. Post Office of these local cities:

ELKHART – GRANGER – MISHAWAKA – GOSHEN – NOTRE DAME – SOUTH BEND – NILES – VANDALIA – WHITE PIGEON – SYRACUSE

► Certified copies of birth certificates are required and must include the following:

• Full name of the applicant

• Full names of the applicant’s parent(s)

• Date of birth

• Place of birth

• Raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal of issuing authority

• Registrar’s signature

• The date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office (must be within one year) 

►U.S. passport applications for children under the age of 16 require both parents’ or legal guardians’ consent.

► Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip.

► If you have international travel in less than 2 weeks you are eligible to schedule an appointment at a regional passport agency. The closest one to our office is Chicago.

► You can renew by mail if your most recent U.S. passport has all of these:

• Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application

• Was issued when you were age 16 or older

• Was issued within the last 15 years

• Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change

Passport applications and photos available in our office!