You need a passport, but it’s a process. It looks difficult, but if you’re prepared when you go, it takes the frustration out of it. Keep reading for all the info on how to apply for a new United States Passport, or renew an old one for yourself or your child.
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies your identity and nationality. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Follow these steps for before, during and after the process of obtaining a US Passport:
Timing – Processing times can be 10-13 weeks, or if expedited (that costs extra), it might be 7-9 weeks. You’ll want to get this process out of the way early, way before your trip. These are estimated times, so it might be earlier, but don’t rely on that.
Which Passport – Determine the kind of passport you need. Visit this link to get help with this step. Passports issued to ages 16+ are valid for 10 years. Passports for children age 0-15 are valid for 5 years and are not renewable.
Application – You don’t have to wait until you get there to apply. You can fill out your application online ahead of time to bring with you. Complete all sections of your form, including entering your correct Social Security number. Do not leave anything blank.
If you’re applying for the first time or with your child under age 16, wait to sign the form until you are instructed to do so. If you’re renewing by mail, sign and date the form on your own.
Photo – If you are bringing your own photo, review the passport photo requirements and follow them strictly.
ID – Bring evidence of U.S. citizenship. This can be a birth certificate, certificate of naturalization or citizenship, or previous passport. See more documents of proof and details for each one. Visit this link to get a certified copy of your birth certificate. For an all states listing visit Vitalchek.
More ID – Bring a driver’s license or state identification card.
Name Proof – If your name has changed and doesn’t match your driver’s license, birth certificate, previous passport, etc., you will need to bring your name change document (such as marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order).
Old Passport – If you already have a passport that you are renewing, bring it.
Payment – Some fees are payable to the U.S. Department of State and others are paid to the acceptance facility, so if you’re paying by check, bring more than one.
Go – Here’s a list of passport acceptance facilities in Saline County, Arkansas. For more facilities, visit this link. Click a facility name to see hours and passport services.
- Benton Post Office, 1425 Military Rd, Benton, Ar, 72015, 501-315-2950
- Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library, 1800 Smithers Dr, Benton, Ar, 72015, 501-778-4766
- Saline County Circuit Clerk, 200 North Main, Benton, Ar, 72015, 501-303-5607
- Mabel Boswell Memorial Library, 201 Prickett Rd, Bryant, Ar, 72022, 501-847-2166
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Arrive – Apply at the passport acceptance facility of your choice from the list above (or find more facilities at the link provided).
Apply – Fill out or bring and submit the passport application completed in black ink, or type it.
ID – Show your identifying documents and previous passport, if any.
Old Passport – If you’re renewing your application, submit your most recent passport with your application.
Photo – Submit your passport photo or have one taken. It should measure 2 x 2 inches (square). See the the instructions for photos and follow them strictly.
Children – For children ages 0-15, both parents must sign the application in front of the accepting agent. Child(ren) must be present at time of application. For children ages 16-17, One parent and the child must each sign the application in front of the accepting agent.
Payment – Pay the various fees for application, execution, photo and any expediting you may choose. See all the fees in the table below.
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Processing times can be 10-13 weeks, or if you chose to pay for expedited processing, it might be 7-9 weeks.
You can check the status of your passport application online.
This page is current as of September 8, 2023.