Staying Safe Abroad – Information for US Citizens Traveling Abroad

In fiscal year 1997, exactly 6,295,003 passports were obtained in the U.S.
Obtaining your passport is very easy and necessary if traveling overseas. All you have to do is go to your local
County Clerk building. You can also download the official application right from the US State Dept. Here is some more information and the items you need to bring
with you.

1. Obtain a court-certified birth certificate or naturalization certificate to prove U.S. citizenship. It must
be from the county you were born in, NOT from the hospital.

2. If you do not have your birth certificate, the Register of Deeds from the county where you
were born can issue you one.

3. Two identical current passport photos (full face from a front view, 2 x 2 inches). Sears is
a good place to get a couple of small photos.

4. Photo identification with a physical description on it (most state drivers license will qualify).

5. Money. It costs about $60 these days.

6. Applications can be obtained from a Clerk’s office or travel agency. To download from the
internet you first need Adobe
Acrobat Reader

7. The Clerk’s office will process your application and forward it to a passport agency, where
your passport will be printed.

8. To avoid any delays or cancellations of travel, be sure to apply for the passport well in
advance, at least 6 weeks.

9. Passports issued to adults are good for 10 years. Children passports expire after 5 years.

10. If you currently have a 10-year passport which will expire in the next year or has been expired
for less than two years, you may not have to appear in person at a clerk of courts office.

11. Some countries also require visas. Contact a travel agency to learn which countries require

12. Your representative can also provide information that American citizens should know before
traveling to certain countries–including travel advisories, immunization requirements and the locations of American
embassies and consulates in the countries to which you are traveling.

13. Follow this link to the U.S. State Department for more information.

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