First Time Passport Application

For many travelers the first time applying for a passport can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Voyage Blue Travel advisors are here to help answer your questions and reduce the anxiety of applying for the first time. Here is one client’s story of getting his passport:

First Time Passport Application

We were invited to travel to St. Martin this year, which required our first need for passports. It was quite the process.

First thing to consider-you are dealing with the government, which means nothing is easy and help is not exactly forthcoming. I downloaded the application and proceeded to figure out everything that needed to be done.

After reading the application and checking online, I discovered that the timeframe for receiving our passports was no later than 13 weeks from when the application was received at the application office. That gave me about 3 weeks leeway, which obviously was a little stressful. They do offer an expedited process for an additional charge of $90. I decided to let the process play out. My wife decided she would pay the additional fee for more peace of mind.

We decided to go through the United States Post Office for the application process. ADVICE- Read and reread all instructions on the application and bring everything you need with you. If you forget something, they will end the session. You will need to make a new appointment and wait again for the date to come around. Remember- you are dealing with a government employee. Luck of the draw how friendly and helpful they will be. The person before me did not have the correct form and was sent home to start all over again. It was stated again during the process that it would be 13 weeks, of this he was confident. NOTE-part of the application process is giving a copy and the original of your Birth Certificate. Both copies get sent in with the application, so you will be without your Birth Certificate until returned when your passport is delivered.

After the application process was over, the stressful wait begins. If possible- get a passport BEFORE you need one. This will eliminate the stress part completely. Had I known! With my wife paying for the expedited service, she received her passport in about 6 weeks. Oddly, her birth certificate was mailed separately a few days later. I did not opt for the quicker alternative. However, my passport (and birth certificate) arrived after about 9 weeks- plenty of time to spare.

All in all, the process was rather simple (as long as you pay attention to the instructions). Dealing with a government employee with no personality during the application was a bit bothersome, but the whole thing took only about 15-20 minutes.  $165 later, I now have a passport good for 10 years. I truly suggest getting one well before you need one. Now that I have one, I can travel anywhere my heart and my Voyage Blue Travel planner lead me to.

Bon Voyage!

Judy and Orlo in Marigot, St. Martin

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