Take advantage of Passport Day USA

Have you put off getting a new passport or renewing your expired book? Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 27. The U.S. Department of State has set aside this date as Passport Day USA. Dozens of regional passport offices nationwide will take walk-up applicants - no appointment necessary - for passport books, passport cards or both.

A passport is required of all U.S. citizens traveling internationally by air.

A passport card is a wallet-size document used instead of a passport book when adult travelers (over age 16) enter the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda. It cannot be used as an official document when traveling by air.

Applicants can request routine or, for $60 more, expedited service in getting a new or renewed passport.

A passport typically takes four to six weeks to issue, or two to three weeks with expedited service.

If you need another push to get a new passport or renew your current passport, this news might spur you into action. The State Department is planning to boost passport fees by 35% within the next weeks. The cost to get a new passport for adults will rise from $100 to $135. The cost to renew a passport would rise from $75 to $110 and a passport for a minor (under age 16) is proposed to increase to $105 from $85. The cost for a passport card will rise from $45 to $55.

A shocker in the price increase proposal will be an $82 fee to add extra visa pages to passport books. Currently this service is free.

Visit this link for information on what documents are necessary to apply for a new passport:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_830.html

Here's a link to the nearly one dozen greater Atlanta locations to visit next Saturday:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptday/locations/usstates/usstates_4684.html