The Fort Campbell Courier

Passport office reminds public of rules, process

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Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2009 12:00 am

Fort Campbell Passport Office assists in making travel plans good to go, but there is useful advice to heed before going to apply for passports, whether the application is for Soldier, Family member or civilian.

The office provides services to help Family members obtain no-fee passports when accompanying sponsors overseas or if there is a permanent change of station, according to Vicki Pemberton, chief of strength accounting in travel.

The office provides official, no-fee passports for the following people only: Family accompanying Soldiers; government employees on assignment abroad; and Soldiers on special management assignment.

However, no-fee passports cannot be used for personal travel abroad. Those wishing to travel outside the area they are assigned to must purchase a tourist passport, which can be purchased at the Fort Campbell Post Office.

"VISAs are only required for certain countries," Pemberton said.

Application process

A paper application can be filled out for tourist passports at the post office, but one new change at the passport office is that all no-fee passports are required to be filled out online, so the bar code will print on the application.

Follow four easy steps to receive your passport:

• Fill out the application online at: http://travel.state.gov

• Print application and bring to the office with a certified birth certificate or the original copy.

• If there are any applicable custody documents or issues, call the office due to U.S. Department of State guidelines.

• The office will take your picture and take care of the rest. The process can take from 6-8 weeks or longer during heavy travel times.

Due to the length of the application process, Pemberton urges those who will need a passport to begin the process as soon as they learn of their assignment.

As well, if a birth certificate document is the correct certified copy, it must be in "fairly good" condition to be considered an acceptable document for the application process. No torn, badly worn or faded copies will be acceptable for passport documentation purposes.

Strict U.S. Department of State rules require a copy that is in good condition, Pemberton said. "They're getting good at kicking stuff back."

Another documentation rule requires that anyone born overseas must obtain a copy of a birth abroad certificate.

Other than birth certificates, previously issued passports are acceptable to establish citizenship.

When arriving to apply for the passport, it's also necessary to bring a photo ID, social security card or any documents that show a life-changing event, such as marriage, death or adoption certificates or guardianship or divorce papers.

If both parents aren't able to be present, one parent with a consent form signed by an absent parent must be present when applying for children's passports.

What to wear

Since photos will be taken at the office, it is important to remember what clothing is acceptable for passports before arriving. Men are expected to wear collared shirts and women should wear conservative shirts. No spaghetti straps or strapless shirts will be acceptable for passport photos. Children are allowed to wear t-shirts as long as they do not contain graphics or writing.

Hair must not have beads, bows or clips and piercings other than those in the ear must be removed.

For more information regarding passports and visas, call 270-798-4965/2036.

PASSPORT protocol

Follow four easy steps to receive your passport:

• Fill out the application online at: http://travel.state.gov

• Print application and bring to the office with a certified birth certificate or the original copy.

• If there are any applicable custody documents or issues, call the office due to U.S. Department of State guidelines.

• The office will take your picture and take care of the rest. The process can take from 6-8 weeks or longer during heavy travel times.

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