Getting Passport Ready for Italy

Italy travel planning tips information

We’ve updated our information for 2018 to give you everything you need to know for getting passport ready for Italy. There are loads of changes, so buckle up as we help you get passport ready for Italy.

Still have more questions? Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help make your dreams come true.

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Passport Requirements for Italy

You will need only your passport to enter most European countries, although some countries (especially outside of Western Europe) will require you to have a visa, as well. There are rumors that the EU will require visas for American travelers in the future, but at this time there is nothing in the works.

Best Time to Apply for an American Passport

Well, honestly…NOW. This year is going to be a crazy one and the State Department is predicting about 20 million renewals. There are two reasons for this.

Half of the states and territories in the US will require a passport for domestic travel. This is called the Real ID Act and states were given until January 22, 2018 to comply. That’s right. Your driver’s license may not be good enough any more for a quick trip to Vegas. These states (mine included) do not issue compliant state identification and were given the above extension to get their act together. At this writing, things are a bit up in the air and unclear. Click HERE to see if your state is on the naughty list.

Secondly, there were a record number of passports issued in 2006-2007 in response to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative put into action in 2008. That’s when everyone needed a passport to visit places like Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas (which is an embarrassing story I may never share with any of my followers). Guess when these are all set to expire. Yep. This year.

Timelines have changed and instead of needing 4-6 weeks for your passport, you should anticipate 6-8. November is the best month to apply (actually from Oct-Dec you will do well). For those that missed the window, make sure you take care of things before March. This is the absolute, hands-down worst month to apply.

You can expedite your passport for an extra fee and get yours back to you in about 2 weeks. Form and details HERE.

United States Passport Fees

Passport Books, required for international travel, are $110.

Passport Cards, for domestic use only, are $30.

Save yourself some trouble and just get both for $140

Expediting is usually an additional $60

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The 6-month Rule

Your passport must be valid for six months AFTER you return home. This is no longer a should do but a must. Record numbers of travelers were refused entry back into the states that didn’t follow this rule. Unfortunately, you can leave the country without a problem but getting back in becomes a bugger. That’s no way to end a vacation of a lifetime.

 

How to Apply for Your Passport for the First Time

All first time passport applications are only accepted in person, you can not apply on-line or via mail. You will need to bring valid proof of identity if two forms and and they are strict about this.

You must submit one of the following. Your evidence must be an original or certified copy. Photocopies and notarized copies are not acceptable.

  • Fully-valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
  • U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
    • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
    • Lists your full name, date of birth, and place of birth
    • Lists your parent(s)’ full names
    • Has the date filed with registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth)
    • Has the registrar’s signature
    • Has the seal of the issuing authority
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship

You must also present one of the following identification documents.

  • In-state, fully-valid driver’s license
  • Fully-valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Government employee ID (city, county, state or federal)
  • U.S. military ID or military dependent ID
  • Valid foreign passport
  • Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular Identification, commonly used by the parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant)

They will also require the ever attractive passport photo. These can be done at some application offices but I always bring mine with me and ready to go.  Photos can be taken at AAA offices, most drug stores and large warehouse stores. The photo requirements are strict and if not followed can result in a delay in processing. See the guidelines below and consider yourself warned.

  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • Size of photo
    • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
    • Size of head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 – 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Recent, taken in the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • No glasses
    • If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with your application.
  • Background must be plain white or off-white
  • Head must be directly facing the camera with your full face in view
  • Taken with a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open
  • In color
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
  • No hats or head coverings, unless you wear it daily for religious purposes. Your full face must be visible and your head covering cannot cast shadows on your face.
  • No headphones or wireless hands-free devices.

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Renewing your Passport or Making a Name Change

For simple renewals or name changes that do not need to be expedited you can send your application via mail. The link HERE will help you determine which form you need, as the documents for a simple application or renewal are much different from the ones for a name change or minor.

Passport Applications for Minors

In addition to the above requirements for a first time passport application, minors under 16 require documentation that lists the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child applying for a passport.  The following may be used to show parental relationship:

  • U.S. birth certificate (also evidence of U.S. citizenship)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (also evidence of U.S. citizenship)
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce/Custody decree

Both parents/guardians must authorize the issuance of the child’s passport. The best way to do this is for both parents/guardians to go with the child in person to apply for the passport. For situations where one parent can’t be located or only one parent has sole custody, additional paperwork is requested. For full details on minor applications click HERE.

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