Passport + Photos

If you don’t have a current passport and are considering studying abroad, it’s important to apply for a passport as soon as possible. Do not wait.

The typical processing time for a new U.S. passport is 3 months. Even if you pay extra for “expedited” processing, you may still wait 2 months.

If you are studying abroad for a full semester, you will likely also need a student visa to the country where you will study. To even apply for a visa, you must already have a passport. And the visa process itself can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months.

What is a “current” passport?

For a passport to be “current” or “valid”, it must not expire for more than six months after your intended date of return to the United States.

Example 1:

  • My passport will expire on Feb 20, 2024.
  • My study abroad program is for Fall 2023. The program lasts from August 1, 2023 to December 1, 2023.
  • Feb 20, 2024 is NOT more than six months after December 1, 2023.
  • So, I need a new passport before I can study abroad (or even apply for a student visa for Fall 2023).

Example 2:

  • My passport will expire on December 1, 2024.
  • My study abroad program is for Summer 2023. The program lasts from June 1, 2023 to August 1, 2023.
  • June 1, 2025 IS more than six months after December 1, 2023.
  • My passport is current/valid.

How do I apply for a passport?

Please review our one-page U.S. Passport Quick Guide (updated Jan 2022) for a helpful summary!

In sum, you will need a completed application form, passport photographs that meet the regulations, several forms of proof of identity, and 2 checks or money orders.

If this is your first passport and/or you are renewing a passport that was issued before you were 16 years old, you must submit your application in-person at a passport processing facility. In Berea, that is the U.S. Post Office on Glades Road. The campus post office cannot process passport applications.

The form

  • Here’s the DS-11 application that should be used by:
    • First-time passport applicants;
    • Applicants applying for a renewal IF their previous passport was issued when they were under 16, or was issued more than 15 years ago, or was lost or stolen.
  • Other applicants who need a renewal can use the DS-82 and apply for their renewal by mail.
  • Full information on the passport application process is on the official U.S. Department of State website.

Please note that the DS-11 can be completed online or by hand in black ink. Regardless of how you complete the form, DO NOT SIGN YOUR FORM until the post office asks you to do so during your appointment.

The photos

Our office provides passport photo-taking services!

Come by to have your photo taken and you’ll get 2 printed, regulation-sized photos for a total of $10.

  • Passport photo hours are 8:30 – 11:30 am and 1:30 – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • No appointment is necessary.
  • To pay, you can charge your student account or pay in cash (no cards accepted).
  • Per regulations, you cannot be wearing any kind of hat, headwrap, scarf, glasses, jacket or hoodie in the photo.
    • It’s also important to wear a colored shirt (white blends into the background).

The proofs of identity and citizenship

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship — a previous passport or a certified birth certificate (with raised seal)
    • See more details here (scroll to “2. Provide Evidence of U.S. Citizenship”).
  • Photocopy of proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Proof of identity
    • If you are a KY resident, you can bring one primary form of id.
    • Out-of-state residents need two, such as a driver’s license/state ID + your student ID.
    • See more details here (scroll to “4. Present ID”).
  • Photocopy of proof of U.S. citizenship

The fees

You will need 1 check or money order as the application fee can ONLY be paid by check or money order.

  1. Application fee — $130 regular or $190 for expedited**  — Made out to the U.S. Department of State (Only check or money order accepted)
  2. Processing fee — $35 — Made out to the U.S. Postal Service. Or, the processing fee can be paid by credit or debit card.
  • If you do not have a checkbook, you can get a money order at the campus post office (you will need to provide cash).
  • Emergency loans are available for students who have been approved to study abroad and need to apply for a passport.
  • **Note that the additional $60 for expedited processing can not be covered by Financial Aid.

The appointment

Once your documents are complete and you have your checks or money orders in hand, you are ready for your appointment! You must make an appointment online.

If you are in Berea, you can make an appointment for the Berea Post Office on Glades Road. If you are located elsewhere, you can use the above link to find the closest facility.

Reminder:  The campus post office cannot process passport applications.

Final reminders

Again, we have a handy U.S. Passport Quick Guide (updated Jan 2022)!

DO NOT WAIT! Go ahead and apply! We’d hate for you to miss an opportunity (and potentially owe money for a program) because your passport does not arrive in time.