New U.S. Passport Law Goes Into Effect

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passportStarting Jan. 23, 2007, passports will be required for all air travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean for citizens of the United States. A year from now, travel to and from those places by car or ship will also require a passport.Before Jan. 23, 2007, United States citizens also needed a state issued ID or birth certificate to travel to and from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Iowa’s Scott County recorder Rita Vargas explains why people need a passport, “somebody who’s a citizen is going to need to have one because on Jan. 23rd, they will not let you out of the country if you leave here by sea of air.”Passports can be obtained at any U.S. post office, the circuit courts, and various travel agencies or through Scott County’s Administration Building at 428 Western Ave. in Davenport, Iowa. One does not need to reside in Scott County to receive a passport there. Once the passport is purchased through check or money order (no other methods are presently accepted) the passport is valid for a total of ten years.When applying for a passport please bring the following:1. Evidence of Citizenship: One of the following 3 documents must be submitted with your Application and will be returned with your new passport.
•  Birth Certificate: A certified copy of a Birth Certificate issued by the county or state. A notarized copy or a hospital birth certificate is not acceptable.
•  Naturalization Certificate: A person who claims US citizenship by naturalization must submit the original Certificate of Naturalization with the application.
•  Expired Passport: This is acceptable. However if the child was under 14 when the passport was issued, you must submit a certified copy of the birth certificate along with the expired passport.
2. Two (2) Identical Passport Photos: (2” x 2” color) Front view of applicant, taken within the last six months.
3. Personal Information: A valid driver’s license (not driver permit), or a photo from school, bank or employment. Expired ID’s are not accepted. Anyone under 18 must have a parent along with the parent’s ID for a parental consent and signature. Both parents’ signatures are required for children under 14.
4. Payment: Each passport should be paid by two (2) checks or money orders (debit or credit cards are not accepted): $30 payable to the place where the passport was issued. For example if you go to Scott County this payment would be to the Scott County recorder. The second payment is $67 payable to “U.S. Department of State.” If the person is under 16 years the fee is $52 and the passport is valid for 5 years.

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