There is no frigate like a book, Dickinson wrote, and the public libraries are processing passport applications to help you sail away.
The library is a passport acceptance facility, so, by appointment, Radford Public Library’s Cataloging Librarian Claire Broyles, helps people apply for new or renew passports.
The modestly busy service, a little more than a year old, has helped people apply for more than 100 passports.
While sites to begin the passport acquisition process are dwindling, Radford, Montgomery County libraries and Radford, Blacksburg and Pulaski post offices still serve as acceptance facilities as do the Pulaski and Montgomery County courthouses.
Passport forms can be acquired online, but signatures on new passport applications need to be witnessed at acceptance facilities.
“It’s helpful to the community to have different options,” Broyles said. “It’s better to have a lot of different places to get a passport.”
Passports aren’t cheap. In addition to the up-to-$110 passport fee, the acceptance facility also charges a processing fee.
“There is an execution fee to any acceptance facility of $35. The Department of State has recently increased this fee so you may see $25 still posted in some places,” Broyles said.
If you are renewing a passport and can answer “yes” to all the questions asked on the State Department website’s renewal page, coming to an acceptance facility isn’t necessary.
Everyone else would need to make an appointment at an acceptance facility, Broyles said.
Broyles explains the ins and outs: passport books are good for international travel by air, sea, or land, whereas a passport “card” cannot be used for international air travel.
“The card is good for entering the United States at land-border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean and Bermuda. You cannot fly internationally with the passport card. Both the card and the book are Real ID compliant and can be used for domestic air travel,” she said. “It’s not terribly complicated, but people need to bring in their proof of citizenship and an application.”
Those application forms for acquiring new passports or renewing them for adults and children are gotten at www.travel.state.gov
Since you’re at the library already, it may be interesting to recognize the wealth of historic information in passport applications.
Stretching back to Oct. of 1795, National Archives and Records searchable database has recorded passport applications that serve as an excellent source of genealogical information, especially when seeking information about people born outside of the US. Changes in passport requirements reveal a lot about national history the site points out.
To make an appointment for your own passport, call your local library, post office or courthouse.