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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Now that almost everyone has a digital camera of some sort, you should take your own passport picture and then have it printed out at your local convenient store.
    Just make sure you follow all of the centering/white balance rules. I've seen people have their pictures rejected when they take them themselves. Then listening to them yell at the official really slows the line down.

  2. #22

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    I would suggest checking the Government of Canada website to check and see how much time you need left on your passport to come up here. The problem is not that the US won't let you back home with an almost-expired passport, it is that the country you are traveling to wants to make sure you are going to have valid travel documents to cover all your time here. (iirc)

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    Thanks Skate Talker! The Gov't of Canada website was helpful. Looks like it won't be an issue - if I just get a state ID I don't even need a passport at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Now that almost everyone has a digital camera of some sort, you should take your own passport picture and then have it printed out at your local convenient store.

    I will never have a passport picture taken from the like of WalMart or Target again. They looked like crap (well, it could be due to me, LOL) . For my current passport I took my own picture, and it came out 10x times better than what I paid for at Walmart/ Target.
    I thought that there were some regulations that must be followed, which is why I went to a place where they routinely take passport pictures.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Thanks Skate Talker! The Gov't of Canada website was helpful. Looks like it won't be an issue - if I just get a state ID I don't even need a passport at all.
    I thought you needed one to get back into the US. (You used to not need one, but didn't it change in the last few years? That's why the passport card is available- a cheaper alternative to a real passport)

  6. #26
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    Just FYI, a lot of libraries do passports now. Ours does and we are more friendly than the post office

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I thought you needed one to get back into the US. (You used to not need one, but didn't it change in the last few years? That's why the passport card is available- a cheaper alternative to a real passport)
    I was surprised too, but the US website said I just needed a government-issued ID and my birth certificate. In anycase, I'll take my still-valid passport and a bunch of other stuff too and hopefully i'll get where I'm going.
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    And don't wear a white shirt for the picture. My mom just renewed her passport and had her picture taken at CVS. She had on a white shirt in front of a white background. With her pale skin and white hair, all you could see were two eyeballs looking out at you!

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    WOW those fees are a lot higher than I remember paying for my last passport

    Mine expires in May 2011...
    I got mine renewed in 2008. I like the cool new features of the e-Passport, such as simply scanning the passport at the Toronto airport check-in machine. There was no need for an actual human to inspect it.

    http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_2788.html

    Since it is good for 10 years, I think of the cost based on how much per year. $15 a year isn't much to have proof I'm a citizen, imo.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1lutz2klutz View Post
    And don't wear a white shirt for the picture. My mom just renewed her passport and had her picture taken at CVS. She had on a white shirt in front of a white background. With her pale skin and white hair, all you could see were two eyeballs looking out at you!
    My first passport when I was a teenager was in a Hard Rock Cafe "Save the Planet" sweatshirt. When cropped it read "Save the Plane"

    Most scanners laughed like crazy when they saw it- but in todays climate I'm very glad to have a new picture.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Just make sure you follow all of the centering/white balance rules. I've seen people have their pictures rejected when they take them themselves. Then listening to them yell at the official really slows the line down.
    I was told by someone who recently renewed his passport that you're no longer allowed to smile in your picture (something about smiles throwing off the facial recognition software). I can't find any confirmation of this on the Dept. of State web site, though.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    I was told by someone who recently renewed his passport that you're no longer allowed to smile in your picture (something about smiles throwing off the facial recognition software). I can't find any confirmation of this on the Dept. of State web site, though.
    I remember that, too, from a couple years ago. I think I was instructed to do a slight smile.

    7 Steps to Successful Photos
    • Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open
    • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 13⁄8 inch (25 mm to 35 mm)
    • Center head within frame (see Figure 2 below)
    • Make sure eye level is between 11⁄8 inch and 13⁄8 inch (28 mm and 35 mm) from bottom of photo
    • Photograph subject against a plain white or off-white background
    • Position subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background
    • Encourage subject to have a natural expression
    http://travel.state.gov/pdf/Photo%20...2010-01-04.pdf


    Britain:

    10,000 a week have passport applications rejected over new photo rule
    By LIN JENKINS, Mail on Sunday
    Last updated at 12:36 11 June 2006

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hoto-rule.html

  13. #33

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    I just got mine renewed in Oz and you are not allowed to show teeth. They are very strict on the photo over here, my first one was a hair too short (too much gap above my head) so they wouldn't accept it. We also pay over $200 for renewal here.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    WOW those fees are a lot higher than I remember paying for my last passport

    Mine expires in May 2011...I know that there are some international travel restrictions 6 months before the expiration date (which is ). Do I need to renew before I go to Canada next month, or is it just for flying?
    Really?

    Shoot, my US passport is going to expire March 2011. Not that I have the $$$ right now to travel to the US, but it's good to sorta know this. I guess when I have the cash I'll go to the US embassy in Mexico City and renew it.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1lutz2klutz View Post
    And don't wear a white shirt for the picture. My mom just renewed her passport and had her picture taken at CVS. She had on a white shirt in front of a white background. With her pale skin and white hair, all you could see were two eyeballs looking out at you!
    I was with a friend once and he was getting his passport picture taken at Walmart. He was wearing white and they said that it wouldn't look good in the pic and made him wear a Walmart vest for the pic

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I thought that there were some regulations that must be followed, which is why I went to a place where they routinely take passport pictures.
    When you apply for the passport there will be some information regarding the passport picture that you must submit. They're very simple rules to follow, ie the photo must be a recent, exact likeness of you, your entire head should be clearly framed by the borders, the background should be plain and white, etc. It doesn't take a college degree to follow them. When you go to a place like Walmart to take your passport picture all they do is put you against a pulled down white screen and then the technician takes out a portable digital camera and snap the picture. There's absolutely no reason to pay for that.

    The bonus of taking your own picture is that you can try to find the most flattering lighting for your pic and take as many pictures as you like until you're satisfied. Ok, that's kind of shallow, but a passport is good for several years and I wouldn't want to see a hideous picture of myself on it .

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I was surprised too, but the US website said I just needed a government-issued ID and my birth certificate. In anycase, I'll take my still-valid passport and a bunch of other stuff too and hopefully i'll get where I'm going.
    That's only to get into Canada. To get back to the US you need more than the ID/birth certificate.

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...y_requirements

    When returning to the United States from Canada, it is very important to note that all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. The only exception to this requirement is for U.S. citizens under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious, or other youth group) who need only present a birth certificate (original, photocopy or certified copy), Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or naturalization certificate.

  18. #38
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    yes, that's why I said I was bringing my still-valid passport too.

    I just find it aggravating that there are any restrictions on using a passport that hasn't expired. What's the point of an expiry date if it really means "6 or more months before this date"? I guess some people travel on a short time passport as a way to get stuck in their destination country? But what's to stop a determined person from doing that anyway and just leaving earlier?
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  19. #39

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    I have traveled on a passport that had less than 6 months until expiration and I didn't have any trouble, as far as I remember. But when it comes down to a few months you really should get it renewed anyway since it may take a while for the new one to make it to you. I remember renewing mine actually about 6 months before I was planning a trip out of the country, since it was actually due to expire right around that time, and there was a place to indicate if you had an upcoming trip, I guess so they would try harder to get your passport to you on time. I remember it came back in about a month, so that was pretty amazing.

  20. #40
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    I must confess that every time I've renewed it's been a nightmare

    I use my passport as my primary ID so I'm wary of sending it away in the mail - but I can do it if I get a state ID (which is what I did last time....and then I let it lapse ).
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