I’m a US Citizen and would like to obtain a passport to travel to meet a friend in the Phillipines sometime within the next year or so… what would I need to go through to obtain that?

Look here.

It’s basically a simple process: Birth certificate (if a born citizen), 2 passport photos (available at just about any place that takes pictures) and fill out a form at your local post office. Pay the fee, and several weeks later you’ll get your passport.
What I don’t know is whether you’ll need a visa to enter the Phillipines, though I imagine some searching would turn that up fairly quickly.

Um, yeah. Guess I could have looked that up myself, couldn’t I? With the SDMB at hand, it’s too easy to pawn the work off on someone else.

I also checked with the friend and she told me I don’t need a visa so that’s less that I have to worry about. Thanks for the link. :slight_smile:

Aesiron, here’s another link, for the US Postal Service site which discusses steps to obtain a passport. Ain’t no big thang, but anything can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done. Have fun in the Philippines.

Whether or not you need a visa, as a US citizen, often depends on the length of stay. Most places that means if you stay less than a month.

Can I use this to ask another passport question?

I am going to Kefalonia in June. 1st time flying and 1st time abroad since I was 11. So it will also be the 1st time I apply for a passport.
Thing is I would like to have Pete as my name rather that Peter. Peter I was christened and it is on my birth certificate but I really prefer Pete, its what I and everyone else calls myself.
It will be a British passport, do you think I can get them to put Pete on it?

For foreign country entry requirements for US citizens, check here:

Some add’l advice… if they say you need to pay $x to the local admin and $y dollars to the fed government for your passport, don’t try and give them one check for the combined amount. They need to be separate.

I may have been lucky, but it only took 3 weeks to get mine (they quoted 6), I did NOT pay for expedited service.

Note if you get the PDF form, you can fill out most of the blanks on your computer (for me there wasn’t enough room for a few of the entries-parent’s birthplace for example)

I went to the County Recorder (there is a closer place, but I visiting the county seat on another matter), she copied my driver’s licence and told me who to write the checks to.

3 weeks later I got my passport, and unexpectantly, my birth certificae back.

not planning on international travel, but a “just in case” I win some contest or something.

Pete said:

I don’t know a factual answer (although I doubt they would allow you to use anything but your legal name), but I will tell you everyone and you can still call yourself anything you want without giving a rat’s patoot about what is on your passport. Nobody’s going to take a look at your passport and then insist on calling you Peter.

What’s on your driver’s license (or should I say, licence)? If it’s Peter, is that a problem for you? If it’s Pete, how did you get them to do it?

I dont have a license but you are right, I suppose it would not matter that much.

Make sure that you use a certified copy of the birth certificate (In the US it will have a stamp on it with purple ink, ask me how I know this)

How do you know this, as I have two certified copies of my US birth certificate and neither of them have purple ink.

Helpful tip - if you’re running short on time, your congressman’s office can often expedite passport applications, often without the additional fees.

I had additional pages put in my passport last year, it only took three days, and I don’t think I paid a cent for it. Call your representative for details.

For the simple reason that I went down to the LA passport office with what i thought was what I would need to get said passport. I was turned away because I did not have a certified copy. I asked how did he know that mine was not a certified copy and the answer was NO purple ink stamp over the rather crappy xerox copy. So I sent off whatever $$ the county wanted and got back a copy with the magic purple stamp. I then went back and got my passport.

This may be a state or regional thing. I was born in Ohio and requested certified copies of my birth certificate for puroses of getting a passport. The copies bore no purple stamp but had an embossed seal. I got the passport just fine and there was no question by the USPS person that the certificate was a certified copy.

Mine is a raised seal BC too - no purple ink on it, and it worked. From what I gather, it can’t be just a copy of your BC, it has to be notarized. My passport also came in 2-3 weeks, but I guess they say 6 weeks to be on the safe side. One other thing (although this may be specific to my area) they wouldn’t take a credit card for payment, cash, MO or check only.

Pete- in the States, your legal name goes on your passport. No exceptions. I can’t speak for the UK.
Rick- I can’t believe that county office gave you a xerox! How lame! I have requested copies of birth certificates and marriage certificates from time to time, and at least in CA you get a cool certificate of many colors and textures (kinda like money) to “prove” it’s official, since no-one will take a photocopy anymore.

YMMV, of course.

Former passport agent checking in here.

Some jurisdictions certify their vital records with a purple seal and others with an embossed seal.

Whatever document you submit to the passport agent to prove your citizenship will be returned to you with the passport. If the substantiating document is a previously-issued passport, then you will receive that also; however, it will be canceled in an obvious manner (usually with a couple of holes punched all the way through or a corner cut off).

If you wish to get your vital document from whichever jurisdiction maintains them, a good site (which the State Department recommended a few years ago & that’s how I learned about it) is This site will also take you to the website of the vital records office for that jurisidiction if it happens to maintain one. This is very helpful if that office permits you to order the documents online.

If you are really short on time, you can get a passport in one day (in the U.S., I have no knowledge of other countries’ procedures) if you have a previous passport, even if it’s expired. You can get the forms ahead of time, and go directly to the appropriate office, I think its Customs. They are in major cities; I got mine with a one-morning trek to the office in Philadelphia. I had all the forms, which I got in my county administration building, the required photos (which I got at my local AAA office). I had to pay extra, though. They generally want a reason why you’re in such a hurry, like you already bought your plane ticket. Also had to have another form of photo i.d. – birth certificate was not sufficient for some reason.

MLS: It’s actually the Department of State who’s involved in passports in the United States. They’ve “farmed out” some of the business which is why you can go to many post offices and make your application there.

An expired passport is still considered proof of citizenship; however, it is not considered to be a current identification nor is it valid for travel (after all, how many countries are going to apply a visa to an expired document?).

A birth certificate, provided it indicates birth in the United States, is proof of citizenship. It is not, I repeat–NOT, proof of identity.