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Traveling out of the country? Get your passport on April 9

Published March 31. 2011 05:00PM

If you're planning to travel out of the country, but don't have a passport, the solution is closer than you think - at a nearby Post Office. The Postal Service is teaming up with the U.S. State Department for National Passport Day on Saturday, April 9. Many Post Offices will be holding Passport Fairs to help customers who need a passport get ready for overseas travel. Passport applications will be processed in the main window section, no appointment is necessary during the Passport Fair.

Normally, it costs $135 for adults (16 years and older), with separate payments of $110 paid to the State Department for the passport application fee and $25 to the Postal Service for its processing fee. For persons under 16, the cost is $105, with separate payments of $80 and $25 respectively. For expedited service, add $60 for each application.

Those planning to get a passport should bring proper proof of American citizenship or naturalization. This must be either a state-issued birth certificate; a previous passport; or a naturalization certificate, if you're foreign born. (Note: A hospital issued birth certificate isn't acceptable).

Also needed is one officially acceptable state or government photo ID. This can be either a driver's license, a military photo ID, or state-issued photo ID. Workplace IDs and regular photos are generally not acceptable.

For those who do not have a current photo, many Post Offices that accept passports can take one for a fee.

To save time, download passport application documents at and fill out beforehand. However, don't sign the application form. The passport acceptance clerk must witness the signing.

Customers can go to http://www.usps.come or call 800-ASK-USPS to get the location of Passport Post Offices nearest them and their passport customer service hours.

Travelers should note - the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires Americans to show a valid U.S. Passport book, a U.S. Passport card or other special travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security when entering the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings and sea ports of entry.

Local post offices include: Blakesee Post Office, Route 115, Blakeslee; Lehigh Valley Post Office, 17 S. Commerce Way, Lehigh Valley; and Slatington Post Office, 605 Main St., Slatington.

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