Our trip to Seattle and San Francisco is fast approaching!
When we are in Seattle, we want to take a day trip up to Victoria, British Columbia. Starting June 1, you have to have a U.S. Passport or Passport Card to get into Canada. Since we also live fairly close to Canada, it’s a good idea for us to have passports for the occasional trip over the border.
I first got my passport when I was 16, right before I went to Europe (Spain, France, and Monaco), but it expired just this past November. Not only that, but since I’m now married, I have to get my name changed on it. Michael has never had his passport, so we both have to go through this process.
Fortunately, I’m able to renew by mail, but Michael has to go in person. Anyway, I called today to make an appointment to go into our local post office to figure all of this stuff out. For my mail-in renewal, we’ll have to pay $75. Michael has to pay an extra $25 for a first-time processing fee, so his passport will cost $100. The guy on the phone told me that to get our photos taken on site, it would cost an additional $15 each. CHA-CHING! The passport fees are unavoidable, but $30 for the two of us to get photos taken?? No, thank you!
I immediately started looking into taking our own.
Following the guidelines on the U.S. Department of State’s website, we took our photos after work today. Basically, you have to be on a white or off-white background, and you have to have a “natural” expression (no smiling!). There are also size/composition requirements, but rather than do a bunch of measuring and cropping yourself, I found the coolest little tool online!
ePassportPhoto.com allows you to upload the photo you take, then takes you through a few easy steps to help ensure that your photo is compliant with all of the rules. There are some really specific requirements, like your head has to be at least 1″, but not more than 1 3/8″, etc. Thankfully, ePassportPhoto.com makes it simple.
Once you line up the guides, it resizes and crops your photo for you. Then it creates a printable passport photo sheet, like you see above. It’s automatically formatted to print on a 4″ x 6″ piece of photo paper. You can either send it off to Snapfish to get it printed, or you can download it and print at home. Pretty cool, huh? And did I mention it’s FREE?
We’ll both be sending off our paperwork tomorrow. We’re hoping for a fairly speedy turnaround. *fingers crossed*
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 31 and have been married to Michael for five years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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