Lakewood Askan: Here’s Why You Should Apply For Your Passport Specifically at Ages 16 and 17

A Lakewood Askan who is heavily involved in assisting families with passports, especially since Covid, reached out to TLS with an important information for the community.

He said, that the ages 16 and 17 are the best years to apply for a US passport.

He explained, that under 16, a US passport application will only get you a passport valid for five years.

At age 18, applicants will need a photo ID in order to receive a passport. However, many seminary girls and Yeshiva Bachurim do not yet have a photo ID, making it harder for them to receive a passport.

At age 16 and 17 however, you do not yet need a photo ID for your application, and you will receive a passport valid for 10 years.

The Askan also stressed that many wait until they need a passport to actually apply for one, and that’s a mistake.

”Sometimes people don’t realize they will need a passport, and then when they do, it’s an emergency,” he said. “Congressman Smith’s office has been extremely helpful in obtaining passports in case of an emergency, but that should not be used as a standard,” he said. “If every case is an emergency, then emergencies don’t get taken care of.

During Covid, applicants were receiving passports in about 16 weeks. Currently, it can take 8-11 weeks to receive a passport. An expedited option – for a fee – can slash that time in half.

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  1. I just took my 18 year old to get a passport and since I had my own photo I’d on me they accepted the application and did not have any problems…

    • But – did you actually get your passport? I did this too – nearly a year ago for my son. Filled out the identifying witness form and supplied parent’s ID…County clerk accepted it no problem, but Passport agency has refused to accept the application and has requested additional ID multiple times since… We have still not received the passport.

  2. I just got my 18 year old son a passport He did not have photo I’d. we showed 2 additional forms of identification, a ss card and insurance card. The passport arrived. We were unsure though if it would go through.

  3. Having just struggled with this, I couldn’t agree more. I took my 16 and 18 yr old children for passports. The 16 yr old breezed right through using my id. My 18 year old was told she needed photo ID. So she went for non drivers license but they would not accept any proof of address. We had to open a bank account. But they wouldn’t accept the statements because the bank printed them but did not mail them. We finally received a letter from a government agency with her name and that saved the day. We are up to apt number 4. Let’s hope they will finally accept this.

  4. literally literally on my way back from the consulate with my just turned 16 year old. The whole family renewed passports in october and for this exact reason we pushed hers off till she turns 16.

  5. Why can’t you just get them a id? its not so hard, you can get a student id which every school can give, a permit, non driver id, I really don’t understand why they don’t have one already, by 18

  6. If get an appointment by the passport office and have proof ur leaving with in a few days u get it the same day been there done that

  7. Living in galus I would think it’s imperative for every child to have a passport. Regardless if it’s inconvenient to have to renew every 5 years.

  8. We have a minhag that all ages should have a passport no matter what. My grandparents insisted as in WWII the yidden that were able to escape had a passport and nebach to the yidden that didn’t.

    Although we live in America and we feel comfortable it makes me feel like its a waste of money……But one never knows when war will break.

    All YIDDEN should have a passport. Its $110 for 5-10 years.

  9. I was by the passport office the other day renewing my 5yr old sons since I am with Yankel on this thought, we should have passports for all our kids all the time. We are in galus.

  10. Ref.; the comments that we are still in Galus
    Only a few weeks ago, Putin brought along his nuclear suitcase to accompany him at an important meeting.
    Only a few days ago, Russia is showing on their official TV channel some kind of a game or a sly trick, they show nuclear bombs falling on England.
    About 2 weeks ago, the White House announced that Iran is very very close to that nuclear bomb.
    Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky may his memory be blessed, said that we should not walk outside with our Tallis on top of our garments. We are only guests.

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