While I understand that some of you may be confused, step 1 was not to cut a hole in the box. It was to get my US passport renewed.
I still remember when my dad took me to get my first passport when I turned 18. I needed it before going to France the summer after I graduated from high school. When I found out it would last 10 years, I was frustrated with what I had chosen to wear for the picture. I also remember thinking then how long 10 years seemed to be and wondering if I would even need to renew it again anyways.
Well it turns out that 10 years have flown by, and the timing was such that I would definitely need a new passport by 2010. So just to be safe and to avoid some extra headaches, I thought ahead and renewed early in January 2009. Given some of the hangups later on down the line, this definitely was a good decision.
The US Passport Renewal process was one of the clearest and easiest to complete. In January I prepared and mailed the following to the US government:
- Basic application form
- Two passport photos (Walgreens stop #1)
- $75 application fee
The only additional cost was securely mailing everything to them so as to not lose my existing passport to a mail accident. I received my new passport back six weeks later!