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Today we loaded up the infant, the five-year-old, ourselves, and all required documents and made the trek downtown to the District Clerk’s office to apply for Baby S’s first passport. This is the sort of errand on the family to-do list that is probably never “fun”, but it is way harder with a crying infant and tired parents than it otherwise would be. Even getting to this point of going to the passport office was a bit of a process itself since we had to first get her birth certificate, take passport photos of a squirmy infant (more on that later), fill out the passport application, etc. Again, all relatively simple steps in a vacuum, but all exponentially harder to prioritize and complete when you are flat tired.
Read all about how to apply for an infant’s passport here.
In other words, just getting all of us and our documents to the passport office felt like a massive accomplishment. All was going relatively well until I noticed the sign on the wall that reminded applicants that the US State Department fees had to be paid by check (no cash or credit cards). That is something that I knew, but also something I had totally forgotten as we were gathering the necessary documents to head to the passport office. My “emergency check” I stashed in my wallet had already been used and not yet replaced, so I had no a million credit cards, but no checks. My heart sank quite a bit as I realized that all our effort to get to there was going to be in vain thanks to forgetting a small but crucial item.
Very, very thankfully my husband had one ratty and partially torn “emergency check” tucked away in his wallet. He basically saved the day and prevented me from probably having a mini-exhausted-mom-breakdown in the courthouse. Whew.
So, my important tip and reminder when getting a passport is to remember not only all the obvious document, but the check to pay the State Department fees, too! This is doubly true if you are also doing it in a sleep deprived fog for your traveling newborn.