Documents You’ll Need

Documents Passports and Other Assistance


If you are traveling outside of the United States, even on a cruise ship that makes a round trip to a U.S. port, you will need a passport. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to get a passport. If this is your first passport, go to the U.S. government website for the forms, instructions and passport office addresses.

You will need to appear at a passport office with

  • your application,
  • proof of citizenship (usually your birth certificate or social security card),
  • proof of identity (your driver’s license or other government issued I.D.),
  • 2 identical 2″x 2″ photos in color against a white background (the post office, Walgreen’s, Costco or Lieber’s Luggage can take these for you) and
  • payment (as of February 20, 2020 $145).

If this is a passport renewal and your passport is 12 years old or less, you can apply for renewal by mail. Go to the U.S. government website to find the form and fees due, have new photos taken and mail the package at least 4 to 6 weeks ahead of your planned trip.

Real ID

Real I.D. is another type of identification, issued by the state of New Mexico. A real ID is a form of identification that meets increased security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. You will need a real I.D. to fly within the United States after October 1, 2020. It does not function as an international travel identification. You may go to the Motor Vehicle Department or to MVD offices with your required documents. Applicants must present two proofs of residency, such as a utility bill and a bank statement; proof of identity and legal residence in the United States; and a Social Security card. A W-2 form listing a Social Security number is an acceptable alternative to a Social Security card. More information?

Global Entry or other Trusted Traveler Programs

Global Entry and other Travel Security Administration issued Trusted Traveler (TT) identifications allow you (or Sun Tours) to add the TT number to travel records. When your TT number is on your airline records, for example, you will receive a TSA Pre-Check on your boarding pass and be allowed to go through a special TSA Pre-Check line, which usually allows you to skip removing liquids or computers from your carry-on bag and to skip removing your shoes. Upon your return from overseas, if you have a Global Entry card, you can go through a kiosk rather than wait in line at U.S. Immigration. There are 4 different types of Trusted Traveler programs and you must have a passport to register for any of them, even if you do not intend to travel overseas. Go to the Trusted Traveler website for more information.

STEP – SmartTravel Enrollment Program

STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once you have a passport, you can register yourself and add your trips as you prepare to travel. More information.