Passport fair aims to help with process


Passport costs

- $97 for adults older than 16; in two separate payments: $30 to the U.S. Postal Service (processing fee) and $67 to the Department of State (application fee)

- $82 for children younger than 16; in two separate payments: $30 to the U.S. Postal Service and $52 to the Department of State Note: All passports must be paid for by personal check

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Passport Fair

When: 8 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steamboat Springs Post Office, 200 Lincoln Ave.

Other: Download passport applications at or

— The annual mid-winter exodus of Routt County residents heading south of the border for warm weather and tans could be a little more complicated come 2007.

Starting Jan. 8, 2007, new national guidelines will dictate that all U.S. citizens and foreign nationals present passports when traveling to or from neighboring countries such as Canada, Mexico and Caribbean nations.

According to the Department of State, the goal of the Initiative is to strengthen border security and ease entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized, secure and reliable documentation. Doing so will allow Department of Homeland Security employees to quickly, reliably and accurately identify a traveler, the Department of State's Web site reads.

Travelers accustomed to providing only driver's licenses and birth certificates when traveling to neighboring countries no longer will be able to do so. Passports will be required for all travelers, including minors.

To help area residents with the transition, the Steamboat Springs Post Office is offering a Passport Fair on Saturday. Post Office officials recommend that anyone interested in obtaining a passport bring valid proof of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate issued by a city, county or state, naturalization certificate or old U.S. passport) and a proof of identity (driver's license, government ID, military photo ID, etc.). Children 13 and younger must be in the presence of both parents to obtain a passport. A birth certificate may be needed to prove who the child's biological parents are.

Passport applicants also must bring two identical photographs of themselves. Photo services will be provided at the Passport Fair for an additional $15. To save time, a passport application is available at or Applicants can complete those forms ahead of time and bring them to the fair.

Post Office personnel will be on hand to answer questions and help with the application process.

"We will have postal staff, knowledgeable in all aspects of processing passport applications, including taking photos for passports, if needed," Steamboat Springs Postmaster Frank Murphy said.


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