By ASHLEY DICKSON
Students planning summer trips abroad will have access to passport application recommendations during a visit from a Provo Main Post Office representative today.
At a booth located in front of the University Station Post Office on the first floor of the Wilkinson Student Center, the representative will provide passport applications, share tips and offer information about Click-N-Ship, an online Post Office at www.usps.com.
“The Post Office is doing more and more passports now,” said Phil Stringham, district retail manager at the Salt Lake District Office. “All the study abroad, all the mission stuff, all the traveling… It’s always good to have a passport. We want to make sure they get them ahead of time.”
Stringham said the representative will have all the passport forms at the Post Office’s booth today. The forms can be filled out at the booth, then taken to the Provo Main Post Office, where the application process can take as little as ten minutes or less.
It often takes about two months to receive a passport in the mail, Stringham said, so it’s wise to apply early to get things back in time for planned trips or missions. He also said it’s likely that passports will soon be required to travel to Canada and Mexico, creating a bigger need for students to have a current passport.
Teri Averett, supervisor of the University Station Post Office, said students ask questions about passports quite frequently, so it’s a great idea to have a visiting representative come with passport information.
“We don’t have anything to do with passports,” Averett said. “We’ve usually just directed the to the passport office [at the Provo Main Post Office].”
Another offer of interest to BYU students is Click-N-Ship, an online post office created to save time and money, according to a news release. Stringham said Click-N-Ship is a new Internet service provided for consumers to purchase postage online, print the postage label, tape it on the parcel and hand it to their mail carrier. In addition, stamps can be purchased through this Web site, by mail, by fax, in grocery stores and at a variety of other locations.
“With colleges, kids are using the computer – they’re pretty high-tech,” Stringham said. “You can do all your mailing right there online. The older generation doesn’t seem to want to get out and use that, but the younger generation is excited about it.”
He said this online service will also help decrease the typically long Post Office lines.
Averett said Click-N-Ship can be used by students as long as they have a computer and a credit card.
The representative will be on campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Provo Main Post Office is located at 95 West 100 South and lists its passport hours as 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.
To have your passport process go smoothly and efficiently, the post office recommends the following:
1. Come in as early as possible to apply for your passport – at least two months or earlier before your departure – to avoid the $60 charge to expedite your application. Normal cost for an adult passport is $85.
2. Bring in proper proof of American citizenship or naturalization (a state-issued certified birth certificate, previous official passport or naturalization certificate if you are foreign born).
3. Bring in one officially acceptable state or government photo ID (driver’s license, military photo ID, state-issued photo ID).
4. Passport application requires two recent identical photographs of you, which the post office will take for a $10 fee. These photos must meet specific passport requirements.