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Pre-departure planning


If you don't already have one, you should apply for a passport immediately. You should plan on at least six weeks for standard processing.

CIBTvisasOpens in new window is MSU's preferrred provider of passport and visa services, offering fast processing and special pricing for MSU travelers. Further information is available here (PDF)*.

U.S. and non-U.S. citizens need a passport both to enter other countries and to return to the United States. If you already have a passport, make sure it is valid until at least six months after your return date. New U.S. passports take six to eight weeks for processing, depending on the time of the year. Passports are valid for ten years. Apply early to avoid complications caused by misplaced original birth certificates and similar problems.

Passport forms are available at many federal and state courts, probate courts, some county/municipal offices and some post offices. They can also be downloaded at the U.S. Department of State website. This site will also link you to the procedures and the form for renewing your passport. This can take just as long as applying for a new passport.

For complete information about passport services, visit the U.S. Department of State website.

For first-time applicants age 16 and older, a ten-year passport is $135 and includes a passport application fee ($110) and an execution fee ($25).

With your completed application, you must also have the following:

  1. Proof of U.S. citizenship (i.e., certified birth certificate)
  2. Proof of identity (i.e., a valid driver's license)
  3. One photograph (2 inches x 2 inches with white background)
  4. $135 payment
  5. Your social security number

You must submit your application to a post office. Do NOT send your application by mail. Two local post office branches and the Lansing City Clerk accept passport applications.

East Lansing Post Office Lansing Main Post Office Lansing City Clerk
1140 Abbott Road 4800 Collins Road 124 W. Michigan Avenue
(517) 351-3205 (517) 337-8715 (517) 483-4131

Passport photos can be obtained by consulting the yellow pages of your phone directory.

If you need a passport in a hurry, consult your travel agent. You can get your passport quickly through expedited service at the Detroit Passport Agency. The Detroit Passport Agency only serves customers who are traveling, or submitting their passports for foreign visas, within 4 weeks. To apply at the Agency you must schedule an appointment by calling toll-free (877) 487-2778, 24 hours/day. In addition to the regular application fees, expedited service costs $60 per application plus overnight delivery costs. You can pick up your passport the next day or receive it through priority mail (3-5 business days). Normally, if you do not appear in person, you will receive your passport within two to three weeks through the expedited service. The office address for the Agency is:

Detroit Passport Office
211 West Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48226-3269
(877) 487-2778

If you need more detailed information, review the back of your passport application. If you still have questions or need to renew your current passport, please contact a post office.

Once you have your passport, be sure to sign it and fill in the emergency information page. Take extra photos abroad in case you lose your passport and need to have it replaced quickly.

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*Adobe Acrobat Reader Opens in new window is required to read PDF documents.