You Shall Pass
Austin Public Library clears the runway for Passport Fair on July 3
According to the U.S. Department of State, only 151,814,305 valid passports were in circulation in 2022. That's a little less than half of the population. Although having a passport makes things easier (not just leaving the country, but as an alternative voting ID, proof of citizenship for work, etc.), it is not always easy to get one.
The Austin Public Library, as usual, is here to help. On July 3, the library's Passport Services department is hosting a Passport Fair from noon to 6 pm. People who don't have passports can apply to receive one at this walk-in event.
Unfortunately for people trying to renew their existing passports, this specific event is only for people applying for fully new passports.
Those looking to renew should do so via the mail, keeping in mind that this spring the Department of State was falling behind on processing. Some anecdotal reports saw passport renewals coming in between a three- to six-month window.
Visitors to the Passport Fair should bring a filled-out Form DS-11, titled "Application for a U.S. Passport." This form must be submitted in person if the applicant has never owned a U.S. passport, is under the age of 16, or is replacing a passport that been lost, stolen, or damaged. They also must appear in person if they already have a passport that was issued before they were 16, or was issued more than 15 years ago.
The Passport Fair helpers will also need another form of identification, proof of citizenship, and a form of payment. More detailed information is available in a graphic on Instagram and on the library's website, although the latter does not provide information specific to the fair.
If Austinites can't make it to the fair, they can make appointments with the Passport Services on the second floor of the library. It is an ongoing Passport Acceptance Facility even when there are not special events.
For more information on passport applications, the service center, or customized help lines and emails, visit library.austintexas.gov.