Traveling to foreign countries is an exciting adventure, but it also requires proper preparation, such as obtaining a passport. If you are a U.S. citizen driving a car into a foreign country, you may need a passport to cross the border, depending on the country you are visiting. Keep reading to learn more about how to get a passport abroad as a U.S. citizen.

Start Early

The first step to getting a passport abroad is to start the process early. Routine passport processing can take up to six weeks, so it’s important to apply well in advance of your trip to avoid any delays. If you need your passport sooner, expedited options are available for an additional fee.

Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Embassy of The United States of America
An entrance to the Embassy of the United States of America in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

If you lose your passport while abroad, you’ll need to visit a U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a new one. However, you can also apply for a U.S. passport abroad, especially if you plan to travel internationally on a short-term basis. You can locate the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate online for information on applying for a passport.

Bring Necessary Documents

When you go to apply for a passport, you’ll need to bring certain documents with you. First, you’ll need proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Secondly, you’ll need to provide a valid form of photo identification. Finally, you’ll need to bring a passport photo that meets the U.S. Department of State requirements. Be sure to check the specific requirements for the country you plan to visit, as some countries have additional entry requirements.

Pay for Your Passport

Obtaining a passport usually requires payment. Fees vary based on the type of passport you require, how soon you need it, and whether you’re applying for the first time or renewing an expired passport. The fees must be paid in U.S. dollars, either in cash or by check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State.


Obtaining a passport abroad is an essential element of international travel for U.S. citizens. Remember to start the process early, locate a U.S. embassy or consulate, bring all necessary documents, and be prepared to pay any applicable fees. By following these steps, you’ll be one step closer to an unforgettable travel experience abroad. So, buckle up and enjoy your journey!

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