Passports are obtained through the Passport Services Division of the Department of State. Through your local passport acceptance agent, usually at the Post Office, you can apply for a new passport, renew your old one, or do any of a number of things, including replacing a lost, stolen, or damaged passport, or adding new pages to your existing book.
You've got your passport and you're ready to go on your trip, right? Not quite. You still have to check with the country or countries you'll be visiting to determine whether or not you'll need a visa. A visa is permission from a country to cross their borders and comes in the form of a stamp in your U.S. Passport. You usually have to mail your passport to the Embassy or Consulate of the country you'll be visiting, so allow plenty of time to accomplish this.
Also, check the State Department website for travel warning and consular information sheets that provide very helpful information about the country you plan on visiting. The State Department services website also contains very comprehensive information on all the services it provides both stateside and abroad. This includes crisis assistance for U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad, and various travel publications available on-line.
American Embassies and Consulates General
Many U.S. Diplomatic Missions abroad have information on-line. For those that don't, check the State Department's Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts for addresses, and phone and fax numbers for U.S. Embassies and Consulates throughout the world.
Passports in a hurry
Passports usually take approximately six weeks to issue. For an extra fee--plus the cost of shipping--you can "expedite" this process and receive your passport in 7 to 10 days.
**If you are in need of immediate assistance from Congressman Goodlatte within the next 24 to 48 hours, please call the Sixth District office closest to you. Otherwise, you are encouraged to submit your request for assistance via email and it will be answered in a timely manner.