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USPS to issue passports at Pitt

Pitt+is+making+it+one+step+easier+for+students+to+apply+and+renew+their+passports+in+order+to+encourage+students+to+study+and+intern+abroad.%0ASean+Hobson+%7C+Flickr
Pitt is making it one step easier for students to apply and renew their passports in order to encourage students to study and intern abroad.
Sean Hobson | Flickr

Pitt is making it one step easier for students to apply and renew their passports in order to encourage students to study and intern abroad. Sean Hobson | Flickr

Pitt is making it one step easier for students to apply and renew their passports in order to encourage students to study and intern abroad. Sean Hobson | Flickr

By Alexa Bakalarski and Amanda Reed / News Editors

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Instead of going to the post office to apply for a passport, the post office is coming to Pitt.

Officials from the U.S. Postal Service will be on campus Jan. 17 and 18 to renew U.S. passports for Pitt students, faculty and staff and accept new passport applications, according to the University Center for International Studies’ website.

According to Wendy O’Donnell, marketing and communications manager for the University Center for International Studies, approximately 150 students, faculty and staff are expected to attend the event. Appointments scheduled before the Jan. 4 sign-up deadline will be given priority, according to the center’s website. But, there is a waiting list, and O’Donnell wants to focus on getting those in, making walk-ins unlikely, she says.

The event — “Pitt U.S. Passport Day” — was Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s idea, O’Donnell said.

Bethany Rose Miga, a spokesperson for the chancellor, said Gallagher wants to prioritize global educational experiences for Pitt students and make it easier for students to travel to other countries.

“I would love to see more Pitt students interning abroad, studying abroad and traveling abroad,” Gallagher said in an email. “Getting a passport is an important first step in this process. It opens up windows to the rest of the world, which students can benefit from experiencing firsthand.”

The event will take place in the lower lounge of the William Pitt Union from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, and because of popular demand, O’Donnell said it plans to hold another event in September — especially to encourage incoming freshmen to take part through the Pitt Start program this summer.

The need to apply for a U.S. passport might be urgent for Pitt students, faculty and staff in light of new legislation that could require Pennsylvania residents to use an alternative form of ID, besides their state ID, to board a flight.

The legislation, part of the Real ID Act, says Pennsylvania ID holders will not be able to use their ID to enter federal buildings, military buildings and nuclear power plants, since current licenses and IDs are not compliant with federal requirements as of Jan. 30.

Along with this, if the Department of Homeland Security does not grant Pennsylvania an extension or if the state does not comply by Jan. 22, 2018, Pennsylvania residents will need to show an alternative form of ID beside their state ID or driver’s license — such as a U.S. passport — to the Transportation Security Administration to board commercial flights, which is especially important for Pitt students, faculty and staff who travel or plan to do so.

Passport photo services will be at the event, though they will cost an additional $15.

Renewing or applying for a new U.S. passport at the event will cost $150 with a passport photo and $135 without a passport photo. The passport application fee will be $110. Passport applicants will need to pay the application fee via a check written out to the U.S. Department of State. A $25 processing fee will need to be paid separately to the U.S. Postal Services by cash, check, credit or debit card.

U.S. passport applications forms will be available at the event but can also be downloaded from the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Pitt students, faculty or staff who apply for a new passport or to renew their passport must bring:

  • An original copy of either a valid U.S. passport, a U.S. birth certificate, a consular report of Birth Abroad, birth certificate or a certificate of naturalization or citizenship.
  • Proof of identity, such as a current and valid driver’s license, a recently issued certificate of naturalization or citizenship, a military ID or a Government Employee ID.
  • If using an out-of-state ID, a person applying for a U.S. passport needs to bring a second ID.
  • A clear photocopy of the front and back of the photo ID they plan to use as their proof of identity and a passport photo

 

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USPS to issue passports at Pitt