For the ninth year in a row, Scarborough Community Services will be hosting Annual Passport Day in Scarborough. Held on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Community Services Hub (418 Payne Road), staff will assist with accepting new passports applications and minor passport renewals. Staff will also be on hand to answer any questions about passport books and cards and help people in completing passport renewals. Please be sure to call 207-730-4158 ahead of time to set up a scheduled appointment for this one-day event.

In honor of this upcoming special event, Community Services staff thought it would be helpful to touch upon frequently asked questions and misconceptions about passports and Maine Real IDs:

I don’t live in Scarborough. Can I apply for my passport in Scarborough?

Yes! You do not need to be a resident of Scarborough to apply in Scarborough. In fact, you may apply at any passport acceptance facility of your choice, however, it is highly recommended that you go to a facility within your own state. For more information on other nearby acceptance facilities, please visit https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/.

Do I need an appointment to get my passport application processed?

At our acceptance facility, we do accept passports by appointment only. Our passport acceptance days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Our acceptance facility is located at 418 Payne Road in Scarborough in the Community Services Hub. Appointments may be made over the phone by calling 207-730-4158 and are typically booked out a week in advance. When you call to make the appointment, one of our agents will go over everything you need to bring with you on the day of your appointment. This ensures that the appointment goes smoothly. If everything is in order, a typical appointment takes no longer than 10-15 minutes.

For our special Passport Day on April 24, we will be accepting applications by appointment only, as well. Please call 207-730-4158 to set up that appointment. Time slots are limited during this one-day event so be sure to call well in advance.

My passport is about to expire. Do I need to set up an appointment to renew my passport?

If your previous passport was valid for 10 years, is not damaged, and is still in your possession, you do not need an appointment to renew it. Renewals are handled on your own. You simply complete the Passport Renewal Form (DS-82), attach a new passport photo, and submit the form, a check made to the U.S. Department of State, and the expired or expiring passport to the address indicated on the form. The U.S. Department gives applicants up to five years after expiration to renew their 10-year passports using the DS-82 form. For the DS-82 form and related fees, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/renew-by-mail.html.

I just heard that it is taking longer to get a passport back? How can I get it back quicker? 

It is true that due to COVID, passport processing times have increased since last year. What used to take 4-6 weeks is now taking 10-12 weeks, so we are urging folks to apply early, if possible. For those that need a passport quicker, you do have the option to expedite your application for an additional $60 fee. This will get the passport back to you within 4-6 weeks. When expediting an application, it is also recommended that applicants also add the overnight delivery service (to and from) to ensure that 4-6 week timeframe. If you need a passport even sooner than 4-6 weeks and it is for urgent international travel or a life-of-death emergency, some passport acceptance agencies and centers are accepting very limited appointments in person. For more information on getting a passport fast, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast.html.

My child has had a passport before. Can we renew that on our own?

Anyone whose previous passport was valid for 5 years or less must reapply for a passport at a passport acceptance facility, like the Scarborough Community Services Office, or a passport agency or center, like the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Children age 15 and under must bring their previous passport plus their certified birth certificate to accompany the application. All documents that accompany a passport application are mailed back to applicants under separate cover. For more information on applying for a minor’s passport, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/under-16.html.

I heard that I need a passport to fly from Maine to another U.S. destination. Is that true? 

The Department of Homeland Security extended the Real ID enforcement deadline by one year. Enforcement will now begin on Oct. 1, 2021. During this period, Maine driver’s licenses and IDs will be accepted as valid identification for federal purposes, such as entrance to federal facilities and boarding commercial aircraft. Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, you will need a valid passport book, a valid passport card, or a Real-ID compliant driver’s license or State ID in order to fly domestically.

I’m not going to be traveling for awhile but my passport is set to expire in 8 months. Can I renew it now? 

Yes! Your passport does not need to be expired in order to renew it. In fact, now would be a great time to renew it knowing that you are not travelling and the processing time are a bit longer than they used to be. Some countries even require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond your dates of travel so now is a great time to look at your passport and check those dates. For more info on your destination’s entry requirements, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html.

My children are also travelling with me domestically. Do they need a passport card or book? 

When flying domestically, the Transportation Security Administration requires all adults age 18 and over to carry a valid federal or state-issued identification card such as a passport or Real ID driver’s license, but children and babies do not need ID. Note that your airline may require proof of an infant’s age, such as a passport or birth certificate. Check with your airline for specific policies.

I have a passport but I changed addresses. Do I need to update my passport? 

No, there is no need to update your current passport. However, if you have a passport application that is currently in process and you need to change your mailing address, please call 1-877-487-2778.

If you have any other questions regarding passports, please feel free to call Scarborough Community Services at 207-730-4158. We hope to see everyone on April 24!

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