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Travel FAQs > US Passport

US citizens need only a valid passport for visits of up to 90 days in Germany, France, and Switzerland

How to Apply
Whether you're applying in person or by mail, use the US Department of State's online Passport Wizard to prepare your first-time or renewal passport application. For general information, call the National Passport Information Service toll free at 1-877-487-2778. Automated passport information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak to a customer service representative, call between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Best Time to Apply
Passport application processing time varies with passport agencies workloads. It is best to apply in the Fall when workload volume is at its lowest. Processing time normally is about two weeks, but you should apply at least 6-8 weeks prior to any scheduled international travel. The Spring and Summer months are the busiest, so the application process may take longer during these months.

Keep Your Passport in a Safe Place!
When traveling abroad, carry your passport with you at all times in a safe place. It is a good idea to take a photo copy of your passport with you and keep it in a separate safe place along with copies of your credit cards and plane tickets. If your US passport is lost or stolen, US embassies will usually accept this as proof that you're a US citizen and can quickly issue you a temporary passport. It's also a good idea to leave a copy of your passport with someone at home in case of emergency.