[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                         July 10, 2009

Passports, passport cards may be needed for people planning foreign travel

Anyone who is planning to travel outside the United States as a tourist — including many people traveling on government orders — who will make stops, including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, needs to have a passport book or a passport card.

The new federal laws went into effect in June, said Pamela Severson, the Unit Movement Supervisor for BSA/LB&B Joint Venture for the Fort McCoy Directorate of Logistics.

The passport cards are valid only for land and sea travel and re-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Passports are valid for all travel to foreign countries, including air travel.

Military and civilian members of the Fort McCoy community who are traveling on official government orders or as tourists have different avenues to get their passports and/or passport cards.

Soldiers and their dependents and federal civilian employees traveling on official government orders outside the United States may be eligible to obtain no-fee passports from Fort McCoy, Severson said.

These personnel can check with the Fort McCoy office to see if they are eligible by calling 608-388-2111/2803/ or 4464.

Appointments to obtain passports are requested.

All others will need to get their passports/passport cards through regular civilian channels.

Applications for passports/passport cards are available at the Department of State Web site at http://www.travel.state.gov.

Personnel also can get information and may be able to pick up hardcopy application forms at government locations (Fort McCoy doesn’t have them) where the applications are processed.

People who are older than 16 and have a current passport, or have one issued not more than 15 years ago that is not damaged, can complete the process via mail. Fees apply.

Others must apply in person at government locations, which vary from county to county. In Monroe County, passport/passport card applications can be processed through the Clerk of Courts Office in Sparta, as well as at the Tomah Post Office. In La Crosse County, passport/passport card applications can be processed through the La Crosse Post Office. Fees apply.

To obtain a passport, applicants will need a certified copy of their birth certificate (or previously issued, undamaged passport), valid identification, such as a driver’s license or government ID, and two passport photos taken within the past six months in civilian clothes that show current appearance.


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