Travelers: Passport necessary while roaming through Europe

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Ramstein passport office held its annual outreach day Wednesday at the Ramstein Inprocessing Line to provide KMC members with direct service for passport applications.

“Anything can happen where you or your dependents may have to leave the country,” said Senior Airman Rafael Rios, 786th Force Support Squadron passport agent. “It’s best to check your passports before solidifying any plans to leave Germany or Europe.”

On this particular day, consulate representatives from Frankfurt were on-site to accept tourist passport and consular report of birth abroad applications. The CRBA applications are for infants born outside the U.S. and are necessary to obtain a tourist passport for an infant, which is normally requested simultaneously.
“I brought many of my staff members here to act as a force multiplier for the Ramstein Passport Office,” said Caroline Price, Frankfurt Consulate General Office chief of passports.

Price said with the consulate team here, the timeline for some service members could be reduced by one week; making it three-to-five weeks instead of the standard four-to-six weeks. Last year, the team from Frankfurt brought back more than 300 applications from the KMC.

“The passport staff at Ramstein was well organized and was fully prepared for our visit; that makes our job at Frankfurt much easier when we leave,” Price said.
Aside from the passport outreach day, according to the passport office, on normal business days, they will not turn anyone away.

“We will do what we can to help someone out who might be experiencing other than ordinary situations,” Rios said. “Just make sure you have all of your paperwork and proof of U.S. citizenship with you; like a birth certificate, or (in the event of a passport renewal) your old passport.”

One common theme from the outreach day was for service members to know the location and check the validity of their passport and passports of their dependents.
“Check them all,” Price said. “Be ready to get on a plane and enjoy every minute of your planned vacation; don’t make that plan and book those tickets until you have your passport in hand for you and all of your family members.”

Prices for passports:
Under 16: $105
First time adult/re-issue lost or stolen: $135
Renewing pre-existing: $110

Price for CRBA application:
$100 ($205 with passport request)