I hope I'm not spilling a big secret, but smack in the middle of the UC Berkeley campus at the Recreation building is an administrative desk that processes passport applications including taking your photo.
And it is pretty painless as these things go; we were in and out in about 20 minutes. You enter your name at the iPad kiosk and wait to be called. In the meantime, you can watch the swimming pool or grab a snack.
We did not walk out of there with new passports, but it was a one-stop-shop for submitting the applications.
What to bring:
- Both parents with current identification for a minor*
- Completed DS-11 form or a few blank copies and a black pen
- Checkbook with enough checks
- Birth certificates and any existing passports
- Double-check the list of requirements on the US Passports at Rec Sports Website >
* If only one parent will be present: You must bring notarized consent, by completing Form DS-3053, from the absent parent along with a copy of both sides of their driver's license.
Money: To get all three of my children new passports, we had to write four individual checks: $80 per application to the State Department and $120 processing and photography fee. Standard processing takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Rush charges are extra, of course, and then you can get it as quickly as two weeks.
Real talk: it took me at least 20 minutes to fill in the paperwork IN BLACK INK ONLY, but doing the rest of the steps at Cal's Rec Sports building was pretty easy. I suggest avoiding lunch hour if you can.
Location: Stop by Rec Sports at 2301 Bancroft Way Berkeley, CA during regular business hours.