As summer draws to a close, now is the time to think about fall or winter vacations. Planning ahead is always a good idea so you can have your passport in plenty of time before your departure.

The U.S. Postal Service will play host to a Passport Day at the Noblesville and Westfield branches today.

The Noblesville branch is located at 1900 Pleasant Street, and the Westfield branch is at 17520 Dartown Road.

If your travel plans include visiting Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean or Bermuda anytime soon, then you will need a passport. Current regulations state in addition to presenting a valid passport book when returning to the United States by air, you'll now need to present a U.S. passport at land borders and sea ports of entry to return home.

The Postal Service wants to make obtaining a new passport or renewing your old one an easy and convenient experience.

All participating Post Offices will operate during normal business hours.Further information is available by phone 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or online at

USPS recommends customers come in as early as possible to apply for their passports prior to their departure. The U.S. Department of State is currently reporting approximately six weeks for processing routine passports from the time of application.

Expedited processing of the passport application by the Department of State is available for an additional cost. This includes overnight delivery of the application by Priority Mail Express both to and from the Department of State. With the faster processing, customers should receive their passport approximately three weeks from the time of application.

Passport fees are $135 total for adults. 16 years old and older, with a separate payment of $25 to the Postal Service for its processing fee, and $110 paid to the Department of State for the passport application fee. For persons under 16, the total cost is $105, which includes a $25 processing fee to the Postal Service and $80 to the State Department. The Postal Service also offers a passport photo service at a cost of $15.

The application must be paid by cash or check. Credit or debit cards, as well as cash or checks, may be used to cover the cost of photos and acceptance fees.

To help the passport application process go smoothly and efficiently, the Postal Service recommends the following;

• Bring in proper proof of American citizenship. This must be either a certified birth certificate issued by the city, country or state; a previous U.S. passport; a certificate of citizenship; or a naturalization certificate. (Please note: a hospital-issued birth certificate alone is not acceptable).

• Bring in proof of identity. This must be either a previous U.S. passport, a naturalization certificate; a certificate of citizenship; or a current valid driver's license, a government ID or military photo ID.

• Passport photograph services will be available on site for a fee of $15.

• To save time in this process, customers can download a passport application at the Department of State website:

• All applicants must appear in person (including minors). Applicants under age 16 must appear with both parents. If one parent is not available, a notarized authorization from the absent parent is required.