Military Spouses should be familiar with SOFA stamps and no-fee government passports, especially if you plan on PCS’ing overseas.

SOFA stands for Status of Forces Agreement.  It is a diplomatic arrangement between the United States and a foreign government detailing the rights and privileges of service members and their families assigned to that country.

The SOFA stamp is a passport stamp that functions like a visa. Depending on the actual agreement it permits citizen like rights to service member and families assigned to a particular country.  To obtain a SOFA stamp, you should visit a U.S. military passport agent or office.  It is important to obtain your SOFA stamp before heading overseas.

Concurrently, a SOFA license is a common term for a military issued driver’s license permitting service members and families to operate vehicles in the country.  It may require classes and/or testing.

A no-fee government passport is issued to US citizens required to travel for on government business.  It has a red cover and a shorter expiration date than a typical passport.  A no-fee passport identifies the bearer as an agent (military member, dependent, etc.) of the U.S. Government.  In order to apply for a no-fee passport, visit a military passport agent or office.  The office will supply you with a DD Form 1056, which you will fill out for authorization.  It typically takes about 6-8 weeks to receive your no-fee passport, so it is important to plan well in advance before you travel.



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