How To Apply For Passport

This page provides the steps on how to apply for passport. They suggest you schedule an appointment at a passport agency near you if you are planning to travel internationally 2 weeks or less or you need to obtain a foreign visa within 4 weeks. If you have more than, you can then submit your passport application at an authorized passport acceptance facility.

Authorized Passport Acceptance Facility

Department of State Passport Agency

When renewing a passport for travel in 14 days or less you should submit Form DS-82 to the agency at the time of your appointment. You should not mail in the DS-82 Form prior to your appointment time.

Applying For A Passport Outside of the United States

It is a different process when applying for a US passport outside the United States compared to applying for a passport while in the United States. The process differs based on the US embassy and consulate you are applying at, however the application forms, supporting documentation, fees, and finished products are the same. For more in depth instructions on applying for a US passport outside the US click here. If you applied for a passport and have been denied, find out why you would be denied a passport.

Before U.S. citizens can travel abroad, they need to complete a passport application to ensure they have the proper documentation they need for their international trips. Whether candidates are requesting these forms of federal identification for the first time or their cards and books expired years ago, candidates will need to complete the application process for current passports. This formal process may seem especially intimidating to first-time petitioners, but they can easily complete it by following the necessary steps. Many individuals need to submit a US passport application form at some point in their lives, and the procedure is manageable for candidates who prepare their materials beforehand.

There are many steps that go into submitting a passport application for minors and adults. Regardless of applicants’ ages, there are certain requirements they must meet before the government can process their requests. Whether petitioners are learning about specific passport application locations they can visit or how to renew their current passports, this information is provided below. By understanding what to expect throughout the application process, applicants should be less overwhelmed by enrollment expectations so they can more confidently get their passport documents.

How early in advance should I submit the passport application?

When it comes to submitting a US passport application, one of the greatest challenges candidates encounter is determining when to file their requests. Many individuals may believe that they are able to obtain their passports as soon as they submit their applications to the federal government. However, this is not true, and candidates should plan accordingly. Regardless of whether petitioners are requesting passport books or cards for minors or adults, they can expect to wait several weeks to receive their cards.

Generally, candidates should expect to receive their documents between six to eight weeks after they submit their passport application. However, applicants who are in a hurry to obtain their documents may choose to expedite requests by using verified third-party providers online. This expedition process allows the documents to arrive more quickly, although users must pay fees for these services. In some cases, petitioners who need their documents in less than two weeks may be required to make appointments with their nearest passport centers or agencies in order to fulfill their requests. Regardless, candidates should be able to check their US passport application status by phone or online. To accomplish this step, applicants must provide their:

  • Complete last names.
  • Birthdates.
  • Social Security Numbers’ (SSN) last four digits.

What information do I need to submit a US passport application?

Generally, candidates may not submit their passport application online. Furthermore, first-time applicants are required to file their requests in person at a certified location using the DS-11 form. However, petitioners can save time during these appointments by gathering all of the necessary information beforehand. In any case, there may be different items that claimants need to bring when they submit their US passport application, depending on how old they are. Independent of petitioners’ ages, however, they must be sure to bring the following documents when they apply for passports:

  • Proof of citizenship: Passport cards and books are available to U.S. citizens. Therefore, candidates need to submit proof that they satisfy this requirement. Additionally, candidates need to be sure that they also bring copies of the front and back of these documents to their appointments.
  • Proof of identity: In addition to proof of citizenship, candidates also must provide proof of identity when they file their US passport application. Similar to the above, petitioners also need to be sure that they submit photocopies of the front and back of these documents.
  • Color photograph: Applicants need to provide their own colored photographs that meet federal regulations. The photos must include the petitioner’s full face, and it must measure 2x2 inches.
  • Associated fees: All passport candidates need to pay application fees, which they must submit alongside their document requests. These totals vary, depending on whether adults or children are applying, and also on whether applicants request passport cards or books.

Individuals who are younger than 16 years of age and submit a child passport application must provide additional information when they apply. Generally, these candidates should bring both of their parents or legal guardians with them when they submit their requests. However, applicants who cannot satisfy this requirement and only arrive with one parent must provide notarized consent forms from the petitioner’s absent parent. Alternatively, the parents who are present need to bring any legal documents that explain why the other parent or guardian is not present along with their child’s passport application form. Furthermore, the present caretakers must also be sure to bring to these appointments the following:

  • Documents that validate the child’s U.S. citizenship.
  • Proof of relationship between the child and his or her parents or guardians
  • An original form and copy of the parent’s official identification documentation

Passport Application Locations

There are various locations where first-time petitioners can submit their US passport application form. Frequently, individuals choose to submit their passport application at the post office. Depending on where the applicants live, they may also be able to file their requests at a public library or city office building. Alternatively, candidates may also be able to file their requests at federal passport agencies. In any case, petitioners should be sure to contact these locations and determine if they need to schedule appointments before coming in to submit their requests. These requirements vary from one site to another, so confirming beforehand is especially important for potential in-person applicants.

How do I submit a passport renewal application?

Only certain individuals are permitted to submit a passport renewal application form when their federal travel documents expire. Only candidates who do not qualify under any of the following circumstances can file a passport renewal application:

  • The applicants’ passports were issued before they turned 16 years old.
  • The applicants’ most recent passports are more than 15 years old.
  • The applicants’ most recent passports were stolen, majorly damaged or lost.
  • The applicants changed their names since they were last issued their passports, and they cannot prove this with official documentation.

If these situations do not apply to petitioners, they may submit their US passport renewal application by mail. Candidates use the DS-82 to complete this task. However, applicants need to keep in mind that if they meet any of the aforementioned characteristics, they must apply in person using the DS-11 form. Likewise, children who are younger than 16 years of age must apply in person, regardless of how long they have had their passports.