US Passport application

A US Passport is not only proof of US Citizenship, it is also a travel document that allows the holder to travel worldwide. A passport can also be used for many other reasons when the identity or citizenship of the individual must be proven. Only US Citizens as able to apply for and obtain a US passport. Here is how you apply for a US passport.

Do I need to apply in person for my US passport?

You are required to apply in person for a US passport with Form DS-11 if any of the following applies to you:

  • You are applying for your first time
  • You are under the age of 16
  • Your previous passport was issued when you were under the age of 16
  • Your previous passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
  • Your previous passport was issued more than 15 years ago

What is required when I apply in person for my US passport?

If you are required to apply in person for a US passport you must do the following:

  • Complete Form DS-11
  • Provide proof of your US Citizenship  and a photocopy
  • Bring a photocopy of US Citizenship evidence and a photocopy
  • Bring a valid form of identification
  • Provide a US passport-style photo
  • Be prepared to pay any relevant passport fees

What can I provide as proof of my US Citizenship?

You must submit at least one of the following as proof of your US Citizenship. It must be an original or certified, physical copy. A certified copy is any document that has the seal or stamp of the official issuing authority.

  • Fully valid, undamaged US passport (may be expired)
  • US birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
    • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
    • Lists your full name, date of birth, and place of birth
    • Lists your parent(s)’ full names
    • Has the date filed with the registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth)
    • Has the registrar’s signature
    • Has the seal of the issuing authority
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship

What are the requirements for photocopies?

Submit a photocopy of the front (and back, if there is printed information) of the US citizenship evidence you’re providing to us. Photocopies must be:

  • Legible
  • On white 8.5”x11” standard paper
  • Black and white
  • Single-sided

If you don’t want to submit a photocopy of your citizenship evidence, you may submit a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, which they will keep. If you don’t submit a photocopy of a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, your passport processing could be delayed.

What documents can I use as proof of identification?

You must present one of the following identification documents (IDs). The ID must readily identify you. Examples include:

  • Valid or expired, undamaged US passport book or passport card
  • In-state, fully valid driver’s license or enhanced driver’s license with photo
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Government employee ID (city, county, state, or federal)
  • US military or military dependent ID
  • Current (valid) foreign passport
  • Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular ID) – commonly used by a parent of a US citizen child applicant
  • US Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) – commonly used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant
  • Trusted Traveler IDs (including valid Global Entry, FAST, SENTRI, and NEXUS cards)
  • Enhanced Tribal Cards and Native American tribal photo IDs

What if I am under the age of 16?

If your children are under the age of 16 they must apply in person with two parents or guardians. This can only be done with Form DS-11. A passport for a child under age 16 is only valid for 5 years.

What if I am 16 or 17 years old?

Most applicants ages 16 or 17 must apply in person using Form Form DS-11. If you meet the requirements to renew your passport by mail you are able to use Form DS-82. A passport issued to some 16 or older is valid for 10 years.

Do I qualify to renew my passport by mail?

You are able to renew your US passport by mail if ALL of the following apply:

  • You have your passport in your possession to submit with your application
  • Your passport is undamaged other than normal wear
  • Your passport was issued when you were age 16 or older
  • Your passport was issued within the last 15 years
  • Your passport was issued in your current name or you can document your name change

How do I renew my passport?

To renew your passport you must do the following:

  • Complete Form DS-82
  • Submit your most recent US passport
  • Provide any name change documents
  • Provide a US passport-style photo
  • Include any relevant passport fees

How do I track my passport application status

You should wait at least 2 weeks after you apply for your application to begin to process. You can also sign up to receive automatic email updates on the status of your application. You can sign up for updates and check the status of your case here US Passport Application Status.

Where do I submit my passport application?

Once you have completed the necessary forms and compiled all necessary evidence, you can submit your US passport application at a passport acceptance facility. Some acceptance facilities require appointments and others do not. We recommend calling the acceptance facility ahead of time to verify their hours, acceptable forms of payment, and appointment requirements. Find your acceptance facility here.

How do I apply for a US passport outside the US?

Applying for a US passport outside the United States is different than applying inside the United States. Each location has different procedures. In most countries, you must apply in person at a US embassy or consulate. Check your local US embassy or consulate webpage for more information.

US Citizenship & Naturalization How do I obtain proof of US Citizenship?

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