Obtaining a US passport is a pivotal step for every US citizen, enabling global travel and serving as a fundamental proof of identity and citizenship. Whether you’re a first-time applicant, renewing your passport, or applying for your child, this comprehensive guide walks you through the process with precision.

In-Person Passport Application

Who Needs to Apply In Person?

Applying in person becomes necessary under various circumstances, such as being a first-time applicant, under 16 years old, or facing issues like a lost, stolen, or damaged passport. To apply, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out Form DS-11.
  2. Present evidence of US citizenship with a photocopy.
  3. Provide an acceptable form of identification.
  4. Submit a US passport-style photo.
  5. Cover relevant passport fees.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Present original or certified copies of documents like a valid US passport, US birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Certification of Birth, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship.

Proof of Identification

Use valid or expired, undamaged US passport book or passport card, in-state driver’s license, enhanced driver’s license, Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, government employee ID, military ID, current foreign passport, or other specific documents as proof of identification.

Applicants Under the Age of 16

Children under 16 must apply in person with two parents or guardians using Form DS-11. Their passports are valid for 5 years.

Renew by Mail

You can renew your US passport by mail if it meets specific criteria, including being undamaged, issued after the age of 16, and within the last 15 years. Use Form DS-82, submit your most recent US passport, name change documents, a US passport-style photo, and relevant fees.

Submit Your Passport Application

Submit your completed application at a designated passport acceptance facility. Call ahead for an appointment, verify payment methods, and other requirements. Find your acceptance facility here.

Track Your Passport Application

Track your application status after 2 weeks from the application date. Sign up for automatic email updates on your case’s status and check updates here.

Applying for a US Passport Outside the US

If applying outside the US, procedures vary by location. In most cases, apply in person at a US embassy or consulate. Check your local US embassy or consulate webpage for more information.


Empower yourself with the knowledge of applying for a US passport. Whether through in-person applications or renewing by mail, this guide ensures a seamless process for obtaining or renewing your essential travel document.

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