October 20, 2021
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How to Apply for US Passport

Depending on where you are traveling outside the U.S., you will need to decide whether you need passport book or a passport card. A passport is required for all international air travel. To enter the United States where land borders or oceans are crossed from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, you can use a passport or passport card. A passport is much simpler and less expensive than a passport, but it cannot be used for international travel by air.
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Eligibility to Apply for US Passport

To Apply for US Passport or have a U.S. passport, you need to be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization or be a U.S. national.

First you need to decide Passport Book or Passport Card

  • Depending on where you are traveling outside the U.S., you will need to decide whether you need passport book or a passport card.
  • A passport is required for all international air travel.
  • To enter the United States where land borders or oceans are crossed from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, you can use a passport or passport card.
  • A passport is much simpler and less expensive than a passport, but it cannot be used for international travel by air.

How to Apply for US Passport

The application process is the same as for a passport or card, even if you need both at the same time. You must go in person to present your application.

From to get Passport Within the US

If you need to get a passport within three weeks or less, you will need a quick process. To find out where you need to go and what other fees you will pay, follow the steps to get a passport quickly.

If you are traveling for more than three weeks, you can follow the normal application process and apply in person at the passport acceptance facility.

From to get Passport Outside the US

Contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate. Or your nearest consulate for details and passport request a passport from outside the U.S.

Items You Need to Add to Apply for US Passport

Application Form – To complete the application for a passport, card, or both, first do one of the following:

Complete the application online. Use the Passport Application Wizard to navigate the process of completing the process. Once you have completed the application, print it out of the passport acceptance center. Passport applications cannot be submitted online.

Complete the application manually. Download the passport application form (DS-11) and instructions (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) and complete the application manually, or go to the local passport reception center to get a copy to complete.

Whether you complete it online or in person, it is important that you do not sign the form until you have been instructed to do so in the presence of a designated passport that you will meet when you apply in person.

Personal documents – You’ll need to bring all of the following:

  • An original proof of citizenship document
  • An acceptable photo ID document
  • A photocopy of the front and back of the citizenship document and photo ID document
  • Passport photo – Follow the photo requirements.
  • Payment – Calculate your passport fees.

How to apply for Renewal a U.S. Passport

Please note: Passport performance continues to be affected by COVID-19. And processing times change year-round. Check status of passport operations to see current processing times and more.

Every person, regardless of age, must have their own passport to travel internationally by air.

Eligibility to apply for Renewal a U.S. Passport

  • To have a U.S. passport, you need to be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization or be a qualifying U.S. national.
  • You can renew your current or expired U.S. passport unless your passport was:
  • Issued before your 16th birthday
  • Issued 15 or more years ago
  • Damaged, lost, or stolen

Issued in your previous name and you do not have a legal document like a marriage license to prove your legal name change

If any of these are true, you cannot renew your passport. Instead, you must apply for a new passport in person using form DS-11.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport

You may be eligible to submit a passport renewal application by mail.

If you need to get a passport quickly, you will need to have your passport renewal expedited and pay additional fees.

To make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency, call 1-877-487-2778; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793 Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 10 PM ET. The appointment line is closed on weekends and federal holidays.   

At your appointment, you’ll need to provide proof of immediate travel, an expedited fee, and the items listed below to renew your passport.

If you live outside the U.S. or Canada: Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate near you for information and forms on all passports requested from overseas.

Things You Need to Renew U.S. Passport

  1. Application form – Use the renewal application form DS-82 (PDF, Download Adobe Reader). You can print it and fill it out by hand, or use the Passport Application Wizard to complete the form online and print it out. While applications can be filled out online, they cannot be submitted online. You can also get a DS-82 form at a local passport acceptance facility or regional agency.
  2. Passport photo – Follow the photo requirements.
  3. Payment – Include your passport fees.
  4. Your most recent passport.

If your name has changed, you’ll need a certified copy of your marriage certificate or a court order of your name change.

The Passport Services Office returns the official documents you submit as supporting documentation.

Tips on When to Renew U.S. Passport

Renew your passport approximately nine months before it expires.

Check the expiration date because certain countries require passports to remain valid for up to six months after travel. Also, some airlines do not allow you to board if you do not meet this requirement.

If you travel frequently, check the “52 page” box at the top of your passport application to receive a larger passport book with 52 pages.

For more information, see these frequently asked questions about passports

How to Apply for US Passport and Get Passport in the U.S. Quickly

Please note: Passport operations continue to be affected by COVID-19. And processing times change throughout the year. Check the status of passport operations to see current processing times and more.

Emergency Apply for US Passport or Apply for US Passport for Urgent Travel

Under normal conditions, you can request an appointment at a passport agency if you:

Are traveling within 72 hours (three business days). This is only in an emergency such as a serious illness, injury, or death in your immediate family.

Have urgent travel within two weeks. You must have proof of immediate international travel (for example, purchased airline or cruise tickets).

To make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency to submit your application in person, call 1-877-487-2778; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793 Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 10 PM ET. The appointment line is closed on weekends and federal holidays.

Expedited Service for Non-Urgent Travel

If you do not have urgent travel, you can request expedited service.

Request expedited service by mail for passport renewals or

Request expedited service in person at a passport acceptance facility near you. This is for new passports.

Expedited service costs an extra $60, plus any delivery costs.   

Normal and expedited processing times fluctuate throughout the year.

Check the current processing times before you submit your application.

How to get Passport in the U.S. for Minors Under the Age of 18

The Department of State has rules to prevent children from being issued U.S. passports without the consent of both parents. It also has programs to protect children involved in custody disputes. They work to prevent a parent from taking a child abroad without the other parent’s consent. 

Most Children Must Apply for Passports in Person 

Except for some 16 and 17-year-olds, all children must apply for a U.S. passport in person at a passport acceptance facility. 

How to get Passport in the U.S. for Children Under 16

Children under 16 need consent from both parents.

The best way is for both parents to go with their child to apply.  

If one parent can not go, the parent in attendance must provide either:

The absent parent’s statement of consent or

Evidence of why the absent parent is not there 

See step 7, Show Parental Consent on the State Department’s Children Under 16 passport page for forms to use and documents to provide.

How to get Passport in the U.S. for Children 16 or 17 Years Old

Passport for Sixteen and 17-year-olds can:

Renew their passport can be done by mail if it was issued when they were 16 or older

Go alone to apply for a passport if they:

Have their own identification document (ID) and

Provide a signed, notarized statement from one legal parent saying they approve of the teen getting a passport

Applying for a Child’s Passport From Outside the U.S.

If you’re living overseas, contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in the country you’re in for information on how to apply for your child’s passport.

Protections for Children in Custody Disputes 

If you think your child has been abducted internationally, call the Department of  State at 1-888-407-4747. Ask to speak to a prevention officer.

The Department of State has other resources to help parents and children in custody disputes

Learn about the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) and how to enroll your kids.  

Find out how to protect your child if they have, or may have, dual nationality. 

How to Check the Status of Passport in the U.S.

Please note: Passport operations continue to be affected by COVID-19. Check the status of passport operations to see current processing times and more.

Passport application processing times vary depending on the time of year. You can check the application’s status online six weeks after applying.

If you have questions about passports, go to the State Department’s website.

U.S. Passport Fees

Fees for renewing or getting a new passport depend on several factors such as:

If you are only getting a passport card, or

If you opt for expedited service

The passport application fee and the execution fee are non-refundable. They are collected and retained by law even if a passport is not issued.

You can find the fees you may have to pay using these State Department resources:

Passport Fees chart

Passport Fee calculator If you are outside the U.S., ask your U.S. Embassy or consulate what forms of payment they are able to accept. This applies to passport renewals or applications for new passports.