Passports Applying for Your U.S. Passport

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Applying for Your U.S. Passport

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has prepared this publication to assist you in applying for your U.S. passport. It provides information on how,when and where to apply.

Other Than at the 13 Regional Passport Agencies, Where Can I Apply?
When Do I Have to Apply in Person?
What Do I Need to Do to Apply for a Passport in Person?
May I Apply for a Passport by Mail?
When Should I Apply for a Passport?
Where Can I Get Passport Forms?
What Happens to My Passport Application After I Submit It?
What Should I Do if My Passport Is Lost or Stolen?
Do I need to Obtain a Separate Passport for My Baby?
What Do I Do if My Name Changes? What Do I Do if I Need More Visa Pages in My Passport?
What Else Should I Know About Passports?
What Else Would Be Helpful for Me to Know?
Passport Agencies
For More Information
Other Than at the 13 Regional Passport Agencies, Where Can I Apply?

You can apply for a passport at over 5,000 designated passport acceptance facilities nationwide, including many post offices, clearks of court, other state/county/township/municipal offices, and a growing number of public libraries and public colleges and universities. These facilities are usually more convenient, because they are near where you live and work. (Most of the 13 passport agencies focus on serving those departing, or needing their passports for foreign visas, within 14 days and require appointments.)

When Do I Have to Apply in Person?

You must apply in person if you are age 14 or older and if you do not meet all of the requirements for renewing a previous passport by mail. (See "May I Apply for a Passport by Mail?") For children under age 14, both parents' consent and proof of parental relationship are required. For details visit our website at http://travel.state.gov/specialreq.html.

What Do I Need to Do to Apply for a Passport in Person?

1. Complete Application Form DS-11

Application forms may be obtained at http://travel.state.gov/, acceptance facilities, Regional Passport Agencies, or by calling the National Passport Information Center. Many travel agencies also have application formsl. Please do not sign the DS-11 application form until instructed to do so by the agent accepting your application.

2. Present Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Bring a previous, fully valid U.S. Passport; or
If you were born in the U.S., a certified copy of your birth certificate issued by the state, city, or county of your birth (A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossessed, impressed, or multicolored seal and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office. For children under 14, it must also include both parent's names.)
If you were born in the U.S. and have neither a U.S. Passport nor a certified birth certificate, a notice from the registrar of the state where you were born indicating no birth record exists. Additionally bring as many as possible of the following showing your name, date, and place of birth: hospital birth record; early childhood U.S. Census Record; early school record; or early family religious record, such as a baptismal certificate or family Bible; a notorized affidavit completed by an older blood relative who has personal knowledge of your birth.
If you were born abroad, Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship; Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen, or a Certification of Birth (Form FS-240, FS-545 or DS-1350). Also, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 applies to certain foreign-born children (born after February 28, 1983 and under the age of 18 when several required conditions are met) who automatically become citizens when adopted by U.S. citizen parents or when at least on foreign-born parent becomes a naturalized U.S. Citizen. Both categories require specific documentation. For more information, check out our website at http://travel.state.gov/childcitfaq.html.

3. Bring Two Photographs

Photographs must be recent (taken within the last 6 months), identical, 2x2 inches, and either color or black/white; and
they must show a front view, full face, on a plain, light (white or off-white) background. If digitized, photographs with a grainy appearance are not acceptable, and vending machine photos are generally not acceptable.

4. Proof of Identity

a valid driver's license, government or military ID; or a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, or a previously issued passport with easily recognizable photo. If you have none of these, visit http://travel.state.gov or check with the passport acceptance agent for identification alternatives.

5. Provide a Social Security Number

Although a Social Security number is not required for issuance of a passport, Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 requires that passport applicants provide this information. Passport Services gives this information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) routinely. Any applicant who fails to provide the information is subject to a $500 penalty enforced by the IRS. Questions on this matter should be referred to the nearest IRS office.

6. Pay Appropriate Form DS-11 (nonrefundable)

Application Fees (Routine Service: You will receive your passport within 6 weeks after applying at an acceptance facility.)

- $85 (age 16 and older) = $55 for 10-year passport + $30 execution fee
- $70 (under age 16) = $40 for 5-year passport + $30 execution fee
If applying at and acceptance facility, you may be required to pay the $30 execution fee separately to the facility, with all other fees paid to the "U.S. Department of State." Note: Acceptance facilities determin their own forms of payment for both the retained execution fee and for application fees submitted to the Department of State. Checks and money orders are accepted; some accept exact cash and credit cards.

If applying at a Regional Passport Agency, major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) and debit (not ATM) cards are also accepted.

What If I Need a Passport in a Hurry? (Expedited Service: You will receive your passport within 7-10 business days (2 weeks) after applying at and acceptance facility)

Additional $60 per application
Plus two-way overnight delivery is strongly recommended. For return portion, include self addressed, prepaid return overnight delivery envelope.
Total = $145 + two-way overnight delivery for 10-year passport (customers age 16 and over)
Total = $130 + two-way overnight delivery for 5-year passport (under age 16)
Note: For states not densely populated and/or far from our Pittsburgh, PA cashiering facility, overnight delivery is not always reliable. If this applies to you, particularly if you are leaving in less than 7 business days, we encourage you to apply at a Regional Passport Agency. Whichever way you apply, include your travel date and plans on your application.
What If I Need a Passport in Less than 7-10 Business Days (2 weeks)? (Expedited Service: You will receive your passport in less than 2 weeks after applying at a Regional Passport Agency.)

Make an appointment to apply in person at a Regional Passport Agency. (See "Passport Agencies.")
Bring documentation, photos and payment as itemized under the question "What Do I Need to Do to Apply for a Passport In Person?" and expedite fee and one-way overnight return delivery or arrange will-call pick-up, depending upon circumstances and
Proof of imminent international departure (e.g. airline tickets, airline-generated itinerary).
May I Apply for a Passport by Mail?

Yes, if you already have a fully valid U.S. passport and that passport:

Was issued within the last 15 years;
You were 16 or older when it was issued;
You have it to submit;
It is undamaged and unaltered; and
Your name is the same or you can submit a certified copy of the court order, adoption decree, marriage certificate, or divorce decree specifying another name for you to use. (Photocopies are not acceptable.) If you name has changed by other means, you must apply in person, using Form DS-11)
Obtain DSP-82 "Application For Passport By Mail," or by visiting and acceptance facility or Regional Passport Agency or by calling the National Passport Center. Many travel agencies also have passport application forms. Complete, sign, and date your form..

Attach to it:

Your most recent passport, which will be returned with your new passport;
Two identical passport photographs (See guidelines under "Bring two (2) photographs.);
And a $55 fee for routine service (receipt of passport within 6 weeks), and if applicable, additional $60 fee for expedited service, plus two-way overnight delivery. (See "What If I Need a Passport in a Hurry?" ); and
Mail (if possible, in a padded envelope), the completed Form DS-82 and attachments to:
National Passport Center
P.O. Box 371971
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7971

If you use an overnight service, send the Form DS-82 and attachments to:

Passport Services - Lockbox
Attn: Passport Supervisor 371971
500 Ross Street, Room 154-0670
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-9971

When Should I Apply for a Passport?

You should apply several months in advance of your planned trip. If you will need visas from foreign embassies, allow more time.

Even if you do not have any specific travel plans, it is a good idea to get your passport now. Do not wait, because you want to be ready in case you need or want to travel on short notice!

Where Can I Get Passport Forms?

You can obtain application forms at http://travel.state.gov, passport application acceptance facilities, Regional Passport Agencies, or by calling the National Passport Information Center. Also, many travel agencies have passport applications.

What Happens to My Passport Application After I Submit It?

If you apply at one of the 5,000+ passport acceptance facilities, the same day that you apply, your application will be sent to Passport Services' banking facility, where your payment is deposited into the U.S. Treasury, and information from your application is data-entered. Then, your application, in both electronic and paper form, will be directed to a Regional Passport Agency or Passport Processing Center for adjudication and passport issuance if all documentation is in order.

When you recieve your passport, remember to sign it in ink and in pencil, print your name and address, so if you should lose it, it may be returned to you.

What Should I Do if My Passport Is Lost or Stolen?

If your still valid passport is lost or stolen, you can report the loss when you apply for a new passport. In addition to Form DS-11, you will need to complete a Form DS-64, "Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport." You may also call 202-955-0292, which has a voice mail for nonbusiness hours, Eastern Time, or 202-955-0487 or 0488, to report the loss before you reapply.

If you are abroad, immediately report the loss to local police authorities and the Consular Section of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Do I need to Obtain a Separate Passport for My Baby?

Yes. All persons, including newborn infants, are required to obtain passports in their own names. Note: For children under age 14, the consent of both parents / guardians is required. (See http://travel.state.gov/specialreq.html for details.)

What Do I Do if My Name Changes? What Do I Do if I Need More Visa Pages in My Passport?

If you need to get a valid passport amended due to a name change, use Form DS-19, "Passport Amendment/Validation Application," and submit a certified copy of the court order, adoption decree, marriage certificate, or divorce decree specifying another name for you to use. (Photocopies are not acceptable.)
If you need more visa pages in a valid passport, use the same form.
There is no cost for routine service (receipt of amended passport within 6 weeks) to have a passport amended or visa pages added. However, if expedited service is requested, the fee is $60 per application + two-way overnight delivery. See "
What If I Need a Passport in a Hurry?" and "What If I Need a Passport in Less Than 7-10 Business Days (2 weeks)?"
Submit the DS-19, valid passport, and any required documentation to:
Charleston Passport Center
ATTN: Amendments Building 643
1269 Holland Street
Charleston, SC 29405

What Else Would Be Helpful for Me to Know?

Some countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond the dates of your trip. Check with the nearest embassy or consulate of the countries you plan to visit to find out their entry requirements.
If you travel abroad frequently, you may request a 48-page passport at the time you apply for a new passport.
In addition to foreign entry requirements, U.S. law must be considered. With certain exceptions, it is against U.S. law to enter or leave the country without a valid passport. Generally for tourists, the exceptions refer to direct travel within U.S. Territories or between North, South, or Central America (except Cuba). However, airlines and cruise-lines sometimes require its passengers to have passports when flying or cruising to and from locations in these areas.
For More Information
Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Office of Passport Services on the Internet at
http://travel.state.gov. There you can....

- Learn where to apply at one of the 5,000 designated passport application acceptance facilities (post offices, clerks of court, state/county/municipal offices and a growing number of public libraries and public colleges and universities);
- Fill out an application on-line and print it for submission;
- Find answers to your passport questions; and
- Find answers to many of your questions about international travel safety issues.

or

Contact the *National Passport Information Center (NPIC)
at 1-900-225-5674 or 1-888-362-8668
(TDD: 1-888-498-3648)
(Using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express)
to obtain information about your passport application.

Customer Service Representatives are available Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, ET, excluding Federal holidays to provide information/answer questions, check the status of pending applications, and mail forms. Automated information available 24-hours/day, 7 days/week. Calls for 1-900 are $1.50 per minute to speak with Customer Service Representative, and $.55 per minute for automated service; 1-888 calls to speak with a CSR require a credit card payment of $5.50 per call flat fee.

* This fee-for-service NPIC was opened in late 1996 without using tax dollars to ensure passport customers high-quality telecommunciations service.
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