United States Passport Information
The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue or verify United States passports. For more Passport Information click here
What do I need to Apply for a U.S. Passport
STEP ONE - Present Proof of U.S. Citizenship
All documentation submitted as evidence of U.S. Citizenship will be returned with the issued passport . You may prove U.S. Citizenship with any one of the following:
- Previous U.S. Passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as evidence of U.S. citizenship.)
- Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state
Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Naturalization Certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
NOTE: A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note that some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.
STEP TWO - Present Proof of Identity
You may prove your identity with any one of these, if you are recognizable:
- Previous U.S. passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as proof of identity.)
- Naturalization Certificate
- Current, valid Driver's license
- Government ID: city, state or federal
- Military ID: military and dependents
STEP THREE - Provide Two Passport Photos
Your photographs must be:
- 2x2 inches in size and indentical
- Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
- Photos must be in color
- Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
- Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- Taken in normal street attire
Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily. Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline. If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.
STEP FOUR - Pay the Applicable Passport Fees
- Age 16 and older: The passport application fee is $67. The execution fee is $30. The total is $97 .
- Under Age 16: The passport application fee is $52. The execution fee is $30. The total is $82 .
The passport application fee includes the $12.00 Security Surcharge, which became effective March 8, 2005.
Methods of Payment
Both fees and the surcharge are combined into one payment to the ''U.S. Department of State'':
- Credit Cards – VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
- Debit/Check cards (not ATM cards)
- Checks (personal, certified, cashiers', travelers'), money orders (U.S. Postal, international, currency exchange), bank drafts
If you are in a hurry they offer Expidited Services
- Cost, in addition to regular application fees, is $60 per application plus overnight delivery costs.
- Two-way overnight delivery is strongly suggested.
- If you mail in - clearly mark Expedited on the envelope.
- Anyone may request expedited service for any type of application (e.g., first-time applications, renewals, amendments of existing passports, etc.)
After you apply - You will receive your passport: Normally, it takes 2-3 weeks to receive your passport from the date you applied, however because of the backlog it has been taking a little longer. For up to date information visit the U.S. Department of State Website
New Application for a U.S. Passport
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of 7,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license.
Passport Acceptance Facilities
Acceptance facilities include many Federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices. There are also 13 regional passport agencies, and 1 Gateway City Agency, which serve customers who are traveling within 2 weeks (14 days), or who need foreign visas for travel. Appointments are required in such cases.
How do I apply for a New U.S. Passport
You’ll need to apply in person if you are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time; if your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession; if your previous U.S. passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago; or if your previous U.S. passport was issued when you are under 16 your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost of stolen. For more information on getting a new passport, visit The U.S. Department of State Website and download the forms.
Renewal of a U.S. Passport
You can renew by mail if: Your most recent passport is available to submit and it is not damaged; you received the passport within the past 15 years; you were over age 16 when it was issued; you still have the same name, or can legally document your name change. If your passport has been, altered or damaged, you cannot apply by mail. You must apply in person. For more information on how to renew a passport, visit The U.S. Department of State Website and download the renewal forms.
Information source - US Department of State