Passport Application in the USA

 Application for US Passport.

Normally passport application in the USA must be done in person.

A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship and permits a citizen to travel abroad.

Only the U.S. Department of State and its U.S. Consulates abroad have the authority to issue a passport.

Apply for a US Passport as soon as possible (at least two months in advance, more time if visas are required.) For details click on the U.S. Department of State's Application for US Passport..

Many countries mandate that a passport be valid at least six months past return dates of the trip. Contact the closest consulate of your host country for more details.

For more information - Passport Requirements page for US Citizens

For more information - Visa-Requirements page

This is just a summary for US Passport Application. Please go to the actual US Government website for the latest information and procedures.

Click on the U.S. Department of State's Application for US Passport.

How to Apply In Person(A summary for Passport Application)

Click on the U.S. Department of State's Passport Application for actual application.

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport or
  • You are under age 16 or
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16 or
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged or
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago or
  • Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change

Before You Start the Passport Application, Please Note:


Read and understand Steps 1-5 before leaving this page.

STEP 1: Complete and Submit Form DS-11: Application For A U.S. Passport

Complete Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport. To submit Form DS-11, you:

  • Must apply in person at an Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency
  • Must include the additional documentation required by Form DS-11 (See Steps 2-5)
  • Must not sign the passport application until instructed to do so by the Acceptance Agent
  • Must provide your SSN in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 6039E

STEP 2: Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship

*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, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

NOTE: If you do not have primary evidence of U.S. citizenship or your U.S. birth certificate does not meet the requirements, please see Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship.

STEP 3: Present Identification

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, acceptable identification must be presented at the time of passport application.

Primary Identification (One of the following):

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport
Naturalization Certificate
Valid Driver's License
Current Government ID (city, state or federal)
Current Military ID (military and dependents)


  • If you cannot submit primary identification, please see Secondary Identification.
  • If you apply at an Acceptance Facility and submit out-of-state primary identification, you must present an additional ID document, as well. For example, if you apply in Maryland with a Virginia Driver's License, you must present additional ID.

STEP 4: Submit a Photocopy of the Identification Document Presented (STEP 3)

The photocopy must be of the ID document that you will present when you apply.

  • Photocopy must be on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper stock, showing the front and the back of your ID
  • Photocopy must contain images on only one-side of each page submitted.
    • If copies cannot be made on the same side of one page, you may present two separate pages; one displaying the front of the ID and the second displaying the back of the ID.
  • The paper should be free of other images and/or markings.
  • The 8 1/2 x 11" paper size cannot be substituted with a larger or smaller size paper, even if the alternative folds down to the 8 1/2 x 11" size.
  • You may enlarge the image of your ID on the 8 1/2 x 11" page, but you may not decrease the size of the image.

Other situations that require a photocopy of identification, but are less common, include:

  • If you are presenting Secondary Identification, you must provide a photocopy each document being presented with your passport application.
  • If you submit out-of-state primary identification, you must provide a photocopy of each additional identification document submitted with the primary ID.
  • An assistant to a disable applicant who witnesses the signature or signs on the disabled customer's behalf must present a photocopy of his or her ID
  • A person acting as an Identifying Witness must present a photocopy of his or her ID

STEP 5: Pay the Applicable Fee

Please see Current Passport Fees and methods of payment.

STEP 6: Provide Two Passport Photos

We can help you submit clear and correctly exposed passport photos the first time - especially when applying for the U.S. Passport Card. See Quality Requirements for Passport Book & Passport Card Photographs to avoid photo processing delays.

Your Photographs Must Be:

  • Identical
  • In color
  • 2 x 2 inches in size
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • 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)


  • Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable
  • See Digitized Passport Photos for information on acceptable digital photos
  • Professional photographers see Guidelines for Producing High Quality Photographs for U.S. Travel Documents
  • When submitting Form DS-11 in person, your photo(s) should not be attached to the form.
  • When submitting Form DS-82 by mail, staple one photo to the application within the space provided using four vertical staples, one in each corner. Enclose the second photo with your application, unattached.


You should make an appointment to be seen at a Regional Passport Agency only if:

  • The U.S. passport is needed in less than 2 weeks for international travel
  • The U.S. passport is needed within 4 weeks to obtain a foreign visa

Contact the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment or locate a Passport Agency.

Here are some important planning tips:

Go to the Page on Get Organized

Choose a Good Guidebook

Go to the Library Travel Section.

Passport Requirements

Passport Application

Visa Requirements

Travel Itinerary

What to Pack for Your Next Trip

Choose a Travel Companion

Change Course - Follow Someone Else's Idea of a Good Trip

Last Minute Travel Bargains

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