How Do You Apply for a Passport?


Quick Answer

To apply for an American passport, take a completed but unsigned Form DS-11, citizenship evidence, a government-issued ID and an appropriate passport photo to a local acceptance facility. While at the facility, the applicant must sign the DS-11 form, take an oath and pay for standard or expedited processing.

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How Do You Apply for a Passport?
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Full Answer

A traveler must apply for a passport in person under the following circumstances, as detailed by the U.S. Department of State: requesting a first passport, under age 16, renewing a passport first issued before age 16, renewing a passport issued 15 or more years ago or renewing a passport after a name change. The passport application must also take place in person if the previous passport was damaged, stolen or lost.

When these conditions do not apply and no changes are needed to passport details, applicants can renew passports by mail with Form DS-82.

If travel will occur within two weeks or if a foreign visa is needed within four weeks, the Department of State recommends submitting the application in person to a regional Passport Agency or Passport Center. Otherwise, applicants can work with a sanctioned passport acceptance facility, such as a post office, clerk of courts, local government office or public library.

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