What Are the Requirements for U.S. Passport Approval?


Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Department of State, passport applicants need proof of citizenship, photo identification, a current passport photo, the appropriate fee and have form DS-11 completed. First time applicants must apply in person at a passport agency or passport acceptance facility.

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Full Answer

For passport applicants, the Department of State lists different documents that show proof of citizenship. These include a consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth, a naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship. The applicant can also use a certified U.S. birth certificate that meets the following criteria: issued by the city, state or county of birth; has the applicant's full name, date and place of birth; parent's full names; filed with registrar and has the registrar's signature; and is embossed, impressed or colored registrar's seal.

USA Today lists appropriate photo identification as a valid driver's license, military or government ID, or a naturalization certificate or expired passport. The photograph required for the passport must have been taken within the last six months and be full color on a white background, no larger than 2 inches square. Applicants can have these photos taken at most convenience stores, superstore or photo store.

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, the applicant must bring all of the required documentation including the United States passport application form. This form can be completed prior to the appointment but must not be signed in advance. The form has to be signed by the applicant at the time the application and supporting documentation is presented. Once everything is submitted along with the appropriate fee, the passport agency will send everything in for processing. Processing time varies, but averages around six weeks, as stated by USA Today.

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