How Do You Get a United States Passport?


Quick Answer

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can get a passport by providing a passport application and appropriate documentation to an approved passport facility. The U.S. Department of State lays out different procedures according to first timers, children and passport renewals.

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How Do You Get a United States Passport?
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Full Answer

First time passport applicants, as well as applicants under the age of 16 or whose previous passports were lost or stolen, have to apply in person at an approved passport center. The first step is to fill out a U.S. passport application, which is available to print from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Do not sign the document until directed to do so by an approved official. Take the application to an approved passport facility.

You also need to submit proof of U.S. citizenship. Documents accepted as proof include a certified U.S. birth certificate, a naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship. You also have to submit identification with your photograph on it, such as a valid driver's license or military ID (both must be current). Also bring a photocopy of each document.

Once you provide all documentation, an agent takes your picture and collects a fee. The completed passport then arrives via mail at your provided mailing address.

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