Getting Your First Passport
If this is your first passport, you must apply in person at your local passport acceptance facility. Find the closest office. Many federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and some county and municipal offices offer passport services.
- Download, print, and complete form DS-11. Don't sign it until you are directed to do so at the passport office.
- Provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state
- Provide proof of identity (a Social Security card does not prove your identity):
- naturalization certificate
- current, valid driver's license
- current, valid government ID – city, state or federal
- current military ID
- Provide two identical color photos. They must be 2x2 inches in size, taken within the last 6 months, must show current appearance (full face, front view, on plain white or off-white background). They must be between 1" and 1 3/8" from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. Do not wear a uniform, except for religious attire that is worn daily. Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair. If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig, or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture. Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless medically prescribed. (A medical certificate may be required.)
- Bring payment. Fees and surcharges are combined into one payment, made payable to the U.S. Department of State. Find up-to-date fees here. At passport agencies, passport fees can be paid by credit card, debit/check card, personal check, certified check or money order. At passport acceptance facilities, payment options vary by location.
- After you apply, you can check the status of your passport application online.
Processing Your Passport in a Hurry
For an additional $60 per application, you can request expedited service (to get it to you in about three weeks) when you apply in person.
If you are traveling within the next two weeks, you'll have to go to the closest regional passport agency to apply. Note: Appointments are required for this kind of application.
Renewing Your Passport
If you already possess a passport but it is expired or will expire in the next 6 months, you'll need to get a new one.
You may renew by mail if your passport:
- is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
- was issued when you were age 16 or older
- was issued within the last 15 years
- was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change