How to Obtain a U.S. Passport
Need to obtain a US passport
Before initiating the application steps, we recommend you check the
criteria listed below to verify if a new passport service is what you
need. If so, you will find a complete list of requirements and
to assist you in the process of obtaining a new U.S. passport
Completing and sending in the wrong form can lead to delays. Take a few
seconds to see who should use Form DS-11 in order to apply for a new
Use Form DS-11 if any of the following apply:
In a hurry? Click here to expedite a new passport in 24 to 48 hours
- 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 significantly 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.
Complete Application Form DS-11
There are two ways to complete application Form DS-11. One, you can fill out the passport application online and then print it. Two, you can download application Form DS-11
in PDF format, print a copy and complete it offline. Those who choose
the latter option should use black ink to complete the form and write
as legibly as possible. Illegible answers can lead to delays in the
process or printing errors in your passport.
At the head of the application form is a space for you to check whether you want to obtain a passport book, a passport card
or both. U.S. citizens can possess both a book and a card at the same
time. Be aware that the card can only be used for land and sea travel
to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. If you are applying for a
passport book, you can choose between a standard, 28-page passport book
or a non-standard 52-page one. Choose the latter if you travel abroad
The remaining questions on the application form request
personal information such as full name, address, telephone number,
email address, and the like. The form has a section for information
about your travel plans. Keep in mind though that you are not required
to have immediate travel plans in order to obtain a passport. Note, you
should not sign the application until asked to do so by an acceptance
Download Application Form DS-11
Complete Application Form Online
Gather Supporting Documents
Several supporting documents are required when submitting Form DS-11 to
obtain a passport. It is very important to understand the specific
requirements for each supporting document in order to avoid delays in
the process and get your travel document in the fastest time possible.
The list of supporting documents include:
The document that you submit as evidence of United States
citizenship has to be an original or a certified copy. The document
will be returned to you although it may arrive on a different day from
your new passport. Using a protective package and a traceable delivery
method will help ensure that your documents arrive safely.
Visit Application Acceptance Facility
Once you have completed the form and gathered up all the supporting documents, you need to visit an application acceptance facility
. Many post offices serve as acceptance facilities. A lot of them require an appointment so you should call before you visit.
An Acceptance Agent will look over the completed Form DS-11 and
supporting documents as well as administer an oath and witness as you
sign the application. Payment for the new passport application fee
is payable to the U.S. Department of State and sent with the completed
form and supporting documents. The execution fee is paid to the
See Also: Tips on applying for a passport at a post office
How Long Does It Take to Get a New US Passport?
can choose between routine and expedited passport processing when
applying at an acceptance facility. Routine processing is currently
estimated to take from 4 to 6 weeks. It can take longer, especially
during peak travel periods. Expedited processing is estimated to take
2-3 weeks. Although faster, it does require the payment of the expedited service fee
Can't wait two weeks or more to get your passport? Obtaining a United
States passport faster can be accomplished in one of the following
ways. One, you can apply at a regional passport agency
There are 25 agencies located in major cities of the United States.
While applicants are usually required to make an appointment, walk-ins
who have urgent travel needs are welcome. The same documents listed
above are required. Applications are processed in 5 days to as fast as
the same day.
A second method to obtain a U.S. passport quickly
is to employ the assistance of a qualified passport expediting courier service
Through an expediter, you can have your new passport delivered to you
in 24-48 hours. Travel document expediting services can do this because
they have a special relationship with the regional agencies that give
them priority status. They can also obtain travel visas if you require
them for your trip abroad.
Click here for expedited passport courier service in 24-48 hours
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