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Passport FAQ - Find Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions About Passport Services

Passport Questions? We Can Help.
Questions? We Can Help by Jeanette.Dietl/DepositPhotos

Our passport FAQ pages have been categorized to assist you in finding answers for the type of service that you require. Just click the link below for the passport service you need and you will be presented with an list of answers to frequently asked questions. You can also use the menu on the left column to access step-by-step instructions, application forms and a list of places to apply for a passport.

General Passport FAQ

Question: Who needs a passport?

Answer: Any U.S. citizen who plans to exit and/or return to the United States by air. Minors age 16 or younger can present evidence of U.S. citizenship such as a birth certificate when returning from Canada or Mexico by land. A passport is not required for reentry when traveling on a closed-loop cruise.

Question: Does a baby need a passport?

Answer: Yes. An infant, even a newborn, must possess a passport if the child will be taken outside the U.S.

Question: How long does it take to get a passport?

Answer: Regular processing takes 4-6 weeks. Expediting a passport at an acceptance facility (new) or by mail (renewal) takes 2-3 weeks. Emergency passports can be processed at regional centers. Processing at these locations can take up to 8 business days. Same day passport service is available under certain circumstances.

Question: What is the validity of a passport?

Answer: Passports issued to minors age 15 or younger are valid for 5 years. Passports issued to adults are valid for 10 years. Limited-validity, emergency passports are usually valid for 1 year.

Question: When should I apply for a passport renewal?

Answer: It is recommended that you begin the application process to renew your passport approximately 9 months before it expires although the application can be submitted at any time. Passports issued to applicants age 16 or older can be renewed by mail up to 5 years after the expiration date.

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