Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

obtaining a copy of an ancestor's passport

by Kelly
(Staten Island, NY)

Question: I am looking to obtain a copy of my great-grandfather's passport if that possible.


Answer: The way you obtain a passport record depends on when the passport was issued. For passports issued between 1925 to the present,

1. Your full name at birth and any subsequent name changes;
2. Your date and place of birth;
3. Your current mailing address;
4. Your current daytime telephone number;
5. Your current e-mail address, if available;
6. Your reason for the request;
7. The dates or estimated dates the passports were issued;
8. Your passport numbers or any other information that will help locate your records; and
9. A copy of requester's valid photo identification

Since your are requesting a passport record of someone other than yourself, you also have to include one of the following.

* Notarized consent from the owner of the passport records,
* Proof of guardianship,
* Death certificate, or
* Court order signed by a judge of competent jurisdiction requesting the Department of State to release passport records.

There is no search fee for records. However, if you need a certified copy, a fee of $50 applies. Checks or money orders should be made payable to “Department of State".

All requests for passport records issued from 1925 to present should be mailed to:

US Department of State
Law Enforcement Liaison Division
CA/PPT/S/L/LE
1150 Passport Services Pl, 4th Floor
Dulles, VA 20189-1150
(202) 485-6550

For passports issued before 1925, all you have to do is write to the The National Archives and Records Administration. The address is provided below.

National Archives and Records Administration
Archives 1
Reference Branch
8th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC
(866) 325-7208

Comments for obtaining a copy of an ancestor's passport

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copy of passport before 1925
by: Carol Griffin

Question: Is there any website I could get a copy of a passport? My granddad bought the Isle of Pines down below Cuba and moved his sawmill and family there in 1917. I would love to buy several copies for each child (3) Long story! Trying to get the stories to go with the geneology.
Thank you.

Answer: You can request for a passport record
from the Department of State.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 7 and 10 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 4 to 6 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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