U.S. Department of State
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Apply for a U.S. Passport
DHS provides information on the passport application process, obtaining a visa, border crossing documents, and general travel tips. U.S. Citizens must get a passport issued by the U.S. Department of State to travel overseas.
Information on requirements for U.S. passport applications.
Do I Need a Visa?
Learn about your destination and find out if you need a visa for travel outside the country.
U.S. Passport Application Status
Check the status of a U.S. passport application.
Passport Travel Tips
Safeguard your Passport. You must present your passport to the Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival in the United States. Carry your passport—do not pack it in your checked luggage. We recommend you make a copy of your passport and put it in a separate place as a safeguard in case it is lost or stolen.
Traveling with Children. All children, including infants, must have their own passport or Trusted Traveler Program for U.S. entry. Carry documents for traveling with minor children.
- If you are escorting a minor child without the parents, have a letter from both parents indicating that you have permission to travel with the minor.
- If the child is accompanied by only one parent, the parent should have a note from the child's other parent. For example, "I acknowledge that my wife/ husband is traveling out of the country with my son/ daughter. He/She/ has my permission to do so."
- If a single parent has sole custody, a copy of the court custody document can replace a letter from the other parent.
Western Hemispheric Travel Initiative
The Western Hemispheric Travel Initiative (WHTI) allows six types of acceptable documents required for travel in the Western Hemisphere, i.e., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America.
The goal of WHTI is to strengthen border security while facilitating entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate international travelers. WHTI makes the traveling process more efficient and convenient.
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Thousands of Post Offices ™ accept first-time passport applications for the U.S. Department of State. Most of those locations can also take your passport photo.
- Renewing Passports : If you answer 'Yes' to all 5 eligibility questions in the " Renew a Passport by Mail " section, mail your renewal form directly to the State Department. If you don't meet all the renewal requirements, you'll need to go to a Post Office in person and do a new, first-time passport application.
- First-Time Passports (and Passport Photos) : Schedule your in-person appointment online.
Schedule an Appointment
Alert: --> online scheduler to make an appointment for passport services to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. The State Department has extremely limited passport services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expect significant delays of several months before receiving your new U.S. passport. Learn More
Alert: Please use our online scheduler , a Post Office lobby self-service kiosk, or visit a Post Office retail counter to make an appointment for first-time passport and photo services. Alternatively, find a location near you with passport walk-in acceptance hours.
First-time applicants and people who aren’t allowed to get a new passport by mail.
Apply at a Post Office
Most people renewing a passport should mail their application directly to the State Department.
Renew by Mail
Passports for Minors
Passports for children under 16 have special requirements. Make sure you are prepared.
Apply for a First-Time Passport
If you've never had a U.S. passport, are 16 or under, or aren't allowed to renew an existing passport by mail, you need to apply for a new passport in person at the Post Office.
Step 1: Gather Documents Early
Generally, you should apply for your new passport as soon as you know you’ll be traveling internationally—at least several months in advance. Passport processing times may vary, so be sure to check the latest State Department service estimates . First-time applicants, minors, and applicants who need a new passport but may not renew by mail may submit their passport application at the Post Office. The U.S. State Department website explains what you'll need to bring with you.
- Application forms (unsigned)
- Proof of identity document and a photocopy of the front and back
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship document and a photocopy of the front and back
- Passport fees
Apply for a Passport in Person
Step 2: Prepare Your Application Package
Visit the U.S. Department of State website to learn how to apply for a passport and what documents you need.
- Complete your Form DS-11 Application for U.S. Passport on the State Department website.
- Print your completed application. DO NOT SIGN YOUR APPLICATION. A Postal employee must witness your signature.
- Have a passport photo taken.
- Photocopy your proof of identity and U.S. Citizenship documents.
- Post Offices accept credit cards, checks, and money orders for Post Office acceptance fees.
- State Department fees are mailed with your application. You can pay with a personal, certified, cashier's, traveler's check, or money order, payable to "U.S. Department of State."
Get Started on Your Application
Step 3: Schedule an Appointment
Post Offices that offer passport services have set hours, and you'll need to schedule an appointment using the online Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler or a Post Office lobby self-service kiosk.
- Go to Schedule an Appointment .
- Choose the passport service you need, along with the number of adults and minors who need appointments.
- You can search for appointment by location or date first. If you search by location first, you'll then be asked to choose a date and time; if you search by date first, you'll then need to choose a location and time.
- After you choose your appointment location and time, provide your contact information, and agree to the Terms and Conditions.
- Click Review Appointment , then confirm your appointment.
If you need to modify or cancel your appointment, click the Manage Appointments tab and enter your confirmation number and email address or phone number.
Using a Self-Service Kiosk
- Go to a Post Office location with lobby self-service kiosks. Find USPS Locations
- At the self-service kiosk, touch the screen to begin, then select "Other Services," then "Passport Scheduler."
- Choose the passport service you need, then enter the number of adults and minors who need appointments.
- Search for Post Office locations by ZIP Code™ or City/State and choose a location.
- Select an available appointment date and time, then agree to the Terms and Conditions.
- Enter your contact information and decide if you'd like to receive SMS text notifications.
- Review and confirm your information, then select “Schedule Appointment” to finalize.
- Take your printed receipt listing your confirmation number and appointment details.
Step 4: Pay Passport Acceptance & Processing Fees
First-time passport applications have two types of basic fees, the application acceptance fee and the application processing fee. Passport photos and fees for faster processing are extra. Learn how to calculate fees and what you can use to pay for them.
Application Acceptance Fees – Postal Service
Pay acceptance fees in person at the Post Office. You may pay by check or money order, payable to "Postmaster," debit card, or credit card.
- $35.00 - Post Office acceptance fee
- $15.00 - Post Office photo fee (if needed)
Application Processing Fees – Department of State
State Department payment is sent with your application package. State Department fees are paid separately from USPS fees.
- State Department Fees State Department passport fees vary. Calculate passport fees online .
- Personal, certified, cashier's, or traveler's check, payable to "U.S. Department of State."
- Money order payable to "U.S. Department of State." You can buy a money order at the Post Office with cash, a debit card, or a traveler's check. You cannot pay with a credit card.
Application Status Updates
- Use the Online Passport Status System to check your application status if you applied by mail or in person. You may not be able to get a status update for 2 weeks after you apply or renew. During these weeks, your application and supporting documents are on their way to the Department of State. See more information about current processing times on the Department of State page " U.S. Passports ."
Renew a Passport by Mail
If you are eligible to renew your passport, please complete Passport Renewal Application Form DS-82 (see completion instructions on the form), and mail your completed renewal application directly to the State Department for processing. To verify if your passport is eligible for renewal by mail, please visit State Department Renew By Mail .
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility to Renew by Mail
A minor's passport may not be renewed by mail; to renew a minor's passport, you need to submit a new, first-time passport application in person . An adult passport may be renewed by mail if it meets certain requirements.
You can renew your adult passport by mail if you answer "Yes" to all 5 of the following statements:
- Is in your possession to submit with your application.
- Is undamaged other than normal "wear and tear."
- 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 document your name change. (Name changes are explained on Change a Passport .)
If your passport does not meet all these requirements, do not mail your renewal application. You must prepare the same application package as a first-time passport applicant.
State Department Renew by Mail
Apply early for renewals as many countries require that passports be valid for at least 6 months after you enter their country. Learn how to properly prepare your application package and include all the necessary documents so your passport is processed on time.
- Complete your Passport Renewal Application Form DS-82 on the State Department website.
- Print and sign your DS-82 form.
- Have a passport photo taken. You can schedule a passport photo-only appointment at a Post Office ™ location.
- Calculate your passport renewal fees .
- Collect your most recent passport, completed and signed application, renewal fees, and name change documents, if needed.
- Use an envelope large enough to fit the application without folding it.
- TIP : Pay for Priority Mail Express ® or Priority Mail ® service and get free envelopes that are large enough to hold your application. Order easily online: Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope or Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope .
- Address the envelope to the location for your state. See page 2 of your DS-82 form.
How to Renew a Passport - Details
Step 3: Mail Your Renewal Application
Department of State recommends using a USPS delivery tracking service to mail your renewal application.
Choose one of the following services:
- USPS Priority Mail ® Service with Delivery Confirmation
- USPS Priority Mail ® Service with Signature Confirmation
- USPS Priority Mail Express ® Service (for overnight delivery requests)
Compare Delivery Tracking Services
Step 4: Follow Your Application Progress
If you use a USPS delivery tracking service, go to USPS Tracking ® to see when your package is delivered.
- With a USPS tracking service, you can see when your application arrived using the tracking number on your receipt.
USPS Tracking Status
U.S. Passport Application Status
Expedited Passport Delivery
Get a new passport faster in emergencies & special cases.
If you need your passport faster for emergency travel or another special case, you can send your passport application via Priority Mail Express ® service and pay the State Department fee for faster delivery.
If you need to travel within 72 hours (3 business days) for an immediate family member who is dead, dying, or has a life-threatening illness or injury:
- Visit the Life-or-Death Emergencies page on travel.state.gov to learn if you are eligible.
- The State Department processes these requests by appointment only.
- Your appointment date must be within 72 hours (3 business days) of travel.
Urgent Travel in Less than 10 Weeks
If you are traveling in less than 10 weeks, you must call the State Department Passport Agency to schedule an appointment:
- You can call 1-877-487-2778 (1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY) to schedule an appointment.
- Your appointment date must be within 72 hours (3 business days) of travel, and you must provide proof of travel.
Note : An extremely limited number of appointments are available for customers who are traveling internationally in the next 72 hours (3 business days), and other restrictions apply .
Get My Passport Fast
Renew Your Passport Fast
If you pay an additional $60 for expedited service and mail it with Priority Mail Express , you can get your renewed passport within 10 weeks.
- Check your eligibility under Renew Your Passport by Mail, Step 1: Check Your Eligibility to Renew by Mail .
- Prepare your application as listed under Renew a Passport by Mail, Step 2: Prepare Your Application Package .
- Add these special fees, both payable to the U.S. Department of State, to your regular processing fees.
- $60.00—Expedited application processing at the State Department
- $18.32—1- to 2-day delivery service for faster return shipping to you from the State Department
- Clearly mark "EXPEDITE" on the outside of the envelope.
- Ship your application to the State Department by Priority Mail Express. Cost varies by location.
- Both parents/guardians must authorize the issuance of a child's passport. The best way to give consent is for both parents/guardians to go with the child when applying.
- Children need evidence of citizenship.
- Parents/guardians need proof of parental relationship.
- NOTE: Children's passports are only valid for 5 years. They are not "renewable": When a child's passport expires, you must apply for a new passport for them. When making a passport appointment for a child, please choose "New Passport Only" or "New Passport with Photo Services."
Apply for a Minor's Passport
- Department of State Passport Website English | Español
- Ask Questions at the National Passport Information Center
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
- Plan Your Trip with the Traveler's Checklist
- Get Help in an Emergency Overseas
Lost or Stolen Passports
If your passport has been lost or stolen, you should report it immediately to the U.S. Department of State.
Report Your Lost/Stolen Passport
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How to Apply for a Passport
Last Updated: January 25, 2023 References
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 21 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 171,138 times. Learn more...
National passports are essential for travel overseas. If you can prove your citizenship and identity, then you can apply for a passport in your country of citizenship. These instructions include guidelines for U.S., UK, Canadian, and Australian passport applications. Work ahead! Passports require a lot of documentation.
Preparing to Apply for a U.S. Passport
- You won’t be able to get a U.S. passport if you can’t provide evidence of U.S. citizenship or naturalization.  X Trustworthy Source US Citizenship and Immigration Services U.S. government agency in charge of the naturalization and immigration systems Go to source  X Research source U.S. citizens must get a passport for overseas travel.
- The U.S. State Department handles the issuance and approval of U.S. passports. Work ahead. Although it’s possible to order an expedited passport, you will need to collect various documents, so it’s a good idea not to wait until the last minute. It will cost you less, too.  X Research source
- If it’s your first U.S. passport or you are under age 16 or your previous passport was issued when you were under age 16.
- If your previous passport was damaged, lost, or stolen or issued more than 15 years ago.
- If your name has changed since you obtained your last passport and you can’t legally document the name change.
Applying for a U.S. Passport
- Do not sign the application until the acceptance agent says you can do so.
- You will need to provide your social security number. If you leave it or other information off the form it could delay your request.
- You can search online through the U.S. State Department for the nearest passport acceptance facility in your area. The form allows you to search by zip code.  X Research source Many of these locations are post offices, clerks of court, public libraries, and other government offices.
- If you apply at a passport agency instead, you will need to pay an expedited fee, and you might be required to show proof of international travel within two weeks. You will also need an appointment. People usually only choose this option when they need the passport extremely fast.  X Research source
- A previous U.S. passport that is undamaged (5 years for minors and 10 years for adults)
- A certified U.S. birth certificate that was issued by city county or state of birth; lists the bearer’s full name, date of birth and place of birth along with the parent(s) full names; has a date filed with the registrar’s office that is within one year of birth; has a registrar’s signature; and has an embossed, impressed or multicolored seal of the registrar. Photocopies and notarized copies won’t work.
- A consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth.
- A naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.
Gathering the Right Documents for the Passport
- A previously-issued undamaged U.S. passport or a certificate of naturalization or citizenship or a valid driver’s license or a current government ID (city, state or federal) or a current military ID (military and dependents).
- You will need to also bring a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document that you will present upon applying. It must be on plain white 8.5 by 11 inch standard paper stock. The photocopy must contain images on only one side of each page submitted. Present two separate pages for front and back for each ID. The paper cannot contain other markings. You can’t decrease the size of the image.
- If you can’t submit primary identification, you can submit secondary identification. You must submit as much as you can. You can submit a combination of secondary documents (but not one by itself), such as a social security card, a credit card, an employee ID, and a library card. Present anything you think can confirm your identity.
- You could also bring an identifying witness to swear you are who you say you are. They have to be a U.S. citizen who has known you at least 2 years, has a valid ID, is willing to fill out an affidavit, and is present at the time of your application for a passport.
- Your photo  X Research source has to be in color, printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper, and be 2X2 inches (51X51 mm in size). The head must be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
- It must represent your current appearance and be taken in the last 6 months. The photo must also be taken in front of a plain white or off-white background. Your full face must be facing the camera. And your facial expression must be neutral or a natural smile, with both eyes open.
- The State Department publishes a current list of application and execution fees online.  X Research source
- You can pay the fees with credit cards, debit or check cards, checks payable to “Department of State,” money orders, or cash with exact change. The checks or money orders must draw on U.S. financial institutions and must be payable in U.S. dollars.
- If the child is under 16 and hasn’t had a passport before, you must submit the application in person at a passport agency or authorized site. The child and both parents or guardians must be present. You can fill out a parental consent form if both parents/or guardians can’t be present. In this form, the absent parent or guardian attests to the fact he or she is allowing the child to travel overseas. There are procedures available if the other guardian is deceased or had their rights terminated.
- To apply for a minor’s passport, you need to prove U.S. citizenship, evidence of parental relationship, photo identification, parental consent, passport photo, application forms, and passport fees.
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship can include a certified U.S. birth certificate that meets the same rules as above for birth certificates. Other evidence of U.S. citizenship includes a previous U.S. passport as long as it’s undamaged, a consular report of birth abroad, a certificate of naturalization or a certificate of citizenship.
- You can use overnight delivery when submitting the application. Expedited service is only available in the U.S.
- Write “EXPEDITED” clearly on the outside of the envelope.
- Adults who are living in Canada can submit form DS-82 to renew their passports. Note that if you're renewing an expired passport, you can still use this form as long as it hasn't been more than 15 years since your passport expired.
- Checks or money orders must draw on U.S. financial institutions and be payable in U.S. dollars.
- You can only apply for renewal with the mail in form if you were at least 16 when your most recent passport was issued, and if it was not lost, stolen, mutilated, or damaged. You also must use the same name or had your name changed by marriage or court order, which you can submit proper documentation to prove.
- Fill out the DS-82 form. Submit your most recent passport book or card. It must have been issued in the past 15 years. It will be returned to you.  X Research source
- Pay the applicable fee in the form of a personal check or money order made out to “U.S. Department of State.” Don’t send cash through the mail. If your name has changed, also submit a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order.
- Submit a passport photo. Do not bend the photo. Staple it to the application. Use 4 staples vertically in the corners as close to the outer edges as possible. Mail to National Passport Processing Center Post Office Box 90155, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155
Applying for Passports from Other Countries
- Fill out the passport application with ink and capital letters. If you are filling out the form online, you will be asked a series of questions and you must type in your personal details. The sections you fill in will depend upon your age, the country where you were born and other factors. Read the notes on the application very carefully.
- Find an original copy of your UK citizenship, including a birth certificate that includes parents’ names and places of birth. You must also provide original marriage and/or divorce certificates. You will also be asked to submit your parents’ birth certificates and/or marriage certificate if you were born after January 1, 1983.
- Take an adequate passport photograph. You will need two copies of a full colour, full-face photo with a white background. The size must be 45 by 35 mm (1.77 by 1.38 inches) which is taken recently, not older than 30 days.
- Find a counter signatory. This is a British citizen who has known you for at least two years. They must fill out the counter signatory section and write, “I certify that this is a true likeness of (insert name)” alongside a signature and date. They must not reside at the same address, nor be related to you.
- You could also go to the Post Office’s Check and Send Passport Office. Find a service online.  X Research source For a fee of £9, the post office will check the passport for errors and submit it.
- Send the passport application by post with your supporting documents, either using this service or using the pre-addressed envelope that came with your passport application.
- Your passport will be sent back to you by Royal Mail if it is accepted. Applications usually take three to four weeks to be processed.
- Print it out and fill it in using blue or dark blue ink and capital letters. You can also type the information onto the form and then print it out on your computer. Fill out the 3 application pages within 12 months.
- Ask a guarantor to fill out the fourth page. A guarantor is a Canadian citizen over the age of 18 who can vouch for your identity. They must have a valid Canadian passport issued to them.
- You can submit payment by debit card, credit card, certified check or money order.
- Submit your signed application fee, passport photos, documents and fee by mail to “Passport Canada Program, Gatineau QC K1A 0G3, Canada” or in person at Passport Canada Office. Search for an office online.
- Fill out your application online and then print it out to sign. Make sure to use ink and capital letters if you are filling it out by hand.
- Take passport photos. Go to the Australia Post to have passports taken or ask a photo outlet to take them for you. You need two copies. Find a guarantor. You will need an Australian citizen over the age of 18 to sign the back of one photo to vouch for your identity. Read your application carefully so that they know what to write and where to sign.
- Find an original document that proves your citizenship. This could be a birth certificate, an immigration certificate, a previously issued valid passport or a naturalization certificate. Find ID documents. You will need photo proof of your ID, such as a driver’s license, government ID or military ID.
- Make an appointment for an interview at an Australia Post location to submit your application and prove your identity. Find a location online.  X Research source The interview should take about 5 minutes. Pay $244 to $366 to submit your application. Payments can be made by credit card, electronic funds transfer or cash at the time of your appointment.
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- Don't try to take your passport photo yourself. There are too many ways to mess up the specifications. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Work ahead. However, if you are desperate to get a passport fast, don't stress out. The expediting works well. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Children under the age of 16 must have permission and signatures from their parents to apply for a passport. Ask your local post office what you must provide for your son or daughter in addition to the materials listed above. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html
- ↑ http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization
- ↑ https://www.visahq.com/us_passport_requirements.php
- ↑ http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/apply-us-passport
- ↑ http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/first-time.html#step1
- ↑ https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/
- ↑ http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply/agencies.html
- ↑ http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/photos/photos.html
- ↑ http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/fees.html
- ↑ http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/renew.html
- ↑ https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport
- ↑ https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-adult-passport
- ↑ http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder
- ↑ http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/passport/forms/pdf/pptc153.pdf
- ↑ Timothy Morson. Canadian Immigration Specialist. Expert Interview. 26 January 2021.
- ↑ www.passports.gov.au
- ↑ http://auspost.com.au/pol/app/locate/post-office/australian-passport
About This Article
Before applying for a passport, confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements using an online tool from the U.S. State Department. It can also tell you if you need to apply in person or online. Then fill out the application, but don’t sign it. Gather evidence that you are a citizen, like a birth certificate or previous passport, and bring them to the closest passport agency along with the application, a 2 by 2 inch photo of yourself, and the application fee. Afterwards, your passport will be mailed to you. For more tips, including how to apply for a passport in another country, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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W ondering what documents are needed to get a US passport? The exact requirements vary from service to service, so please see our passport services pages to get the specific US passport requirements checklist you’ll need for your request. However, there are basic general requirements for US passports that are needed for any service. Read on for our guide to passport requirement information.
All documents submitted for passport requests should be original documents, unless it is made clear that you can submit a photocopy. All passport documents that require signatures, such as forms and letters, must have original signatures in blue or black ink.
General Requirements for US Passports
- Proof of US Citizenship – If you have a valid or recently expired US passport, this is your proof of citizenship. Other proofs of citizenship include birth certificates and US naturalization certificates.
- Proof of Identity – You’ll verify your identity by showing a document like your valid driver’s license.
- Passport Application – Your passport application can be filled out by hand or online – either way you will need a printed copy with your original signature.
- Passport Photo – You’ll need one passport photo, which must be a recent photo with a plain white background.
- Government Fee Payment – Fees can be paid by check or money order payable to “Department of State.”
- Proof of Travel – If you need expedited passport service, you must submit proof of travel showing departure within the next few weeks.
PASSPORTINFO.COM is not operated, maintained by, or affiliated with any passport offices or government agencies. It is a privately operated website portal for informational purposes only.
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How to get a U.S. passport fast: here’s how to expedite the process
For any international traveler, a passport is a necessity. So what happens when you discover your passport is expired right before a trip abroad? Don’t panic! You have options. Here’s how you can get a passport fast in the U.S., from standard expedited processing to emergency services.
In this post
How long is the current wait for a US passport?
How long does it take to get an expedited passport, how to get a passport fast in case of emergency, can you get a passport in one day, how to make an appointment to get a passport fast, our tips to be sure you’ll get your passport on time, should you use a passport courier expeditor company, where to travel while you wait for your new passport.
There are four ways to get a new passport , and each has a different processing time. Anyone can apply for a new passport or renew their existing passport via routine and expedited services, but you will need to meet special qualifications to apply or renew via urgent or emergency services.
- Routine : 8–11 weeks
- Expedited : 5–7 weeks
- Urgent : Same day to 14 days
- Emergency : Same day to 3 business days
Expert tip : These processing times do not include mailing times. To speed up delivery to the processing center if you’re renewing by mail, you’ll have to pay for Priority Mail Express (rates and shipping times vary by location, so inquire at your local United States Post Office branch). To speed up delivery to your home, you can pay $19.53 to the U.S. Department of State for 1- to 2-day shipping.
Expedited passports take 5 to 7 weeks to process , and that doesn’t include shipping times. Shipping can add up to 4 weeks to the processing timeline.
How to apply for a new passport with expedited services
You will need to apply in-person at an official passport acceptance facility, if you are applying for:
- your first U.S. passport,
- your child who is younger than 16,
- renewing a passport that was issued when you were younger than 16,
- renewing a passport issued more than 15 years ago,
- applying for a new passport after your previous one was lost, stolen or damaged.
In these situations, you will need to fill out Form DS-11 and provide the following:
- provide evidence of U.S. citizenship and a photocopy,
- present a valid form of identification and a photocopy,
- provide a passport photo ,
- pay a $130 application fee for adults or a $100 application fee for children, a $35 acceptance fee, and a $60 fee for expediting.
Expert tip : Some passport acceptance facilities require appointments, so be sure to check in advance.
How to renew your passport with expedited services
If you are renewing an eligible passport (one issued to you within the last 15 years, when you were 16 or older), you can renew by mail . You will need to fill out Form DS-82 and:
- submit your most recent U.S. passport,
- provide a passport photo,
- pay a $130 application fee and a $60 fee for expediting,
- and mail everything via the United States Postal Service.
The U.S. Department of State offers life-or-death emergency appointments for those needing to travel internationally within 72 hours if an immediate family member has died, is dying, or has a life-threatening condition. In this instance, immediate family means parents, legal guardians, children, spouses, siblings, or grandparents. You will need to provide documentation of the emergency, as well as proof of your international travels. For your appointment, you will need to complete the correct form, provide a passport photo, and present a valid form of ID.
Yes , the fastest passport renewal time is a same-day turnaround, but this service is only offered to individuals who meet certain criteria. You must be traveling internationally within 14 days, and you must be available to attend an in-person appointment at one of the 26 Regional Passport Agencies across the country . Appointments are extremely limited, and you may need to travel across the country for one.
To make a life-or-death emergency appointment , call 1-877-487-2778 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET, or 202-647-4000 outside those hours. To make an urgent appointment for international travel within 14 days, you must call 1-877-487-2778 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm ET.
- Check your passport’s expiration date before you book international travel .
- If renewing by mail, pay for faster delivery . This can reduce the overall timeline of your passport processing and shipping by up to four weeks.
- Be ready to book a last-minute flight for an in-person appointment . If you’re in a pinch, you won’t have the luxury of convenience. Appointments are very limited, and you may need to travel across the country for one.
There are private companies that offer to handle your passport application or renewal for you, including expedited services. While many (but not all) of the companies are legit, they usually charge hundreds of dollars in additional fees for services that are free via the U.S. Department of State.
Expert tip : If you want to use a courier or expeditor, do your due diligence to ensure it’s a legitimate company. You are, after all, handing over very sensitive personal documents.
If you don’t have a passport in your possession, you’re in luck. The U.S. has plenty of incredible destinations for your next vacation, no passport necessary .
- For culture: New Orleans, Louisiana, or Flushing, New York
- For nature: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, or Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
- For European flair: Solvang, California; Leavenworth, Washington; or Frankenmuth, Michigan
- For wine: Napa, California; Sonoma, California; or Walla Walla, Washington
It’s possible to get your passport fast, but you’re best off applying or renewing well in advance of your international trip!
How KAYAK knows what to put in this guide
As a travel writer, I always have my passport nearby. For my last renewal, I opted for expedited service, so I’m familiar with the process. In addition to that, I’ve only used reliable sources of information to compile this guide, and I recommend checking these sources (see below) when planning your next international trip.
The foregoing article was last updated on the 25th of October 2023. It does not contain legal advice and is for informational purposes only. KAYAK does not guarantee, and accepts no legal liability arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any of the information contained in this article and/or any of the content linked to within it. Always check the official government website of your departure and arrival destinations prior to travel for up-to-date information. Sources: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast/courier-and-expeditor-companies.html https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast/passport-agencies.html https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast.html https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/processing-times.html https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passport/renew.html https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/need-passport/apply-in-person.html https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast/passport-agencies.html
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Having Trouble Getting a Passport Appointment? Here’s Why, and What to Do About It.
Some passport applications require an in-person appointment, but those reservations can be hard to get. this is what you need to know to get your passport in time..
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More than 24 million passports have already been processed in 2023.
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If you have international travel on the books (or are even just thinking about going overseas) and need a new passport or renewal, it’s a good idea to apply sooner rather than later. Wait times for U.S. passports are presently eight to 11 weeks . That’s because, as of November 1, 2023, the U.S. government has already issued more than 24 million passports for the calendar year. In all of 2022 (the previous highest year since the agency started counting in 1996), that number was under than 22 million, so it’s safe to say the Department of State is busy with applications.
In some cases, you may need to take care of your passport application in person, so here’s what to know about when and how to get an appointment for a passport.
First, confirm that you need an in-person appointment
People renewing an existing passport (or changing information in it, like switching to a married name) don’t have to do anything in person—they can apply by mail. However, those who are applying for the first time will need to bring their documents to an acceptance facility, which requires an appointment. Similarly, those who are traveling in fewer than 14 days and haven’t received their new or renewed passport might need to visit a passport agency for emergency processing. Once that’s done, you can check the status of an application you’ve already submitted online or by phone.
Go to a passport acceptance facility
Travelers applying for passports for the first time can submit their applications at oodles of passport acceptance facilities, which include over 7,400 post offices, clerks of court, public libraries, and other local government offices across the country. Search for the nearest location to you on the Department of State website by entering your zip code.
While there are some spots (typically in smaller towns) where customers can get appointments on a walk-in basis, most places, including post offices, require an advance reservation . Unfortunately, slots at certain locations have been booked weeks out, thanks to staffing shortages and high levels of demand . If there aren’t good appointment times at the location nearest you, try searching for others in the area. Once you have your appointment, don’t forget to bring your passport application , a passport photo , and evidence of citizenship (such as a birth certificate).
Attend a passport acceptance fair
You might also consider attending a Passport Acceptance Fair . The Department of State started hosting these events in summer 2023 as a way to speed up applications, and they’re expected to run through the end of the year .
Call a passport agency for emergency applications
If your flight is within a few days and you haven’t yet applied for a passport (or haven’t received a passport you already applied for), your best option is to make an appointment at one of the 26 passport agencies in the U.S. Note that these passport agencies are different from the above-mentioned passport acceptance facilities; these are run by the Department of State and only offer appointments for emergency processing.
Each of the passport agencies offers two types of appointments: Life-or-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service . For the Life-or-Death Emergency Service, you’ll need a genuine emergency that requires you to travel abroad within the next three days. Per the Department of State , that includes having an immediate family member (defined as a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, or grandparent) who has died, is dying, or has a life-threatening illness or injury. You’ll need to prove it with a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, a letter from a hospital, or similar documentation (and that paperwork also needs to be in English or at least translated into English). The Urgent Travel Service, on the other hand, is for those who have already applied for a passport, haven’t received it, and are traveling within five days.
For either, you’ll need to call in to make an appointment (the number is 1-877-487-2778). Unfortunately, appointments are limited, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get one. And if you do get one, you’ll need to travel to that agency, which may not be convenient to where you live, as there aren’t that many and they tend to be in or near major cities ( check the list in the FAQ and the map at the bottom of the DOS page ). But if you’re lucky enough to be seen, the passport is typically processed on the same day .
Consider an expedited service option instead
If you need a passport or renewal quickly, but your situation doesn’t fall into one of the approved emergency categories, you still have options: You can do it yourself through the State Department’s expedited service or use a third-party company .
But no matter what the situation is, don’t sleep on it. Start the process as early as possible.
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Letter of Authorization to Pick Up Passports
Are you planning an international vacation soon and dreading the hassle associated with picking up your passport? Don’t worry – we have a way to make it simple. In this blog post, we will explain how obtaining a Letter of Authorization can be the key to unlocking your dream trip abroad without breaking into a cold sweat waiting in line at the passport office.
When utilizing the services of an outside service or party other than yourself to pick up a passport on your behalf, they must have a letter of authorization. This page will take you through all you need to know.
If you’ve got a big international trip coming up and suddenly realize that your passport or other important travel documents are not in order, don’t worry – you have a number of options available to you. You can always expedite your passport application with a courier or related service, for example, which will have your document in your hand in as little as 4 to 5 weeks, depending on the area of the country where you live.
If you choose to go this route, however, there are a number of important things in mind. For starters, you will also have to submit a letter of authorization in order to allow your expedited passport processing service to pick up your passports when ready successfully.
Submitting a Letter of Authorization
Complete the following steps in order to submit your letter of authorization along with your expedited passport application:
- Use may use your Web browser to print two separate copies of the Passport Processing Authorization Letter from the official website. You will need to complete both copies fully. When filling out the letter, you will need to check off all of the required boxes relevant to your travel plans and also provide the name of the courier company you plan on using at the bottom of the letter.
- Or, You may use the sample provided below.
- When filling out the letter of authorization, always do so by hand using blue or black ink. Do not leave any of the fields blank or it could delay your application’s processing. When you’re finished filling out the documents, be sure to sign your name at the bottom.
- Always ensure that your signature appears the same on all of the documents you’re submitting. If you sign your name differently on each copy, it could delay your application’s processing.
- Make sure that you check only the first two boxes on your letter of authorization. The intention of the letter of authorization is to allow your courier service to discuss your passport application with the Department of State. If you check off all three boxes on the form, it could delay your application.
Once you’ve finished filling out the form, make sure that you place it safely and securely inside the envelope that you plan on giving to the representative from your courier service. The representative will take the letter of authorization, along with all other documents inside the envelope and submit them to the Department of State on your behalf.
One copy of the authorization letter goes inside the envelope, while the other will go on the outside. This ensures that the acceptance agent has quick access to the letter so that they may begin looking through the documents inside your envelope and start processing your application right away.
So long as you properly fill out the letter of authorization, submit the appropriate forms and fees, and take care of other considerations, you can have your passport in hand in as little as one to two business days .
If you decide to write a letter yourself, please keep in mind the following:
- The letter must state the name and/or Company name of the authorized party.
- State that the authorized party may pick up the passport on the applicant’s behalf.
- State the name on the passport.
- State the passport number.
- The authorized party’s photo ID should be attached.
- The authorized party’s signatures must be attested to.
- The letter must be dated.
- If more than one passport is being picked up (for example, a parent and children), then information must be completed for each individual.
Sample Letter of Authorization
To: The US Department of State, Passport Services
To Whom It May Concern,
This letter serves to authorize the bearer, Mr/Ms___________________________________ to pick up my/our passports (Optional if for family and the passports of my family) (as indicated below) from Visa/Passport Collection Center on our/my behalf.
(Note: please duplicate this section for each person whose passport is being picked up. )
Name on Passport
( Your Name ) ( Printed or typed )
Your Cell Phone Number:
Authorized Person’s Information
The Authorized Person’s Name:
(Name-printed or typed)
Note: By signing this authorization letter, I (your name) absolve (name of the issuing entity) of any responsibilities once the passports have been delivered and are in the possession of the person authorized to act on my/our behalf.
Your Signature and the signatures of all parties whose passport is being picked up.
Please attach to this form a copy of your National ID and a copy of the birth certificate of any children listed. 2. All applicants over 18 must sign this form and attach a copy of their National ID.
Signed: ______________ Signed: ______________ Signed:_________________
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Letter From Passport Office
If you received a letter or email from the government regarding your passport application, then it means they need more information from you in order to process your application. They give you 90 days to send the requested information.
Once you have the information they need, you will then need to send your response to the mailing address listed in the letter or email, including the last four digits of the zip code. If you do not see the answer to your question on this site, then they recommend you call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 or 888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY). Below are some commons reasons for the government to contact you regarding passports.
Your photo isn't acceptable
One of the most common issues with passport applications is the photo. Please view the passport photo requirements before taking a new photo.
Documents sent doesn't show you are parent or guardian of child
The documents you submitted for the passport application for your child does not show that you are the parent or legal guardian. To show parental relationship, submit one of the following:
- US birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Foreign birth certificate
- Adoption decree
- Divorce/Custody decree
You alsomay have received this letter if your name had changed since the child was born. In that instance you need to send evidence of your name change. Examples include:
- Court-ordered name change
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce decree
Something wrong with the birth certificate submitted
There was something wrong with the US birth certificate you submitted. You must submit both the original or certified birth certificate and a photocopy. To be acceptable, your US birth certificate must meet the following requirements:
- Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
- Lists applicant's full name, date of birth, and place of birth
- Lists parent(s) full names
- Has the signature of the city, county, or state registrar
- Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
- Has the seal of issuing authority
If the birth certificate you sent does not meet one of the requirements above, then you need to contact the vital records office of the state or territory in which you were born to order a new US birth certificate. If there is no birth certificate on file in the state or territory in which you were born, you must submit a Letter of No Record and a combination of early public records. For more information please review the passport citizenship evidence page.
Something wrong with passport renewal Form DS-82
There could be different reasons why they mailed you a letter requesting additional information for your passport renewal application. Some of those reasons are listed below:
- No photo was attached to the application
- The application was not completed or signed
- Your most recent passport was not submitted with the application
- The correct fee was not included with the application
- The name change document you submitted was not acceptable
Follow the instructions in the letter and return the requested documentation or application to the address on the letter. For more information view the passport renewal process page. Please note, you may also have received a letter from them to let you know that you are not eligible to mail in your application.
ID submitted wasn't sufficient
When applying in person you were required to show the acceptance agency your ID, for example your driver's license. If you received a letter or email requesting additional IDs, it is recommended that you send back as many forms of IDs as you have available.
They prefer you send IDs issued over 5 years ago. You are allowed to send photocopies of the IDs, front and back. To see a full list of IDs they will accept for your application, please view the passport identification page.
Both parents/guardians did not appear in person
They will send a letter if both parents or guardians did not appear in person for your child's passport application. If only one (or neither) parent or guardian applied in person for the child's passport, they may have a question about parental consent.
You changed names, but the document was still insufficient
Us citizen when parents naturalized, but documents not sufficient.
If you were born outside the United States and acquired US citizenship through the naturalization of your parent(s), you must submit the following:
- Your foreign birth certificate that lists your parents
- Your parents naturalization certificate(s)
- Evidence of your permanent residence status. Some examples include a permanent resident card or green card and a fforeign passport with the original I-551 visa entry stamp
- Your parents marriage certificate (if your parents were married when you legally entered the US and before your 18th birthday)
- Documentation of legal custody (if your parents were not married when you legally entered the US)
- Evidence of your legitimation (if your parents were not married at the time of your birth). Some examples include your parents marriage certificate dated after your birth and a certified court order of legitimation
There was an issue with a previously issued passport
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Sample Request Letter Format for Urgent Passport
[Below briefly focus on Sample Request Letter Format for Urgent Passport. You can follow these sample application letter for an urgent passport for a visa, admission, medical treatment, etc. Request to the passport office for issuing the passport on urgent basis. You can make changes as per your requirements.]
Sub: Request for Urgent Passport
I have to request that due to some problems related to my admission abroad I will have to apply early for the admission process and secondly, they also require a passport for application purposes. (Describe in your own words). But the problem is that my passport is not ready yet. (Explain the actual cause and situation). I want to request to you, to please grant me the passport on urgent basis so that my admission process is not hindered. (Describe your requirements). I shall be very thankful to you.
Contact no. and Signature…
It is stated that I have to apply for a foreign scholarship which required a valid passport. The normal time period for the processing of passport will not meet my requirement and I won’t be able to apply for the scholarship. (Describe in your own words). I am requesting you to please speed up the process of my passport application as you have an urgent passport plan available. (Explain the actual cause and situation). I am willing to pay the extra fees for it as per the urgent passport proceeding fees.
I hope to get my passport within the given time period of urgency. (Describe your requirements). I would be very thankful to you.
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- All children under age 16 must apply for a passport in person with two parents or guardians using Form DS-11.
- You cannot renew your child's passport using Form DS-82.
- Passports for children under age 16 are only valid for 5 years.
- Use our Form Filler tool to fill out your child's form and then print it.
Avoid the top mistakes on passport applications
We want to make sure you get your application right the first time. Make sure you:
- Complete all sections of your form including entering your correct Social Security number. Do not leave anything blank. If you're applying for the first time or with your child under age 16, wait to sign the form until you are instructed to do so.
- Closely follow our passport photo requirements .
- Provide the correct evidence of U.S. citizenship .
Steps to Apply
1. fill out form ds-11.
DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport
Use our Form Filler tool to fill out your child's form online and then print it. The Form Filler will save time and reduce errors caused by handwriting. If you are experiencing technical issues with the Form Filler, download a PDF. Do not sign your child's form until instructed to do so by a passport acceptance agent or employee.
Please note :
- The Form Filler will create the correct form for your child based on the data you enter. Double check the information you entered for your child's date of birth if you did not get the form you expected to receive.
- Note : Include on Address Line 2 "In Care Of" your name or the name of the child's other parent or legal guardian. By providing “In Care Of” information, you will ensure that your child's passport is not returned to us if the delivery service does not recognize your child's name as someone who normally gets mail at your address.
- Do not sign your child's application until instructed to do so by the acceptance agent.
- If your child does not have a Social Security number, you must sign and date a statement that says, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: (Child's full name) has never been issued a Social Security Number by the Social Security Administration.”
- You can apply for a passport book, a passport card , or both documents.
- You may request a larger passport book for your child, at no additional cost, by checking the 'large book' box at the top of the DS-11.
- In the Emergency Contact field, list a contact who is not traveling with your child.
2. Provide U.S. Citizenship Evidence
Your evidence must be an original or certified, physical copy. A certified copy is any document that has the seal or stamp of the official issuing authority. You must submit one of the following documents for your child:
- Full validity, undamaged U.S. passport (expired passports are accepted). Full validity means the document is/was valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children under 16.
- Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
- Lists applicant's full name, date of birth, and place of birth
- Lists the parent(s)' full names
- Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
- Has the registrar's signature
- Has the seal or stamp of the city, county, or state which issued it
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Certificate of Citizenship
If you cannot submit one of the above acceptable documents for your child, or for more information, please see Citizenship Evidence .
Paper only : You cannot submit digital evidence of U.S. citizenship such as a mobile or electronic birth certificate. You must submit physical evidence of U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the document.
Returning your child's document : You will need to provide your child's evidence of U.S. citizenship to the acceptance agent or passport employee. We will return your child's document in a separate mailing up to 8 weeks after you receive the new passport.
3. Bring a Photocopy of U.S. Citizenship Evidence
In addition to the original or certified copy of your child's citizenship evidence, you must submit a photocopy of the document.
Photocopies must be:
- On white 8.5”x11” standard paper
- Black and white
If you don't want to submit a photocopy of your citizenship evidence, you may submit a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, which we will keep. If you don’t submit a photocopy or a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, your passport processing could be delayed.
4. Show Parental Relationship
You must submit documentation that lists the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child applying for a passport. Examples include:
- U.S. birth certificate ( also evidence of U.S. citizenship )
- Foreign birth certificate
- Adoption decree
- Divorce or custody decree
- A court order
Please note : Some documents, like a U.S. birth certificate, show both U.S. citizenship and parental relationship. These documents must be originals or certified copies (not photocopies).
5. Present ID
The parents or guardians must present one of the following identification documents (IDs) to the acceptance agent:
- Valid or expired, undamaged U.S. passport book or passport card
- In-state, fully valid driver's license or enhanced driver's license with photo
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Government employee ID (city, county, state, or federal)
- U.S. military or military dependent ID
- Current (valid) foreign passport
- Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular ID) - commonly used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant
- U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) - commonly used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant
- Trusted Traveler IDs (including valid Global Entry, FAST, SENTRI, and NEXUS cards)
- Enhanced Tribal Cards and Native American tribal photo IDs
- Note : you may be asked to present an additional ID when presenting one of these three documents: 1) In-state, fully-valid learner's permit with photo, 2) In-state, fully-valid non-driver ID with photo, or 3) temporary driver's license with photo.
If you cannot present one of the IDs above, or for more information, please see Identification .
- Some states now issue digital ID documents (also known as mobile driver's licenses or mobile IDs). We cannot accept these digital IDs when you apply for your child's U.S. passport. You must continue to submit your physical, photo ID and a photocopy of the ID.
- If you present an out-of-state ID, you must present an additional ID.
6. Bring a Photocopy of ID
Submit a photocopy of the front and back of each ID that you present to the acceptance agent.
- Photocopy must be on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper.
- Photocopy cannot be double-sided.
- Do not decrease the image size (although you may enlarge it).
7. Show Parental Consent
- Both parents or guardians must approve that we can issue a passport to a child under age 16.
- Both parents or guardians should go with the child to apply in person.
- If one or both parents or guardians cannot apply in person with their child, you will need to provide additional documents with your child's application:
Note : Written authorization from the parent or guardian that cannot appear in person must be signed within 90 days before you submit the child's application.
8. Provide a Photo
You must provide one photo of your child. To avoid processing delays, be sure the photo meets all our requirements .
- Do not attach or staple your photo to the form. The acceptance agent or passport employee accepting your child's form will review the photo and staple it.
- Some passport acceptance facilities provide photo services for an additional fee.
- We have special tips for taking photos of infants and newborns on our Photo Requirements page .
9. Calculate Fees
You must pay fees for passport services. When applying using Form DS-11, you will pay two separate fees - an application fee and an execution (acceptance) fee.
Child Applicants :
Expedited service costs an additional $60. For information on forms of payment and a full list of fees and services, please see Passport Fees .
*How to fill out your check and pay the application fee to the U.S. Department of State. Please note you must pay a separate execution (acceptance) fee.
10. Find Location to Apply and Submit Your Completed Application
Inside the United States:
- You and your child must submit the completed application, including supporting documents, photo, and fees, in person at a passport acceptance facility . Check with the facility to see if you need to make an appointment.
- Your child may be eligible to make an appointment to apply in person at a passport agency if you are traveling soon. Please see Get My Passport Fast for more information.
Outside the United States:
Contact your U.S. embassy or consulate .
11. Track Your Application Status
You can subscribe to email updates about your application status, and learn more about each status update .
Note : It may take 2 weeks from the day you apply until your child's application status is “In Process.” During these 2 weeks, your child's application is delivered to a mail facility, your payment is processed, and your child's application is scanned and sent to us. If your passport status update says “Not Available,” your child's application and supporting documents are safely on their way to us.
Can I mail in my child's application or apply online?
No, children under age 16 are not eligible to mail in passport applications. Additionally, you cannot apply online for a child's passport.
Do I have to make an appointment to apply at an acceptance facility?
Some acceptance facilities (which include post offices, local government offices, and libraries) require appointments. We recommend contacting the acceptance facility to confirm hours, forms of payment, and appointment requirements.
How will you send my passport and supporting documents?
When completing your child's passport application, we recommend you add your name in the “In Care Of” part of the Mailing Address section on Form DS-11. After we print your child's passport, we will send it to you and return your child's supporting documents. How we send your child's passport and supporting documents depends if you applied for a book and/or a card and if you paid an additional fee for 1-2 day delivery.
After we print your passport, we will send it to you and return your supporting documents. How we send your passport and supporting documents depends if you applied for a book and/or a card and if you paid an additional fee for 1-2 day delivery.
I applied for a passport book only : You may receive your newly-issued passport and your citizenship documents in two separate mailings. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport before you receive a second mailing with your citizenship documents. We can send your passport book via a 1-2 day delivery service.
I applied for a passport card only : You may receive your newly-issued passport card and your citizenship documents in two separate mailings. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport before you receive a second mailing with your citizenship documents. We only send the passport card via First Class Mail. We do not send cards via 1-2 day delivery services.
I applied for both a passport book and passport card : You may receive three separate mailings; one with your citizenship documents, one with your newly-issued passport book, and one with your newly-issued passport card. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport book before you receive a second and third mailing with your passport card and citizenship documents.
Our address has changed. How do I update my child's application?
If the mailing address you provided on your child's application has changed and you're waiting for his or her U.S. passport book, passport card, or return of citizenship evidence documents, please contact the National Passport Information Center . You do not need to contact us if your address changed after you received your child's passport.
When completing your child's passport application, we recommend you add your name in the “In Care Of” part of the Mailing Address section on Form DS-11.
What countries require Form DS-3053 "Statement of Consent" to be notarized at an embassy or consulate?
In certain countries, a DS-3053 must be notarized at a U.S. embassy or consulate and cannot be notarized by a local notary public. Currently, these countries include:
Can I pay for my family's passports with one payment?
Yes. Families may write one check or money order to the U.S. Department of State for their passport application fees if they are applying in person at the same time. The check or money order must include the name and date of birth of each applicant.
All other applicants must submit individual checks or money orders to the U.S. Department of State for their passport application fees. Please include the applicant's name and date of birth on the check or money order.
What if my child and I have different last names?
You and your child may have different last names, as long as the parental relationship document lists your full name. If your name has changed from that on the parental relationship document, please submit proof of your legal name change (e.g. marriage certificate or court order).
What is the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)?
Parents may enroll their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP), one of the Department of State’s most important tools for preventing international parental child abduction. If a passport application is submitted for a child who is enrolled in CPIAP, we attempt to alert the parent(s) to verify whether they approve passport issuance.
I don't have any citizenship evidence or photo ID to apply. How can I get these documents?
When applying for the first time or for your child, you will need to provide evidence of U.S. citizenship and photo identification with your application. Go to our Citizenship Evidence page and Photo ID page for examples of documents we accept.
For example, if you were born in the United States and you do not have your birth certificate, you will need to contact the county, city, or state where you were born and request a certified copy of your birth certificate.
We also realize that some customers may not have a driver's license to present as photo ID. We accept other types of government-issued, primary photo ID, and will accept multiple forms of secondary photo ID if you do not have a primary ID.
It states on my child's U.S. birth certificate that it is illegal to make a copy. What should I do?
If you choose not to submit a photocopy, you may submit a second certified copy of your child's birth certificate. We will keep this second certified copy for our records.
Special Passport Fairs
Find a Special Passport Fair near you!
We're holding special passport fairs all across the United States to help you get your passport more easily. New events are added to our site every week.
Most events are for first-time applicants and children, (who use Form DS-11). If you can use Form DS-82, you can renew by mail at your convenience!
DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport Fill Out Online Download your PDF
DS-3053: Statement of Consent - Issuing a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16 Download your PDF
DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances - Issuing a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16 Download your PDF
Routine: 8-11 weeks*
Expedited: 5-7 weeks and an extra $60*
*Mailing times are not included in processing times . Processing times only include the time your application is at one of our passport agencies or centers. The total time to get your passport includes both processing and mailing times. It may take up to 2 weeks for applications to arrive by mail at a passport agency or center, and up to 2 weeks for you to receive a completed passport in the mail after we print it. Consider the total time it will take to receive your passport when you are booking travel .
Urgent Travel: See our Get my Passport Fast page.
How to Apply for your Child's Passport
Watch this video to learn how to apply in person for your child's U.S. passport!
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Apply for a new adult passport
You need a passport to travel to most countries outside the U.S. Learn how to apply in person.
Eligibility to get a passport
To get a U.S. passport, you must be either:
- A U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization or
- A qualifying U.S. non-citizen national
You must apply in person at a passport acceptance facility for a new passport. It cannot be done online or by mail.
Items you need to apply for a passport
- You can Fill out Form DS-11 online and print it, or
- Download Form DS-11 and fill it out by hand, or
- Find your local passport acceptance facility or regional agency and pick up Form DS-11
- Do not sign Form DS-11 until you are at your appointment and the passport acceptance official tells you to do so.
- Original proof of citizenship
- An acceptable photo ID
- A photocopy of both your citizenship document and photo ID
- Passport photo
- Passport fee
Apply in person. Find your local passport acceptance facility. This facility could be a library or post office. Some facilities require appointments or have limited hours.
If you need your passport quickly
Learn how and where to get your passport fast for emergency or urgent travel or to get expedited processing. The time it takes for each varies throughout the year, and there may be additional fees. Use the fee calculator or chart.
If you are outside the U.S.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate near you to request a passport while outside the U.S.
If you need to change your name or correct your new passport
After you receive your passport, if you change your name or find an error, you will need to get an updated passport to reflect the change. The process, cost, and forms you need depend on how long you have had your passport. Follow the steps from the State Department to change your name or correct your passport.
Check the status of your passport application
Follow the steps from the Department of State to check the status of your passport application online .
LAST UPDATED: April 19, 2023
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