How to Apply for a Passport

You will need to apply in person if:

• Your previous passport was damaged, stolen or lost
• You are a first-time applicant
• You got your previous passport more than fifteen years ago
• You are under 16
• You got your previous passport when you were under 16

If you are under 16, or you are 16 or 17, there are  special requirements. There are also special requirements for diplomatic, non-fee and official passports. If you want to apply from a foreign country, the application process will be different.

Passport Applications for Adults

First, you need to fill out the DS-11 form and submit it in person. You will also need to submit your present identification, evidence that you are a U.S. citizen, a photocopy of the identification document, one passport photo, and you will have to pay the fee.

No-Fee Passports

No-fee passports are issued if:

• A person is traveling to a foreign country for the Government of the United States
• A person is dependent on someone who is traveling to a foreign country for the Government of the United States
• A person is exempt from paying the passport fee
• A person is traveling to a foreign country in honor of a deceased member of his/her family in the Armed Forces (in this case, a person will have to submit a letter from the U.S. Battle Monuments Commission).

How to Apply for a Passport from a Foreign Country

The application forms and other documentation are the same, no matter where you are, but procedures will be different, depending on the U.S. embassy in a particular country.

If you want to apply for a passport from a foreign country, don’t follow the instructions included in the application form. The same forms are used for people who are applying from within the U.S. and for those who are applying from a foreign country. You need to contact the U.S. embassy for further instructions.

Other documents will have to be submitted to the local embassy (or consulate), in order to verify your identity and citizenship. The required documentation may vary, depending on the application form you use.

You need to submit a photo, which has to meet the U.S. requirements (different countries have different passport photo requirements).

Local consulates and embassies will accept cash payments in local currency or in U.S. currency, but you cannot make payments by mail. They can’t accept your personal checks. However, visit the website of the local embassy and find out what types of payment they can accept.

How long does it take to get a passport? Routine applications are processed five-six weeks from the date of application. There are several things you can do to make this process shorter. Visit  Travel State  to get more information.