Expedited U.S. Passport Application Guide — Includes All 26 U.S. Passport Offices & Agencies

passport

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If you’re planning on traveling internationally from the U.S., you will need to be in possession of a valid passport book or card in your name.

Most of us like to be prepared well in advance and hold a valid passport at all times. In some instances though, it can be necessary to renew or apply for a passport with only days or weeks before you leave the country.

This guide is intended to help anyone looking to expedite their passport application to ensure it arrives safely before they leave the country.

You will find all the information you need about:

  • How to apply
  • Where you should apply
  • How much it will cost

In addition, you’ll find supporting documentation you need to provide and other useful information for U.S residents applying for a passport.

We also have 2 other passport applications guides that could be useful to you:

How Long Does It Take to Get a Passport?

Depending on how and where you apply for your passport, the length of time it can take to receive it back may vary. It will also depend on the way you submit your application, the type of service you need — and how busy the Department of State Passport Services are at any time.

As a general rule, applications that are mailed in or completed at a dedicated Passport Office can take up to 6 weeks to be completed and mailed back out to you.

Need a Passport in a Hurry?

If you need to get your passport quickly, there are ways you can speed up the application process. How soon you need to travel, and the way you expedite your application will make a difference in how quickly you can expect to receive it back and be on your way.

Expedited applications can take 2-3 weeks, and expedited applications at a passport agency will be processed in 8 business days. Additional fees will apply, and you will need to make an appointment at an acceptance facility or passport agency.

Do I Need a Passport Office or Passport Agency? 

Knowing where to submit your application will ensure that you receive it back in time to meet your date of travel.

Routine, non-urgent applications can be done at a passport office or acceptance facility. There are hundreds of these spread across the country, and you can find your closest acceptance facility using this search page.

A passport agency is a center that processes new passports, renewals, corrections, and amendments. This is also where you should go if you need to urgently renew your passport or apply for a new one.

There are 26 regional passport agencies where you can expedite your passport application.

You will need to book an appointment at your nearest Regional Passport Agency or Center and bring your completed application form, your supporting documentation, a photograph, and an acceptable form of payment.

There are various circumstances that can affect the timing of your application, with some offering faster results than others. These include:

Life-or-death emergency — Expedited Application

Where to Apply: Passport Agency

Life-or-death emergencies do happen. These are considered by the Passport Agency to be cases of serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours.

If you find yourself in these circumstances, you will need to have your passport expedited. You can do this by calling the emergency passport service:

  • 1-877-487-2778 / 1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TDD)
  • Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm Eastern Time
  • Saturday 10:00am-3:00 pm Eastern Time
  • After business hours, call 202-647-4000

You will still need to provide all the usual application documentation in addition to proof of the life-or-death emergency. Proof of an emergency includes a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional.

Less than 2-3 weeks until your date of international travel — Expedited Application

Where to Apply: Passport Agency

If you have urgent international travel plans, you will need to schedule an appointment at a Passport Agency or Center within 2 weeks of your intended date of international travel. You will need to submit the usual paperwork and bring proof of your travel arrangements with you.

Less than 4-6 weeks until your date of international travel — Expedited Application

Where to Apply: Passport Office/Acceptance Facility or expedited renewal by mail

If you have between 4-6 weeks until you intend to travel, you can expedite your application without needing to give a reason why. Your application will be subject to the usual application document requirements, and there will be an additional fee for this service.

More than 4-6 weeks until your date of international travel — Routine Application

Where to Apply: Passport Office/Acceptance Facility or renewal by mail

If you have more than 4-6 weeks until your intended date of international travel, you will not need to expedite your application. You can apply at any acceptance facility or renew your passport by mail.

How to Apply for a Passport at a Regional Passport Agency (Step-by-Step)

Before you apply for your passport, you will need to gather supporting documentation, have a photograph taken that meets the required size, and have the means to pay the appropriate fee.

All Passport Agency offices will follow government guidelines and offer a straightforward service. To submit your application, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Complete Your Application Form

Determine which form you need:

  • DS-11 — Used to apply in person for first-time applications, children under 16, applicants between 16-17 years old, and anyone not eligible for a DS-82
  • DS-82 — To be used when renewing an adult passport by mail
  • DS-5504 — To be used when changing a name within a year, correcting a passport error, or replacing a Limited Validity passport within 1-2 years

All forms can be downloaded here.

passport application
Make sure you research which form you need to fill in as there are several out of DS-11, DS-82 and DS-5504. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Step 2 – Collect Your Supporting Documents

You will need to show:

  • Citizenship evidence
  • Identification
  • Proof of relationship (for children under 16)

Any other specific documents required for the various application forms (see FAQ below).

Step 3 – Get Your Photo Taken

You must provide a 2″x2″ color passport photo that meets all of the regulations required for acceptance of passport photographs. You can have your photo taken at a dedicated photo booth that prints out passport size photographs or in a store to ensure it meets all the government requirements.

Step 4 – Calculate Your Fees

The passport application fee you must pay will be based on a number of variables, including the application form you submitted. You should ensure you have the appropriate means to make payment before you arrive for your appointment.

Step 5 – Submit Your Application

Whether you have made an appointment to visit your Regional Passport Agency in person or are planning on sending it through the mail, you are now ready to submit your application.

Expediting Your Application?

If you’re in a hurry and need to expedite your application, there will be further steps you need to take before you are ready to submit your passport application. You will also need to make an appointment at a Passport Agency to expedite your application if you are traveling in less than 2-3 weeks.

To ensure that you receive your passport as quickly as possible, you must:

Provide proof of travel:

If you have less than 2-3 weeks before your intended date of international travel, you will need to provide proof of travel as a paid air ticket, hotel reservation, cruise ticket, or international car insurance.

Pay an additional fee:

As well as the usual cost associated with submitting a passport application, you will need to pay an additional $60 expediting fee.

How Do I Apply for an Urgent Passport Appointment at a Passport Agency?

To book an appointment at a passport agency, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Wanting to travel internationally in 2 weeks or less. Alternatively, you need a foreign visa within 4 weeks.
  • Have proof of international travel. This could be a flight ticket, accommodation reservation, cruise ticket, or international car insurance.
  • Have the means to pay the $60 expediting fee in addition to the regular application fees.

You can also visit the passport agency if you need to have a correction made to an existing passport. No appointment is necessary for this, and no fee will be charged.

If you don’t meet these criteria, then you may be able to apply at an acceptance facility or by mail.

Book Your Appointment Before You Arrive

You must have an appointment to make an application at a Passport Agency.

Visit the Online Passport Appointment System or call 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) to make your appointment. Spanish-speaking services are also available.

Remember to make a note of your appointment confirmation number to bring with you.

Ensure you have all the correct documentation for your appointment. Failure to present the correct documentation could lead to a delay in your application, or you may even need to reapply at another time.

You will need to bring the following:

  • Appointment confirmation number
  • Proof of international travel (e.g., flight ticket, accommodation reservation, cruise ticket, international car insurance)
  • Completed applications forms
  • All required supporting documents
  • 1 passport photo
  • Application fee and expedited fee
    • You can usually make payment using a credit card, debit card, cash, check, bank draft, or money order depending on your location. Confirm which payment options are available before your appointment.

Passport Agency offices can get very busy, especially before vacation season. Always be sure to allow plenty of time for your appointment and arrive early if necessary.

The procedure at a Passport Agency is simple enough, but here’s a rough guide:

  1. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment to allow time to go through security screening. Remember that weapons, food, and drinks are not allowed in Passport Centers and Agencies, and you may be refused entry.
  2. When you arrive, check in at the information window. Provide your appointment confirmation number to verify your appointment.
  3. Take a seat and wait until your number is called.
  4. Once they call your number, proceed to the designated window.
  5. Your application and supporting materials will be reviewed, and they will discuss the available delivery options.

List of U.S. Passport Agencies

There are 26 Regional Passport Agencies. You can find details about them below and use our handy map to find the one closest to you.

🏢 Arkansas Passport Center

Address:

191 Office Park Drive, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8:30am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

There are no public transport options to this Passport Center.

Parking:

A free parking lot is available directly outside the Passport Center.

🏢 Atlanta Passport Agency

Address:

230 Peachtree St NW, Suite 1000, Atlanta, GA 30303

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The underground Peachtree Center MARTA station is directly beneath the Passport Center. Both the Red and Gold lines stop here, as does the Atlanta Streetcar.

Parking:

Parking options are limited near the agency, but there are some garages and lots in the downtown area. Parking prices can vary from $5-$40 per day.

🏢 Boston Passport Agency

Address:

Tip O’Neill Federal Building, 10 Causeway Street, Room 247, Boston, MA 02222

Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm

Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30am-4:30pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The 86 bus, as well as the Orange and Red Metro lines stop along Causeway Street for access to the Boston Passport Agency.

Parking:

There are 2 parking garages on Lomasney Way. Both are within walking distance of the Boston Passport Agency, and parking costs around $20 a day.

🏢 Buffalo Passport Agency

Address:

111 Genesee Street, Suite 101, Buffalo, NY 14203

Hours:

Monday, 9:00am-4:00pm

Tuesday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Visitors can take the 24 bus to Genesee & Oak Street (closest stop) or the 6, 8, 68, or 74 to Huron Street & Ellicott Street. For users of the light rail system, the Buffalo Passport Agency is just a 5-minute walk from the Fountain Plaza Station.

Parking:

A public parking lot is located less than 1 block from the Buffalo Passport Agency at the junction of Genesee and Washington Streets.

🏢 Chicago Passport Agency

Address:

101 West Congress Parkway, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60605-1074

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Visitors can take the Blue Line subway train to Jackson-Blue station, Jackson-Red station, or the Harold Washington Library station (Brown, Pink, Orange, and Purple lines). Bus lines 850, 851, or 855 also stop close by.

Parking:

Nearby public parking garages include the South Loop Garage (318 South Federal Street), General Parking Corporation (S Clark St), or the Chicago and Standard Parking (S Dearborn St).

🏢 Colorado Passport Agency

Address:

Cherry Creek III, 3151 South Vaughn Way, Suite 600, Aurora, CO 80014

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Public transportation is not available to this location. You may be able to take a taxi or an Uber from the Nine Mile Station in nearby Aurora.

Parking:

At the front of the building, you can find free visitor parking. Handicap designated parking can be found in the rear.

🏢 Connecticut Passport Agency

Address:

850 Canal Street, Stamford, CT 06902

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Connecticut Passport Agency is approximately a 15-minute walk from the Stamford Metro Train Station, which is serviced by a number of lines including Acela Express, Northeast Regional, and Vermonter Amtrak trains.

Parking:

There is public parking available throughout Stamford, as well as private lots and on-street meters.

🏢 Dallas Passport Agency

Address:

Earle Cabell Federal Building, 1100 Commerce St, Suite 1120, Dallas, TX 75242

Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Friday, 9:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Dallas Passport Agency is a 6-minute walk from the Akard Station, which is served by the Blue, Green, Orange, and Red lines of the DART light rail system. The agency can also be accessed via many Dallas bus routes with stops at Commerce Street, Jackson Street, and Field Street.

Parking:

Parking lots can be found on the corner of Commerce and S. Griffin St. in front and behind the Federal building, and at S. Griffin and Wood Street.

🏢 Detroit Passport Agency

Address:

211 West Fort Street, Detroit, MI 48226-3269

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8:30am-3:30pm

Wednesday, 12:00pm-3:30pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Detroit Passport Agency is just over half a mile from the Cobo Center People Mover subway station. The agency is also accessible by the 025 or 029 buses via the stop at Fort Street and Cass Avenue.

Parking:

There is limited metered parking available on West Fort St, and several parking garages and surface lots within a 3-block radius of the agency.

🏢 El Paso Passport Agency

Address:

303 N. Oregon St., El Paso, TX 79901

Hours:

Monday-Friday, 7:30am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Downtown Circulator bus route numbers 4 and 9 stop outside the San Jacinto Plaza.

Parking:

There is on-street metered parking around the building, or the Anson Mills Parking Garage is close by.

🏢 Honolulu Passport Agency

Address:

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite I-330, Honolulu, HI 96850

Hours:

Monday-Friday, 8:30am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Bus routes 19, 20, 55, 56, 57, 57A, 65, 80A, 88A, and 94 all stop at the nearby Ala Moana Boulevard and Punchbowl Street stops.

Parking:

There is no dedicated public parking at the Federal Building in Honolulu, but there are on-street meters close by as well as public parking garages and lots.

🏢 Houston Passport Agency

Address:

1919 Smith Street, 4th Floor, Houston, TX 77002

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7:30am-3:00pm

Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Bus routes 108, 212, 255, 256, and 257 all stop at the nearby St. Joseph Parkway and Smith Street bus stop.

Parking:

There is metered parking behind the building on Pierce Street, as well as several nearby parking lots and garages.

🏢 Los Angeles Passport Agency

Address:

West L.A. Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1000, Los Angeles, CA 90024-3602

(At the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Veteran Ave. in West LA)

Hours:

Monday-Friday, 7:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

There are 3 bus stops located around the perimeter of Passport Agency building serviced by the 2, 3M, 6, 20, 234, 720, 734 lines, the Commuter Express, or Metro Valley-Westside Express.

Parking:

The West LA Federal Building has free 3-hour visitor parking available on the Veteran Avenue side of the building.

🏢 Miami Passport Agency

Address:

1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 210, Miami, FL 33132

Hours:

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Bus Route 36 arrives at NE 15 and Biscayne Boulevard, and the agency is across the street from the Metro Mover Omni Station.

Parking:

Metered parking is available on Biscayne Blvd and North Bayshore Drive and there is a parking garage in the OMNI building close by.

🏢 Minneapolis Passport Agency

Address:

212 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Wednesday, 9:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Blue or Green Line on the light rail system stops at Government Plaza Station, a 10-minute walk to the Passport Agency. Bus routes 10, 17, 25, 59, 146, and 568 also stop at Washington Avenue.

Parking:

The closest parking is metered in front of the Federal building on 3rd Ave. S. You can find parking at The Renaissance Inn/The Depot Hotel opposite. There is also a public lot located at 2nd Ave. S. and 2nd St.

🏢 National Passport Center

Address:

207 International Drive, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hours:

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The closest bus stops are on Corporate Drive near Durham Street, and they are served by the 7, 20, and 40 routes.

Parking:

Parking is available in the front of the building, and the customer driveway entrance and parking spaces are designated for passport agency customers.

🏢 New Orleans Passport Agency

Address:

365 Canal Street, Suite 1300, New Orleans, LA 70130-6508

Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:30pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The New Orleans Passport Agency can be reached using the streetcar lines 47 Cemeteries, 48 City Park, or 49 Loyola-UPT to the Canal at St. Peters stop, as well as bus routes 5 or 55 to the intersection of Canal and St. Peters Streets.

Parking:

Paid parking is available in the One Canal Place parking garage, and there are several more lots nearby.

🏢 New York Passport Agency

Address:

Greater New York Federal Building, 376 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014-3621

Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 7:30am-6:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The New York Passport Agency is accessible by using the subway system. Visitors can take the 1 local to Houston Street, or the A, B, C, D, E, F, or V lines to West 4th Street.

Parking:

There is metered parking available on Varick and Hudson Streets, as well as 3 parking lots on Hudson Street.

🏢 Philadelphia Passport Agency

U.S. Custom House, 200 Chestnut Street, Room 103, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Hours: 

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Wednesday, 10:15am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The nearest bus stop is the 2nd Street stop of the Market-Frankford elevated subway line. The Passport Agency is also within walking distance of the Market East train station.

Parking:

There is metered parking on the streets surrounding the building, as well as several pay parking lots and garages nearby.

🏢 San Diego Passport Agency

Address:

1 Columbia Place, 401 West A St, 10th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101
(The main entrance can be found at the corner of Columbia Street and West A St.)

Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The San Diego Passport Agency is 2 blocks away from the Santa Fe Depot station. It is served by the COASTER train and the Green and Orange line trolleys. The America Plaza trolley station is also close by, and it’s served by the Blue and Orange line trolleys.

Parking:

Metered parking is available on nearby streets.

🏢 San Francisco Passport Agency

Address:

450 Golden Gate Ave., 3rd Floor, Suite #3-2501, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hours: 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm

Thursday, 9:30am-4:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The BART train Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow lines all stop at the nearby Montgomery Street station.

Parking:

There is no public parking available at the building, but there are parking garages in the area at 355 McAllister St and 376 Larkin St.

🏢 San Juan Passport Agency

Address:

Centro Gubernamental Minillas, Torre Norte, Piso 9, Avenida Jose de Diego, Parada 22, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00940

Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 7:30am-2:00pm (Atlantic Time)

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

Take bus A5 or B21 to Stop 22 (Parada 22) in front of the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, which is close to the Passport Agency building.

Parking:

There is no public parking available at the Minillas Government Center, but there are plenty of public garages and lots nearby.

🏢 Seattle Passport Agency

Address:

Fifth and Yesler Building, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104

Hours:

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The number 27 Metro bus stops on Yesler Way at the Fifth and Yesler Building, and the Link light rail stops off at either Pioneer Square or International District stations. All are within walking distance of the building.

Parking:

There are parking garages and lots located in several locations close to the building, as well as metered on-street parking nearby.

🏢 Vermont Passport Agency

Address:

50 South Main Street, St. Albans, VT 05478

Hours: 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The building is just a short walk from the St. Albans Amtrak station, and is also accessible via bus routes 109 to Willard Mill Apartments and the 115 to Bellows Free Academy.

Parking:

Public parking is available in the front of the building, as well as in several locations along Main Street.

🏢 Washington Passport Agency

Address:

600 19th Street, N.W., First Floor, Sidewalk Level, Washington, DC 20006

Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Metro subway Blue and Orange lines stop at the nearby Farragut North and Farragut West stations.

Parking:

Both on-street meters and parking garages are available near the agency.

🏢 Western Passport Center

Address:

7373 East Rosewood Street, Tucson, AZ 85710

Hours: 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:30am-3:00pm

Thursday, 9:00am-3:00pm

Closed on Federal holidays. Applications by appointment only.

Public Transport:

The Western Passport Center can be reached using the 4 bus to N. Kolb Road and 3rd Street. The building is less than a 10-minute walk from there.

Parking:

Public parking is located at 7333 East Rosewood St or in the parking lot across the street.

Frequently Asked Questions

A full list of frequently asked questions can be found on the State Department’s travel website broken down into 8 categories, but the more common questions related to passport applications can be found below.

What Form Should I Use to Apply for a Passport?

Depending on the type of passport you need and the service you require, there are a number of different forms. Most can be downloaded on the U.S. Department Of State Website. You can also use this handy form wizard if you are unsure what form you need.

Passport_Application
The top half of the Passport Application Form DS-11. You must fill this out on paper or online, print it, and bring it in to be processed.

The forms used to apply for passport applications are as follows:

DS11

Use this application form for a first time application, or when replacing an expired U.S. passport that was issued to a child who was under the age of 16.

You can also use a DS-11 for any of the following reasons:

  • Your passport was issued more than 15 years ago
  • Your passport has been lost or stolen
  • You need to apply for a renewal or replace an existing passport
  • If there has been a change in name since your last passport was issued

Like most U.S. government forms, the DS-11 form is available for download online.

DS-82

Use this form if you want to apply to renew an existing passport. Usually renewal applications are made via the mail, and you can submit a DS-82 form if:

  • You have owned a U.S. passport book in the past that issued within the last 15 years
  • You were over the age of 16 when your previous passport was issued
  • Your passport is undamaged
  • Your name is the same, or you have proof of your name change by way of an original or certified government-issued document or marriage certificate

DS-5504

If your passport was issued within the last 12 months and you need to change your name, you can use this form. You will also need to pay an additional fee of $60. (This will be free if the passport agency made a printing or spelling error.)

You will need to:

  • Complete the DS-5504 for a Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement Application
  • Submit a color photo that differs from the one in the current passport
  • Show proof that your name has changed or that your current passport has an error

DS-64

You can use this form if you have lost your passport or you think it has been stolen. This will enable you to apply for a replacement passport, and you will need to submit information about how and when your passport was lost or stolen.

You will also need to submit a new DS-11 form if you are applying for a replacement passport.

DS-3053

This form should be used when you are applying for a child’s passport. In the U.S., both parents/guardians are required to accompany the child to the Acceptance Agent (the post office, public library, or other government office approved to receive applications).

However, if only 1 parent/guardian (without sole legal custody) is applying for the child’s passport, a DS-3053 Parental Consent Form must be completed. This will include authorization by the non-applying parent or guardian and verify their consent to a passport being issued for the child.

Submission of the DS-3053 form must also include:

  • Actual consent by the non-applying parent/guardian. This can be found in section 3 of the DS-3053 and must be signed by the non-applying parent/guardian. This will need to be done in the presence of a notary.
  • Front and back copies of the identification that was provided to the notary.
  • Be aware that the consent of the non-applying parent (and notarization) must be less than 90 days old.

DS-5525

If both parents are unable to sign the passport documentation for a minor or attend the passport appointment, complete this form.

If 1 parent is unable to sign or be there as the result of absenteeism, incarceration, a restraining order, or lack of mental capacity, this form will need to be completed and submitted along with all other necessary documents.

DS-86

If your passport is not received in the mail, you may want to protect yourself from identify theft by notifying the passport center using a DS-86.

You will need to complete the form and a full statement, and return it to the agency that originally processed your application within 90 days of issue.

What Supporting Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Passport?

You will need to gather a variety of documents to include with your passport application form. The minimum requirements for supporting documentation includes:

  • Proof of identity with a photocopy of both the front and back
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship with a photocopy of both the front and back

Keep in mind that any documents you supply in support of your application will be returned to you separately from your new passport.

U.S. Citizenship

When applying for a passport using a DS-11 form, you will need to submit primary evidence of U.S. citizenship.

However, your current place of residence, your place of birth, and other factors could affect the evidence required to prove U.S. citizenship for your passport application. A list of accepted evidence for each circumstance can be found here.

Identification

To apply for your U.S. passport, you must be able to prove that you are who you say you are using approved photographic identification. If you are applying on behalf of a minor, you will also be required to submit your own photo ID with the completed DS-11 form.

You must provide 1 primary photo ID or a combination of at least 2 secondary ID’s. A full list of accepted primary and secondary identification can be found here.

Gender Transition

If you have undergone a gender change or are going through gender transition, you will need to provide additional proof of identification. This could be any of the following:

  1. An ID that resembles your current appearance
  2. A passport photo that resembles your current appearance
  3. A medical certification that indicates you are in the process of or have undergone clinical treatment for gender transition

Full details around the specific requirements for medical certification can be found here.

Proof of Relationship (for children under 16)

Children’s passports are only valid for 5 years. Minors are unable to apply for passports themselves, so as a parent you will be required to do so on their behalf.

In the U.S., both parents are required to be present when submitting an application for a child’s passport. If you are both able to be there, you will need to submit a DS-11 form and  U.S. citizenship documents for your child (found here).

Your evidence must be presented in the original format or as a certified copy.

Show Parental Consent

To prove you have a right to apply for a passport on the child’s behalf, you must submit documentation that lists you both as the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child.

If you are unable to appear together in person, you must still submit evidence to support that the absent parent is in agreement with the issuance of the child’s passport.

This law is designed to prevent parental child abduction, and the absent parent can show proof of consent by completing a DS-3053 “Statement of Consent” form.

If the absent parent is not involved in the daily life of the child or cannot be located, the remaining parent would need to submit a form DS-5525, “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances.”

This form must be completed in as much detail as possible. Be aware that you may be asked to produce further information relating to custody orders, incarceration orders, or restraining orders.

If neither parent can attend and a third party is submitting an application for the child’s passport, they must provide a notarized statement from both parents/guardians giving that same third party permission to apply for the child.

Full details and requirements to show parental consent for each of these cases can be found here.

What Type of Passport Photos Do I Need?

You must submit a passport photograph with your application. As with most official ID’s and documentation, there are guidelines in place to ensure your photograph meets the required government standards.

As a basic rule, your head must face the camera directly with your full face in view. You should look at the camera straight on with a neutral facial expression, and both of your eyes should be open.

Other requirements are as follows:

  • Your photo must be correctly sized. It should be 2×2 inches (51×51 mm), and your head should be no larger than 25-35 mm from bottom of chin to top of head.
  • The photograph must be taken in front of a plain white or off-white background.
  • You must be wearing normal clothing that you would wear on a daily basis.
  • It must have been taken within the past 6 months.
  • It must be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.
  • It must be printed in full color.
  • You must remove any headphones or wireless hands-free devices.

There are other areas of your appearance that should also be considered when having your passport photo taken:

Glasses:

You must remove your glasses. If you cannot remove them for medical reasons, you must submit a signed statement from your doctor with your passport application.

Hats and Head Coverings:

You must not wear a hat or head covering of any kind when having your photo taken, unless it is used for medical or religious purposes.

In this instance, you will need to submit a signed statement that it is worn as part of continuous and publicly worn religious attire, or a signed statement from a doctor stating it is to be used for daily medical purposes.

If you do need to cover your head, be sure that your face is still fully visible and that your hat or head covering does not create shadows or obscure your face.

You can find examples of acceptable passport photographs here.

Children’s Photos

If you are applying for a passport for your baby or child, you will need to submit a photograph of them.

Taking passport regulation photos of young children can be difficult, but you can lay them on a plain white or off-white sheet to help make the process easier. If you do this, be aware of shadows from above when taking the photo. Your baby or toddler’s face must not be hidden in any way, and there should be no shadows visible.

The child must be the only person in the photograph; images of parents sitting with or holding their children will not be accepted.

What If My Appearance Changes?

If your appearance has significantly changed from the image that is in your current passport, you may need to apply for a new one.

Changes in hairstyle or color, or growing or removing facial hair does not count as a significant change in appearance, and your existing passport will not need to be updated.

However, if any of the following are relevant, you may need to apply for a new passport:

  • You have recently undergone significant facial surgery or trauma
  • You have added or removed numerous/large facial piercings, tattoos, or other modifications
  • You have undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain that affects the way your face looks
  • You have undergone a gender transition

Changes of Appearance in Children

It is natural for children to change as they grow. If the change in their appearance is due to the normal aging process, you should not need to apply for a new passport. Simply submit a new photo when their 5-year passport expires.

What Are the Passport Fees and How Do I Pay?

The type of passport service you require will usually be subject to a fee. How much you pay will depend on the application you submit. U.S. passport fees in 2018 are as follows:

First-time Applicants (16 and older)

Application Fees and Execution Fees are paid separately.

ProductFormApplication FeeExecution (acceptance) Fee
Passport BookDS-11$110.00$35.00
Passport CardDS-11$30.00$35.00
Passport Book & CardDS-11$140.00$35.00

Adult Renewal Applicants (16 and older)

Adult renewal applicants residing in the U.S. must apply by mail.

ProductFormApplication FeeExecution (acceptance) Fee
Passport BookDS-82$110.00N/A
Passport CardDS-11$30.00N/A
Passport Book & CardDS-11$140.00N/A

Child Applicants (Under 16)

All child applicants (including renewals) must apply in person. Application Fees and Execution Fees are paid separately.

ProductFormApplication FeeExecution (acceptance) Fee
Passport BookDS-82$80.00$35.00
Passport CardDS-11$15.00$35.00
Passport Book & CardDS-11$95.00$35.00

Changing or Correcting a Passport

ServiceFeeUse Form
Name Change$0-$165.00Varies
Correct Data Error$0.00DS-5504

Additional Services

All Additional Service Fees are per application. For example, if you want to expedite your application and your child’s, you must pay an additional $60 for each application.

ServiceFeeNotes
Expedited Service$60.00Get your passport in a hurry. Only available for applicants in the U.S.
1-2 Day Delivery Service$15.89Only available for Passport Book applicants in the U.S.
File Search$150.00Only available for Passport Book applicants in the U.S. This service is not available for Passport Card applicants. Passport cards are sent via First Class Mail.

How to Pay for Your Passport

There are a variety of payment options available to help you pay for your passport application fees, although these may vary depending on how and where you submit your application.

A full list of accepted payment methods for passport acceptance facilities, applications by mail, and passport agency applications can be found here.

Overseas applicants are not able to pay using personal checks, and some embassies and consulates only accept cash payments. You should ascertain their preferred payment options before you apply by checking with your embassy.

How Do I Track My Passport Application Status?

Around 7-10 days after you first submit your application, you will be able to track its progress either online or over the telephone.

You will need the following information in front of you to do so:

  1. The applicant’s last name, including any suffixes or hyphens where appropriate
  2. The applicant’s date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format
  3. The last 4 digits of the applicant’s Social Security Number

To track your application online, you’ll need to access the Online Passport Status System. Once you have logged on, you can then receive automatic email updates on the status of your application if you enter your email address when asked.

Alternatively, you can track your application by calling the National Passport Information Center to speak to a customer service representative.

  • 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY)
  • Monday-Friday, 8:00am-10:00pm Eastern
  • Saturday, 10:00am-3:00pm Eastern
  • Closed on Federal holidays

What If I Haven’t Received  My Passport?

If the Online Passport Status System or the National Passport Information Center says your newly-issued passport has been mailed but you haven’t received it after 10 business days, contact the National Passport Information Center. They will guide you through completing the Form DS-86 to report your missing passport.

It is important to report a non-received passport to help prevent identity theft. You must also report non-receipt of your passport within 90 days of it being issued, or you will have to reapply (and be liable for the application fees again!).

If You Change Your Address Before Your Passport Is Returned

If your mailing address has changed since you initially made your application, and you’re waiting for your passport or citizenship evidence to be returned, you will need to contact the National Passport Information Center.

When completing your child’s passport application, be sure to add your own name in the “In Care Of” part of the mailing address section on form DS-11.

Be aware that passports can only be delivered to your address if your name is connected to the address.

Don’t Delay — Get Your Passport Today

If you are planning on traveling overseas in the near future and have left your passport until the last minute, make sure to apply for your new passport or renew your current one soon.

The National Passport Information Center can assist you with all of your passport related inquiries.

Before Your Next Trip

Once you have your passport renewed or changed, how about grabbing your travel rewards cards and getting ready for another trip using points and miles? The following links will help you get started:


Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

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