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How to Apply in Person for a Passport

Should You Apply In Person?

You are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time. Yes
Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged. Yes
Your previous U.S. passport has expired & was issued more than 15 years ago. Yes
Your previous passport has expired and it was issued when you were under 16. Yes
Your name has changed since your passport was issued and you do not have a legal document formally changing your name. Yes
NOTES: All persons must have their own passports, including infants. If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport. See Child Support.

For All Minors Under Age 1
6 :

For All Minors Ages 16 to 17:

  • Each minor child shall appear in person.
  • For security reasons, parental consent may be requested.
  • If your child does not have identification of his/her own, you need to accompany your child and present identification.
  • Follow instructions below.

To Apply in Person for a U.S. Passport You MUST:

1. Provide Application for Passport, Form DS-11

NOTE: Please do NOT sign the DS-11 application form until the Passport Acceptance Agent instructs you to do so.

2. Present Proof of U.S. Citizenship

You may prove U.S. Citizenship with any one of the following:

  • Previous U.S. Passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as evidence of U.S. citizenship.)
  • Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state

NOTE: A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note that some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship 

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may submit a combination of early public records as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Early public records must be submitted together with a birth record or Letter of No Record (see Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for additional acceptable documentation). Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:
  • Baptismal certificate
  • Hospital birth certificate
  • Census record
  • Early school record
  • Family bible record
  • Doctor's record of post-natal care

Early Public Records are not acceptable when presented alone.

Determine what form of secondary evidence is most appropriate for your situation based on the descriptions above. Each application is handled on a case-by-case basis. The scenarios presented are intended as general guidance.

All documentation submitted as evidence of U.S. Citizenship will be returned with the issued passport. See Processing Times.

NOTE: If you travel extensively, you may request more Visa pages in your passport at no additional cost. To do so, please attach a signed request for additional Visa pages to be added to your application. 48-page passports are no longer available in the U.S. or abroad. 

3. Present Proof of Identity

You may prove your identity with any one of these, if you are recognizable:

  • Previous U.S. passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as proof of identity.)
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Current, valid
    • Driver's license
    • Government ID: city, state or federal
    • Military ID: military and dependents

NOTE: Your Social Security Card does NOT prove your identity. If none of these are available , you will need:

  1. Some signature documents, not acceptable alone as ID

(ex: a combination of documents, such as your Social Security card, credit card, bank card, library card, etc.) AND

  1. A person who can vouch for you. He/she must:
  • Have known you for at least 2 years,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • Have valid ID, and
  • Fill out a Form DS-71 in the presence of a passport agent.

4. Provide Two Passport Photos

Your photographs must be:

  • 2x2 inches in size
  • Identical
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Color
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Taken in normal street attire
    • Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
    • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture.
    • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.

NOTE: Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable

5. Pay the Applicable Fee

Click here to see passport fees.

Methods of Payment:

At Passport Agencies

Both fees and the surcharge are combined into one payment to the ''U.S. Department of State'':

  • Credit Cards – VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
  • Debit/Check cards (not ATM cards)
  • Checks (personal, certified, cashiers', travelers'), money orders (U.S. Postal, international, currency exchange), bank drafts

Note:  If abroad, U.S. Embassies and Consulates accept the foreign currency equivalent, or a check drawn on a U.S. bank. 

At Passport Acceptance Facilities 

You pay the passport application fee and the security surcharge to the ''U.S. Department of State'' and the execution fee to the facility where you are applying. For Passport Application Fee:

  • Personal checks, money orders, and bank drafts at all locations
  • Exact cash at some locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)

For Execution Fee:

  • Money orders and bank drafts at all locations
  • Personal checks and exact cash at some locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)
  • Credit cards at U.S. Postal Facilities and some other locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)

Expedite Fee:  (See How to Get Your Passport in a Hurry)

6. Provide a Social Security Number

If you do not provide your Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Service may impose a $500 penalty. If you have any questions please call your nearest IRS office.

Where to Apply for a Passport in the U.S.

Passport Services & Information From the State Department of the United States

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