Here is the information you need to know about the passport forms you will encounter when applying for a passport. Anyone who wants a passport must complete a passport application form but that's not all that's needed. Applying for a passport, especially for the first time, requires other documents which support your claim that you're qualified.
First it's a good idea to have a bit of background information regarding what a passport is and why you should apply for one. A U.S. passport verifies not only your identity, but confirms that you meet the requirements for U.S. citizenship. It takes the place of other types of ID such as your birth certificate and driver's license, which would be very cumbersome to pull out every time you traveled.
Additionally, getting a passport means you've had to prove citizenship and identification through a strict set of standards. You must not only present your first time passport application to a passport official in person who also witnesses your signature, but your documents must also be originals, with certified embossed seals, and sent to the United States Department of State. This eliminates the chance that you've presented a forged document as it will definitely be examined very carefully.
There are basically two main passport forms needed when you apply for a passport. The U.S. Department of State handles passport matters, and it has created the form DS-11: "Application for U.S. Passport" which is used for all first time passport applicants. The form is DS-82: "Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail" is used strictly for renewals. Your adult passport takes 10 years to expire, which means you won't have to worry about renewing for quite a while.
To get your DS-11 application form, you have several options. This form can be picked up in person from any or processing office. These offices have been designed by the Department of State and have the authority to accept passport applications and some of them also take passport photos. The is one that meets these qualifications and is the most convenient location for most people. Another option is to visit the U.S. Department of State internet web site which has the form online for you to download and print on demand.
You'll also need supporting documentation to confirm your citizenship, so be prepared to provide an original Birth Certificate, Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship when you present your DS-11 form. Also, have on hand any other photo ID, such as a driver's license or military ID card to confirm your identity. Your original document will be returned to you with your passport. Be sure to also arrange to take 2 passport photos. Having them done at the same place you'll be submitting your ID makes it easier and saves you from driving back and forth to different locations.
The price of a first time passport is in the range of $100.00 which is a combined fee, covering what the Department of State asks plus the typical processing fee of the passport office. You should be able to get 2 passport photos taken for around $10.00 although some offices may charge more.
Within 3 or 4 weeks, once your passport application has been approved and your documents checked, you should receive your passport in the mail. Enjoy your new passport and be sure to keep it in a safe place for the next time you need a world wide accepted form of identification.
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