Completing a US government passport application may seem like a daunting task. If you are planning to take a trip abroad and do not have a passport, you will need to complete this application and get your passport as soon as possible since you will not be able to leave the country without it. Fortunately, filling out a is a fairly quick and easy process.
Where to find the application: You can find the application online at the website. This is the government's central office for all things related to passports and travel. You can also find them at designated post offices, clerks of court, public libraries or other government offices that are authorized to accept passport applications. The Department of State's website will allow you to type in your address and give you a list of these offices in your area.
Where to turn them in: Minors, people applying for their first passport, people whose last passport was issued 15 or more years ago, people whose passports were lost, stolen, or damaged, or people with name changes that have not been legally documented must apply for their passport in person at a designated passport office. Everyone else is eligible to submit their application by mail. The address is listed on the application.
How long it takes: You should turn in your passport application well in advance of when you will be leaving the country. It often takes a while for the application to be processed and approved. You should expect to wait approximately four to six weeks to get your passport, so try to plan ahead.
Expedited passports: If you need to get your passport more quickly, you may be able to use the expedited application process. In the case, you will receive your passport in two to three weeks. You will need to pay an extra $60 fee as well as overnight shipping costs.
Photographs: You will need to submit two recent color photographs with your passport application. These need to meet very specific requirements. Many photography studios know the requirements and will take these pictures for a small fee. Passport offices also offer this option.
Form DS-82: is the application you would submit to renew your passport by mail. Make sure to write very clearly and complete it in black ink. You will also need to submit your two color photographs and your old passport. If your name has changed, they will need that documentation as well.
Form DS-11: is the application for minors or people who haven't had a passport before. This form cannot be submitted by mail and must be turned in at a passport office. In addition to your passport photographs, you will need proof of US citizenship and identity. For minors, both parents/guardians must be present during for the application process.
Completing a US government passport application may seem difficult and complex at first, but it is actually a relatively easy process. Make sure that you plan ahead and apply for the passport a few months before you need it, since it does take a while for the government to process the applications. Once you complete the application, all you have to do is sit back and wait for them to send you your passport.
Visit often to learn more information from our updated US Government Passport Application.