Passport Application & Renewal

U.S. Passport Applications and Renewals

If you're traveling through a foreign county, you will need a passport.

Your choice of transportation also affects whether you'll need a passport. If you're traveling to Canada or Mexico on the ground or by sea, you won't need one (although you do need to provide another type of proper identification, such as a passport card, enhanced driver's license (EDL), or trusted traveler program card). If you're traveling to those countries by air, though, you must have a passport.

The U.S. Department of State provides an informative passport guide that makes it simple to determine whether you need a passport. All you have to do is enter your travel destination.

NOTE: If you are looking for information on passport cards that only allow travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, or Bermuda, please see the State Department's page about passport cards to learn more about this subject, including how to apply for the card.

Expedited Passport Service

If you are traveling out of the country within a month and need a U.S. passport, renewal, or to replace a lost or stolen passport, an expediting service such as Fastport can help. Registered courier services authorized by the U.S. Department of State can expedite applications.

How to Apply for a US Passport

First-time passport applicants must apply in person at any of a variety of local locations (including select post offices, clerk of court offices, and public libraries), or at regional passport agencies.

NOTE: You should only apply at a regional agency if you're traveling and need passport in an expedited or urgent situation . In either case, you must schedule an appointment for your visit by calling the automated appointment system at (877) 487-2778. There isn't an extra fee to make an appointment.

Even if this isn't your first U.S. passport, you'll still need to apply in person if any of the following are true:

  • You are under 16 years old.
  • Your first U.S. passport was issued when you were younger than 16 years old.
  • Your last U.S. passport was stolen, damaged, or lost.
  • You obtained your last U.S. passport more than 15 years ago.
  • You've changed your name after your last U.S. passport was issued and you can't provide legal documentation for your name change.

Application Requirements

Make sure you have the following with you when you apply:

  1. A completed Application for a U.S. Passport (Form DS-11) that includes your Social Security number (don't sign the form until you're told to do so at the location).
  2. Proof of citizenship, by means of a certified U.S. birth certificate, undamaged U.S. passport, Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth.
  3. Proof of identity, by means of a valid driver's license, undamaged U.S. passport, Naturalization Certificate, current government ID, current military ID, or undamaged U.S. passport. (If you don't have any of these documents, you may proceed through a secondary means.)
  4. 1 color photograph of yourself taken within the past 6 months that meet all the requirements.
  5. Payment for the passport (only) fee of either $130 (adult) plus a $60 execution fee, or $100 (younger than 16 years old) plus a $60 execution fee.
  6. Payment for the passport card (and book) fee of either $160 (adult) plus a $60 execution fee, or $115 (younger than 16 years old) plus a $60 execution fee.

NOTE: Agencies accept: Credit cards (MasterCard, Discover, VISA, American Express), debit cards, checks (personal, cashiers, certified, travelers), money orders and bank drafts.

Processing Times and Expedited Services

Your wait time to receive your passport varies depending on the time of year.

However, you can always consult the application processing time page for updated information, or check your application status online.

Expedited service is also available―for an extra $60 per application, plus the overnight shipping costs. If you're dealing with a life-or-death situation, call the National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778 for instructions on how to proceed.

For more information, please visit our Expedited Passport page.

Passports for Minors

Be aware that all travelers―including infants and toddlers―must have their own passport.

The Department of State spells out how to obtain a passport for those who are between 16 and 17 years old or younger than 16.

U.S. Passport Renewals

Your passport's expiration date depends upon your age when the passport was issued. If you were at least 16 years old when you received your passport, it is valid for 10 years. If you were 15 years old or younger when you got your passport, it will be valid for 5 years.

You can complete a standard passport renewal by mail as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • You can submit your passport with your renewal application.
  • You received your passport within the past 15 years.
  • You were at least 16 years old when it was issued.
  • Your name has not changed from how it appears on your current passport OR you can provide documentation proving a name change by marriage or court order.

If you do not meet the requirements, you can follow the steps to apply in person above.

Renewal by Mail

To submit your standard renewal by mail, you'll need to:

National Passport Processing Center
P.O. Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190

NOTE: If you are a U.S. citizen living outside of the United State, you can renew your passport with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your area.

Changing Your Name or Correcting an Error

If there a mistake on your U.S. passport or your name changed since you last used it, follow the instructions provided by the Department of State to correct the passport. Depending on your situation, you might face an additional fee.

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