U.S. passports are issued to United States citizens and non-citizen nationals upon application and serve as proof of U.S. citizenship. A valid U.S. passport is required of most U.S. citizens to enter and exit the United States and may be used to travel to any country, although some countries may require a visa as well.

US Passport Eligibility

All American citizens and non-citizen nationals are eligible to apply for a U.S. passport. Non-citizen nationals include those born in American Samoa or Swains Island.

Applying for a US Passport

Any U.S. citizen over age 16 may apply for a passport. Applicants ages 16 and 17 may apply by themselves, but should bring one parent to show parental awareness. The Department of State may not always be accepting U.S. passport applications online, so be sure to check with the DOS website. However, applicants who fall under any of the following circumstances must always apply in person:

  • Applying for a passport for the first time
  • Was under age 16 when last passport was issued
  • Passport was damaged, lost, or stolen
  • More than 15 years has passed since applicant has held a U.S. Passport
  • Not able provide legal documentation showing name change since last passport was issued

Parental Awareness

Applicants age 16 and 17 may be required to provide parental awareness, which can be satisfied in the following ways.

  • Parent accompanies minor applicant at the required personal interview.
  • Minor applicant obtains a written and signed statement from at least one parent, including a photocopy of the parent’s identification, indicating the parent’s agreement to the passport issuance. 

A passport will usually not be issued to minor applicants if a parent with legal custody has provided an objection to the issuance of a passport.

Types of Passport Applications

There are different forms required to apply for a U.S. passport depending on the type of U.S. passport application you are submitting, listed below.

  • New Passport Application ’ Form DS-11
  • Lost or Stolen Passport Application ’ Form DS-64 and DS-11
  • Passport Renewal Application ’ Form DS-82
  • Application for Additional Passport Pages ’ Form DS-4085

US Passport Application Process

The process of how to apply for a US passport is outlined below.

  • Complete Passport Application form, according to your type of application.
  • Gather required documents for US passport application.
  • Pay passport application fees.
  • Submit US passport application to appropriate Passport Acceptance Facility.

US Passport Documents Required

The required documents for U.S. passport application are listed below.

New Passport Application, Form DS-11

  • Completed Form DS-11 Application. Do not date and sign until instructed to do so by passport acceptance agent.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, such as:
    • Birth Certificate
    • Hospital birth record
    • An early baptismal or circumcision certificate
    • Early census, school, medical, or family Bible records
    • Insurance files or published birth announcements (such as a newspaper article)
    • Notarized affidavits (or DS-10, Birth Affidavit) of older blood relatives having knowledge of your birth
  • Original proof of identity and a photocopy of the front and back side of your identity
  • Fees
  • Recent color photo

Replacing Lost or Stolen Passport Application, Form DS-64 and DS-11

  • Completed Form DS-64 and Form DS-11 Form
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship
  • Original proof of identity and a photocopy of the front and back side of your identity
  • Fees
  • Recent color photo

If you are only reporting a lost or stolen passport and not applying for a new passport, submit the completed, dated, and signed Form DS-64 with a photo copy of government issued identification, such as a Driver’s License, or State-issued identification.

Passport Renewal Application, Form DS-82

If your most recent U.S. Passport Book and/or Passport Card was issued less than 15 years ago, and you were over the age of 16 at the time of issuance, you may be eligible to file Form DS-82 in place of Form DS-11.

  • Completed, dated, and signed Form DS-82
  • Most recent U.S. passport book and/or card
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate or court order if name has changed
  • Fees
  • Recent color photo

Application for Additional Passport Pages, Form DS-4085

  • Completed, signed and dated Form DS-4085
  • Valid U.S. Passport Book
  • Fees

Applying Outside the US

Different procedures may apply for applicants who are applying for a passport from outside the United States. Check with the U.S. Consulate or embassy in your country of residence for specific guidelines.

If applying outside the U.S., fees can be made in the equivalent of local funds and should be made to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.

US Passport Application Fees

Fees may be paid by check, money order, bank draft, cashier’s check, or credit card. All payments should be made to the “Department of State.” Additional execution fees may apply.

Adult First-Time Applicants (16 and Older)

Application Fees and Execution Fees are paid separately. For more information on how to apply, please see First-Time Applicants.

Adult Renewal Applicants (16 and Older)

Adult renewal applicants residing in the U.S. must apply by mail. For more information on how to apply, please see Renew My Passport or Children 16 and 17.

Child Applicants (Under 16)

All child applicants, including renewals, must apply in person. Application Fees and Execution Fees are paid separately. For more information on a passport for a child, please see Children Under 16.

Changing or Correcting a Passport

Please see the Change or Correct a Passport Page for details.

Additional Services

All Additional Services 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.


Photo Requirements

Photos submitted with your application must be:

  • 2 inches x 2 inches
  • Full face, front view
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin 
  • Less than 6 months old
  • Printed on thin, white high gloss photo paper

Submitting Passport Application

To apply in person, locate a Passport Acceptance Facility.

Applicants reporting a lost or stolen passport can mail to:

  • ATTN: CLASP
  • U.S. Department of State
  • CA/PPT/S/L/LE
  • 44132 Mercure Circle
  • P.O. Box 1227
  • Sterling, VA 20166-1227

Applicants submitting Form DS-82 via routine service mail can mail to:

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • Post Office Box 90155
  • Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155F

Applicants selecting expedited service for Form DS-82 can mail their applications to:

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • Post Office Box 90955
  • Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

Applicants submitting Form DS-4085 via routine service mail can mail to:

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • Post Office Box 90106
  • Philadelphia, PA 19190-0106

Applicants selecting expedited service for Form DS-4085 can mail their applications to:

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • Post Office Box 90906
  • Philadelphia, PA 19190-0906

Processing Times

The processing times for a U.S. passport application are typically as follows.

  • 4 to 6 weeks for a routine application
  • 3 weeks for an expedited application
  • 8 business days for an expedited application at a Passport Acceptance Facility

If applying for a newborn, visit Applying for a US Passport for a Newborn for more details on the process.