Applying for A US Passport

If you are a US citizen, you may need to apply for a US passport if you plan on traveling outside the US.

First Time Applicant

To apply for your passport for the first time, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete and Submit Form DS‑11
    You must submit Form DS‑11, Application for a US Passport, in person. You can submit your application at an Acceptance Facility, or a Regional Passport Agency. Do not sign your passport application until instructed to do so by the receiving Agent.
  2. Submit Evidence of US Citizenship
    When applying for your passport, you will need to submit evidence of your US citizenship along with Form DS‑11. All documents submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you; they will be delivered with your newly issued US passport or in a separate mailing. Acceptable forms of evidence include:

    • previously issued, undamaged US Passport
    • certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
    • Naturalization Certificate, or
    • Certificate of Citizenship.

    If you do not have primary evidence of US citizenship or your US birth certificate does not meet the requirements, please see Secondary Evidence of US Citizenship.

  3. Present Identification
    When applying for a US passport in person, you must present acceptable identification (ID) at the time of your application, along with a photocopy of the ID document with your application. Acceptable IDs include:

    • previously issued, undamaged US passport
    • naturalization certificate
    • valid Driver’s License
    • current Government ID
    • current Military ID.

    If you apply at an Acceptance Facility and submit out‑of‑state primary identification, you must present an additional ID document, as well. For example, if you apply in Maryland with a Virginia Driver’s License, you must present additional ID.

    If you cannot submit primary identification, please see Secondary Identification for more options.

  4. Pay the Applicable Fee
  5. Provide Two Passport Photos
    Your photos must be:

    • Identical
    • In color
    • 2 x 2 inches in size
    • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
    • 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: There are special application requirements for minors under age 17 and for Diplomatic, Official, and Regular No‑Fee Passports which can be found here.

Renewing Your Passport

To renew your passport from inside the US, you must submit Form DS‑82 by mail. Passports renewed by mail in the US may only be returned by mail to US and Canadian addresses. If you reside in Canada, you may submit Form DS-82 by mail. If you reside abroad in any other country, you may renew your passport at the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate.

Please note: If your most recent US passport has been mutilated, altered or damaged, you cannot apply by mail and you must apply in person. If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport.

For the latest forms and information on applying for a passport, please refer to the Department of State website.

PLEASE NOTE: Immigration law and regulations change frequently. In order to protect yourself you should make sure that you understand the laws and how they apply to you. If you have questions about your status, you should consult an expert. If you would like to be notified about recent changes to this website, or if you would like to receive Immigration Tips by email, please provide us with your email address. If you would like help from Ms. Chappell-Daly, please contact her.