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New U.S. Passport

Instructions to get your New U.S. Passport

A fresh passport application, or DS-11, is required if the applicant is 16 years of age or older, was born in the United States, and has never had a passport (or has only ever had a child passport). However, there are numerous situations in which those who have previously held a passport must also reapply for one. If you lack the necessary information, applying for a passport can be complicated and time-consuming.

Notice: Your application may be suspended or delayed if the erroneous information is entered into the forms.

Eligibility for New Passport

You must submit a DS-11 form along with your application for a new passport if:

  • The applicant has never previously held a US passport.
  • The applicant’s passport was last renewed more than 15 years ago.
  • The candidate is younger than 16 years old.
  • When the applicant was under 16, their passport was issued.
  • Passport of applicant lost, stolen, or damaged
  • The applicant’s name has changed, but there is no paperwork or other official record to support the change.
  • The candidate’s name has changed and there is an absence of desk work or lawful documentation to support the change
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Getting a New Passport Step-By-Step

These are the fundamental elements in the new passport application process. Depending on the particulars of the applicant, it could take less time or take longer and require more documentation (for instance, if the applicant wasn’t born in the US, they would probably need to produce more papers proving their citizenship).

1.Finish up the passport application

On the Department of State website, you can accomplish this the easiest manner. The time frame is 30 to 45 minutes.

2.Gather Documents

Birth certificate, a duplicate of your driver’s license, and passport photos (if you want to get your photos taken before having your application sealed or if the passport office of your choice doesn’t offer on-site photo services).

3.Get a cheque or money order ready.

All fees are listed under the passport fees; the acceptance agent charge must be paid separately.

4.Contact the Acceptance Agent

It’s time for the applicant to go see an acceptance agent at a nearby passport office once all the required paperwork has been gathered and the application has been printed. A scheduled appointment is necessary at some acceptance agent locations.

5.Wait 8–11 weeks or, if expedited, 5-7 weeks.

Due to Covid-19, the only option to obtain a passport more quickly is to go in person to a Regional Passport Agency and present documentation of travel for the next 72 hours.

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New Passport Application

The DS-11 application must be completed as the initial step. The best way to complete this form is online at the Department of State passport forms website, even if it is available on this website in PDF format or at the post office. It allows for fewer errors and lowers the likelihood of application suspension when completed online because it generates a special barcode with all the information you entered. Assuming that the form is filled out by hand, ensure that the writing is entirely readable and written in black ink.

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New Passport Documents

The next step is to gather all of your supporting documentation. The following documentation must be brought with you to a nearby passport agency:

  • Citizenship Proof – Birth certificate issued by the state or a certified copy provides proof of citizenship. Unharmed, expired passport. Papers proving citizenship or naturalization. These papers, all of which need to be originals, will be given back along with your new passport.
  • Identification documentation – A duplicate of your state-issued ID or driver’s license, both front and back. The validity of the ID must be at least six months, including any renewals. You will require additional forms of identification if your ID has been granted for less than six months or if you do not have one.
  • Government Charge – On the product service and charge page of your DS-11, it states that you must submit a money order or check (but not starter checks) for the amount. The cost varies according to the things you order and the amount of service time you require. The US Department of State should be listed on the check. This should not be shortened as it will cause service delays.
  • Passport Photo – (1) passport photo. Must be 2″ x 2″ with white background.
  • DS–11 Application – Finished application printed and unsigned.
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Acceptance Agent for Passports

You are prepared to visit your local passport office once you have collected all of the required paperwork. A representative from the acceptance office will ask you to take an oath after verifying your identification, making sure you have all the required paperwork, and reviewing your DS-11 application. After signing your application, all of your supporting documents will be placed in an envelope and sealed. Following that, they will either send it out via mail or, if you are working with a third-party expediting business, you will pick it up personally.

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Common New Passport & Documentation Questions

What legal reasons would prevent me from obtaining a passport?

If you are currently on probation, owe more than $2,500 in child support, are wanted for arrest and have been summoned to appear in court on charges, or are currently in prison. Owing more than $53,000 in tax debt.

Can passport forms be copied or faxed?

When either filling out the forms by hand or when filled out on the Department of State website, they must be original signature pages. If filling out by hand, only submit originals.

Do I need a US Passport?

American citizens require passports to exit and enter the US and all other countries in the world. It is required that you carry the correct identification while traveling abroad. You will need a passport to travel every time you leave the United States or its territories. There is one exception to this rule for American citizens, traveling by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda – a passport card can be used, it is also possible to only apply for a passport card and not a passport book.

How long is my passport valid for?

A passport’s validity is generally determined by the applicant’s age. In the US, passports issued for adults ages 16 and older are valid for 10 years. Children 15 years of age and under receive passports valid for 5 years. There are two primary exceptions to this rule: a second passport is valid for 2 years and an emergency passport is valid for 1 year. In some instances, when replacing a lost passport, for example, the Department of State may issue a passport with lesser validity (usually 1 or 2 years).

What is a passport acceptance facility?

A Passport Acceptance Facility is a place where you can apply for a US Passport and have your signature witnessed. In general, they are located within select local post offices and county clerks.

What actually is a passport?

A passport is a document, normally in the form of a small book that has several functions. A passport enables a person to travel outside of the borders of their home country. Although a passport does not automatically grant the holder the right to enter any country, US and Canadian passport holders can travel to many countries without obtaining any further documentation (such as visas) prior to taking the trip. A passport also functions as proof of citizenship, so a person holding a U.S. Passport is internationally recognized as a US citizen. In cases when visas are required, the visa stamps or stickers are placed on the pages of the passport. Border control officials will also stamp the pages of the passport with entry and exit stamps upon entering or exiting a country.

Why do I need to appear in person at a passport acceptance facility?

If you are applying for a new passport or replacing a lost passport, you must appear in person at the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility. This is necessary for the Acceptance Agent to verify your identity. You will be asked to swear an oath that you have been honest in your application, and you will need to sign the application in front of the Acceptance Agent (do not sign the application before you get there!). Once the Acceptance Agent is satisfied and your identity has been confirmed, he or she will seal the appropriate documents into an envelope.

Why would someone need a second passport?

Second passports are often requested by those who travel frequently. If you are unable to wait for a visa to be issued you may request a second passport in order to travel while getting a visa for your next destination at the same time. Another reason to apply for a second passport is for travelers who have Israeli stamps in their current passport but who also need to travel to countries where any evidence of travel to Israel will bar you from entry. When approved, second passports are usually only issued for two years but may be extended.

I was born overseas, how do I get a birth certificate?

If either or both of your parents is/was a U.S. citizen when you were born abroad, either or both of your parent(s) should/should have registered your birth at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and, obtain/received a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240. This form is good enough to be a legal proof of birth and U.S. citizenship.

What if I cannot find my birth certificate?

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If you have had a previous passport, you can do a file search and the passport agency will look up your old passport for a fee of $150 and a letter requesting a file search; you can use an old, in good condition passport for proof of citizenship; you can also order a birth certificate on-line or obtain one from the county you were born in.

Where can I get a copy of my birth certificate?

An official Certificate of Birth should be on file in the locality where the event occurred. The Federal Government does not maintain files or indexes of these records. These records are filed permanently in a State’s vital statistics office or in a city, county, or other local office. To obtain a certified copy of the Birth Certificate, write or go to the vital statistics office in the State or area where you were born. For expedited services you can use Vitalchek.