Skip to main content


Passport and Visas

Find a Passport Office Near You

Acceptance agents for passports are typically found in county courthouses and post offices. A local post office or courthouse acceptance agent can only verify your signature and seal your paperwork (Unless you are using a 3rd party passport expediter, the acceptance agent will send your passport application on your behalf to a regional Passport Agency office for processing). You have the choice of standard service or accelerated service at these offices, however passports ARE NOT issued through them. Expedited service takes 4-6 weeks, and ordinary service takes 10-12+ weeks, assuming there are no problems with your application and/or supporting documentation.

United States

US Territories and Minor Outlying Islands

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?

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.