The following page contains information regarding the steps that one will take to apply for a United States passport in person. If you are looking for answers to more specific questions, feel free to either use the “Search” bar at the top of the screen or to visit the FAQ page.
What is a Passport?
In order to travel abroad under most situations, you will need an official and current United States passport. If you choose to apply for your passport in person, you will need to complete a series of important steps to help make sure that everything is processed as quickly as possible.
What is Form DS-11?
The first step involves filling out form DS-11, which is the official application for a US passport as issued by the United States Department of State. The completed form DS-11 is one of the documents that you will submit in person. You will also need to gather certain pieces of identifying information about yourself, including both evidence of your United States citizenship and the current identification that you use. You will be able to submit a photocopy of the identification documents that are required so that you don’t have to worry about losing your only copies.
What Are the Passport Photo Requirements?
You will also have to provide at least one passport photo with your application to be used on the passport itself. Official passport photos can be taken at every United States post office in the country, as well as at a variety of other areas like pharmacies. Once all documentation is compiled and submitted, you will also need to pay the applicable fee depending on your situation.
What happens if a child isn’t old enough to properly sign the passport book that they are issued?
If a child is under the age of 16 and is still considered to be a minor, a parent or some other type of legal guardian will have to sign the passport book on the child’s behalf. In order to do so, the parent or legal guardian in question will need to both print the child’s full name and sign his or her name in the space provided in the booklet for the appropriate signature. The relationship of the parent or legal guardian to the child will also need to be properly specified on the passport itself.
A minor who is under the age of 16 will need a parent or legal guardian’s consent during all parts of the passport application process.
What are the photo requirements for passport applications?
When signing up for a passport booklet, all applicants must submit one photo with the appropriate passport application. The photos in question will need to be printed on either glossy or matte quality photo paper and must have been taken with color film. Photos in black and white will not be accepted. The photo in question will need to be two inches by two inches in size and must have been taken within the six months prior to filling out the passport application. This requirement is to make sure that the passport photo you are submitting reflects your current appearance for the purposes of travel and security.
How is an electronic passport different from a “regular” passport?
Electronic passports have been in use in the United States since 2007. The passport has a small chip on the back cover that is designed to help prevent certain situations where fraud may occur. The chip stores a wide variety of information in the most secure way possible, including a digital image of the passport photograph, a unique identification number, a digital signature and all of the same information displayed on the identification page of the passport itself.