Top 7 Common Passport Application Mistakes

Planning on traveling, but don't have a passport yet?

Applying for a passport can be frustrating. And what can stop you from getting a passport? One small mistake and your application can quickly be rejected. But that doesn't mean you should give up your dreams to travel to that exotic destination. There are many things you can do to avoid making mistakes while filling out passport applications.

And in this post, we'll go over seven of the most common passport errors/mistakes that can be the biggest passport denial reasons for the applicants when trying to get their passports. So you can skip the pitfalls and get your passport hassle-free.

Let's dive right in!

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How to Fill Out a Passport Application Correctly?

We all make mistakes - obviously. But we should be a little careful while filling out the necessary information for passport documents to save ourselves from any trouble. Here are some essential checks on how to fill out a passport application correctly. Let’s review these;

1. Passport Application Typos and Misspellings

One of the most common mistakes when filling out your passport application is having typos and misspellings. Since passport applications are commonly made online, it's easy to misspell something and not notice it.

An example of a common typo error is listing the wrong date of birth on the passport application as 1909 rather than 1990. Undoubtedly, this can be one of the most absolute passport denial reasons.

This is particularly common if you’re not used to typing your information or if you’re in a rush to complete your application.

THE FIX : Before submitting your application, make sure that you review the entire thing for any mistakes.

Also See: U.S. Passport Application Forms

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2.  Approved Passport Photo

Taking it from using your iPhone can result in a low-quality image.

Even if you use a professional camera, chances are you'll still make a mistake.

You can end up using the incorrect background-color. Or you can get your head size wrong. Too large or small head size in proportion to the background can cause your passport photo to be rejected.

This is also what can stop you from getting a passport. Unfortunately.

Also See: US Passport Photo

THE FIX : It's best to have someone take a photo of you that meets US Passport Photo Requirements in either a Photo App OR visit a local drugstore like a Walgreens Passport Photo or CVS Passport Photo Center near you.

3. Certified Copy of Birth Certificate

When applying for a new passport and filling out a passport application, you'll need to submit either a legal certified copy or the original copy of your birth certificate.

Photo or digital copies are not acceptable. Submitting one of these is one of the most common issues applicants make when applying for a passport.

It's also essential that you submit the long-form birth certificate. This type of birth certificate includes your parent's full names.

Remember, hospital certificates aren't birth certificates and will be rejected in your application.

THE FIX: Submit a certified copy of a long form birth certificate.  

4. Passport Application Payment Issues

You must submit your application fee in the proper amount and to the appropriate location.

Remember to use the proper payment method. These include checks, money orders, certified checks, or cashier's checks. Payments can't be submitted in cash or using a credit card or debit card.

For checks, make sure the check is not a starter check, has the applicants name pre-printed on the check and make sure to write your data of birth on the check.

Make sure that you write the payment to the correct name. All payments must be made to the "US Department of the State."

If you are using a check, remember to write the proper address on your check.

Finally, make sure you include the correct amount. The final price will depend on whether it's a new passport or a renewal.

THE FIX: Ensure payment is correct, by viewing our Passport Application Costs

5.  Applying For A Minor or Child Passport Mistakes

Passport applications for minors have special requirements.

First, the child, along with their parents, must be present. They also must fill out a DS-11 form when submitting their applications.

Parents must also submit legal documents to prove their parental relationship, typically in the form of a certified long form birth certificate. Parents also need to present photo identification. 

Finally, both parents must authorize the issuance of a child's passport.

You must also submit all the other standard documents and information for your child's application form.

Keep in mind that children's passports only last five years. You can't renew this type of passport, either.

6. Child Support Payments

If you owe anything over $2,500 in child support payments, you can see your passport application rejected due to this reason. It's best to make sure all your child support payments are up-to-date before you apply for a new passport.

7. Signature Errors on the Passport Application

When signing your forms, always use a red, blue, or black pen. Pens of any other color will likely be rejected. And this can also be another reason for the denial of passport.

Also, make sure you sign the correct name. Don't sign your nickname.

Your signature on your application should match the signature you provided on your government identification and prior passport. If your IDs don't match, this too can stop you from getting a passport.

Finally, if you have changed your signature style, you may need to sign with your original signature. Always match your signatures so that they are sure it's the same person.

THE FIX: Make sure you sign your application and also ensure the signature itself is like your drivers license and/or prior passport.

Applying on Your Own for Your Passport Application

Passport application complete

Make one mistake, and your application is rejected. Why deal with all the pressure when there are professionals that can help?

Rather than worrying about making a mistake on your application, let us help you with your passport application.

Our experts walk you through the process to ensure that a smooth, efficient, and successful application.

We'll look over your application and will be filling out this passport application correctly to ensure there are no mistakes before submitting it.

If there are mistakes, we will notify you and work with you to get them corrected and resubmitted as quickly as possible.

Why risk missing that big trip you've been planning for months? Check out our visa and passport services and get to your destination worry-free.

Conclusion on Common Passport Mistakes

  • Getting your passport can be daunting.
  • One mistake can delay it for weeks and cause you to miss your trip.
  • But you shouldn't let that discourage you from taking that trip of a lifetime.
  • By following the tips above, you should be able to get your passport error-free.
  • Don't waste any more time. Complete your application and start to take that fantastic trip you deserve.
About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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