How do I Apply for a US Passport
Got a trip coming up out of the country and discover your passport is expired or maybe you need a new passport? So, exactly how do I apply for a US passport? How do I get a passport fast? What are the US passport form and requirements? We have you covered with all of these passport services. We've been expediting US passports for 25 years and can guide you through the process of applying for a passport and diffferent options to get a passport fast.
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Passport Services have two different general ways of obtaining a US passport based on your age and whether you have had an adult passport before.
How Do I Apply for a Passport Renewal?
Staring with an adult US Passport Renewal. If you are over the age of 18 and you can answer the following, then you are eligible to renew anadult passport:
- Your US passport is in your possession and you can submit it as part of your passport application.
- Your passport is not damaged other than typical wear and tear. Pay particular attention to the passport information page on this.
- This passport was issued after the age of 16.
- The passport was issued within the past 15 years.
- The passport was issued in your current name OR you can provide documentation on your name change.
If you meet the above five conditions, then you are eligible to RENEW your US passport. The application requirements for a passport renewal are as follows:
- First you will need to fill out and sign the Passport Renewal Application, This application is known as a DS82 and can be completed by hand or online. Either way, you need to print it out and sign it prior to submitting your passport renewal application.
- You'll need to surrender your current US Passport.
- You need to obtain 2 new US passport photos that meet the passport photo requirements. These passport photos have to meet specific requirements including being 2x2, on a white background,, clear and they should have been taken in the past 6 months.
- You'll need to make a payment to the US Department of State for either $130 or $190 for a passport book. Check here for passport renewal fees
- ** If you are using us to expedite your US passport, we will need proof of departure and a letter of authorization.
So, you've gathered the 4 passport renewal items, then you are ready to submit your passport renewal application To apply for a US Passport renewal you have a few options:
- For a passport renewal, you can mail in your application directly via USPS to a PO Box in Philadephia for routine processing. This process typically takes 8 to 10 weeks. Keep in mind that thes timelines are seasonal.
- You can schedule an appointment at a Post Office and they will accept your renewal application and submit to their regional passport office. This can take up to 8 to 10 weeks as well. The advantage here is a passport acceptance agent has taken a peek at your application prior to submitting.
- Make an appointment at a Passport Agency near you and apply in person at a US Passport Agency.
- You can enlist the services of a trusted passport expeditor like Passports and Visas.com. This typically means sending your documents in or appearing at a local Passports and Visas.com office.
How Do I Apply for a New Passport?
If you are not eligible to obtain a passport renewal, then you need to apply for a new US passport. This applies to minor/children applications, lost passports, damaged passports and first time passport holders. The new passport application requirements are as follows:
- You'll need to provide proof of US citizenship. This typically is in the form of a certified birth certifcate or naturalization certificate.
- You'll need to have a valid Drivers License that was issued more than 6 months ago.
- You'll need to fill out a DS-11 New Passport Application. Do not sign this until your appointment at a Passport Acceptance Facility
- You need to obtain 2 new US passport photos that meet the passport photo requirements. These photos should have been taken in the past 6 months.
- You'll need to make a payment to the US Department of State for either $130 or $190 for a passport book. Review the passport fees
Once you have gathered the passport application documents, then the applicant needs to make an appointment at a local Passport Acceptance Facility, which is typically a local post office.
If the applicant is over 18, they can apply on their own. If they are under 16 years of age, then both parents need to go with the applicant. Between those two, only one parent needs to go and give permission.
How Do I apply for an Expedited Passport?
- For routine processing, you would apply at the Post office and then the process takes roughly 10-12 weeks for the passport to process at the Regional Passport Agency.
- You can make an appointment at a Passport Agency near you and this process requires you to appear in person at the Passport Agency.
- You can enlist the services of a trusted passport expeditor like our services. This means, once you have completed the process at the local passport acceptance facility, you notify them that you are using a private service and they will return your passport application back to you in the form of a sealed envelope. At that point, you typically send your documents in or appearing at a local office of the private passport company. The vast majority of our clients send in their documents via an overnight service such as Fedex, etc. We guide you through the process and review the applicaiton prior to submission.
Once the new passport is processed, the result will be a your new US passport in the mail back in your hands and you are ready for your trip!
Expediting Your Passport Application with a Private Passport Courier Service
Utilizing this method you get personalized service in expediting your passport and more convenience in obtaining your US passport fast.
Pros to Expediting with a Passport Service
- Fast Processing times on par with an appointment at a Passport Agency, and at times same day /24 hour processing is available.
- With a passport expediting company, your application is reviewed and managed by trained passport specialists. We catch any errors prior to submissions and if there are problems during the application process we deal directly with the Passport Agency to resolve as soon as possible. If there’s anything wrong, you’ll get a phone call instead of a letter in the mail.
- Peace of mind – If you have a trip planned in the near future, waiting for your passport can be extremely stressful, especially as your departure date draws near. Save yourself the trouble by using an expediting company to submit your application!