How to Sign Your Passport Book

On this page, you’ll learn how to sign your passport book.

How to Sign Your Passport Book

All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to enter and exit the country.

To validate your passport book, you must sign the signature section.

NOTE: If you plan to travel overseas and you want to travel by plane, you need a passport book. Since the passport card is only valid for land and sea travel, we recommend the passport book.

How to Sign Your Passport Book

The U.S. Department of State website does not have explicit instructions on passport signatures. However, the most common error with passport signatures is simply not signing the passport. A U.S. Passport is only valid once the applicant receives and signs his or her passport book.

Be sure to open your passport to the page opposite your photo page, and sign on the line, “Signature of bearer” with a non-ballpoint pen.

This signature should be your common signature, which is the same way you would sign a check or a credit card receipt. Importantly, wait for the ink to dry before closing your passport in order to prevent smearing the ink.

passport book signature

What if I make an error in my passport signature?

Your signature must be as accurate to your common signature as possible.

However, mistakes happen. Perhaps your pen ran out of ink halfway through the signature or maybe you improperly signed your passport. If you make an error with your passport signature, you have 3 options.

Option #1 Simply leave it alone. Depending on how bad of a signature error, you may be able to simply leave it. You may attract unnecessary attention to your passport by attempting to correct a mistake. If the mistake is minor, this option may be your best bet.

Option #2: Strike a line through the incorrect signature. If the signature error is significant, you may want to select option #3. Strike a single line though the incorrect signature and sign the correction above it.

Option #3: In any event, you can replace your passport. There will be replacement fees for a damaged passport replacement. Notably, routine passport processing is 4-6 weeks but expedited services can secure your passport in 2 weeks or less.

NOTE: Your passport will draw attention if it appears altered. While there is no set standard procedure for passport signature errors, you may encounter a border agent in another country who is not as flexible and understanding as you may want. He or she may deny your passport for any number of reasons. In this case, your best option may be to replace it.


Who signs for the child passport?

Of course, child applicants may sign the child minor passport if they are old enough to write their own name.

If the child (minor) is too young, the parent or legal guardian must print the child’s name, sign his or her own name in the signature field, and also write his or her relationship to the child in parenthesis next to the signature. Please write clearly and legibly.

How to Sign Your Passport Book and Contact Info Page

Next, now that you’ve signed the passport and made the passport book valid, open to page 7. Write your address under “Bearer’s Address.”

  • If you lose your passport now, people may contact you or return it.
  • If you are staying at an address when abroad for an extended period of time, write it under “Bearer’s Foreign Address.”

Be sure to write all of this information with a pencil. Also, your passport is valid for 10 years (minor passports are only valid for 5 years).

Changes in Emergency Contact Details

If your address or emergency contact changes, be sure to update it by:

  • Filling out emergency contact information at the bottom of page 7.
  • Writing your contact’s name next to “Name.”
    • His or her address should go next to “Address,” and their phone number next to “Phone Number.”

To repeat, all of this should be written in pencil.

Acceptable Passport Photos

passport photoIf you need to renew your passport, make sure you have acceptable passport photos. This is one of the most common delays for U.S. passport processing.

Lastly, for additional assistance on How to Sign Your Passport Book, please contact our help desk.

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