How to Sign Your Passport Book

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All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport to enter and exit the country. If you are planning to travel overseas and you want to travel by plane, you will need a passport book. If you only plan to travel by land or sea, you may consider a passport card. The passport card is only valid for land and sea travel, so we usually recommend the passport book. In order for your passport book to be considered valid, you must sign the signature section. Click here for the full passport validity checklist page.

Should I sign my full name on my passport?

Yes and No. The U.S. Department of State website does not have explicit instructions on passport signature instructions. However, since we have over ten years passport expediting experience, we have come across nearly every passport crisis and situation. 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 their passport book. Open your passport to the page opposite your photo page. There is a line indicating where you should sign: “Signature of bearer.”

Using a non-ballpoint pen, sign your passport using your typical signature. This signature should be your common signature, which is the same way you would sign a check or a credit card receipt. Be sure to wait for the ink to dry before closing your passport in order to prevent smearing the ink.

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What if I make an error in my passport signature?

Your signature should 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 just messed up your own signature on your passport. If you make an error with your passport signature, you have three options.

Option Number One: Simply leave it. Depending on how bad the passport 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 Number Two: Strike a line through the incorrect signature. If the passport signature error is significant enough, you may want to do option number two. Strike a single line though the incorrect signature and sign the correction above it. Keep in mind that a passport that appears altered will attract additional attention. While there is no set standard procedure for passport signature errors, you may encounter a border agent of another country who is not as flexible and understanding as you may want. Your passport may be denied for any number of reasons, so your best option may be to replace it.

Option Number Three: Replace the passport. You will incur you the replacement fees for a damaged passport replacement. Routine passport processing is 4-6 weeks but expedited services can secure your passport in two weeks or less.

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Who signs for the child passport?

The child minor passport is signed by the applicant 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 and sign his or her (the parent or guardian’s) own name in the space provided for the signature. The parent or legal guardian must also write their 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

Now that you’ve signed the passport and made the passport book valid, open to page seven. Write your address under “Bearer’s Address.” If you lose your passport now, people know how to contact you or return the item. If you have an address you are staying at when abroad for an extended period of time, write it under “Bearer’s Foreign Address.” This is useful as a student studying abroad and living with a family for several months. Be sure to write all of this information with a pencil. Your passport is valid for ten years (minor passports are only valid for five). If your address or emergency contact changes, be sure to update it accordingly. Fill out the emergency contact information on the bottom of page seven. Write your contact’s name next to “Name.” Their address should go next to “Address,” and their phone number next to “Phone Number.”Again, all of this should be written in pencil.

 

Acceptable Passport Photos

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 3.21.17 PMIf you need to renew your passport, make sure you have acceptable passport photos. This is one of the most common delays for passport processing.


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