How to Apply for a New Passport

First and foremost, a valid new passport book is a requirement for all U.S. citizens who travel internationally. If you travel by land or sea, you can use a passport card. This passport is the size of a driver’s license or state ID. The passport card is NOT valid for travel by air.

The passport book is the best passport to have since it is valid for all types of travel: land, sea, or air. Also, the U.S. Department of State recommends holding the passport book AND the passport card.

Traveling Soon? Get your First-Time Passport Expedited in 24 Hours

New Passport Applicant Eligibility

To apply for a U.S. Passport for the first time, you must be a U.S. citizen and:

    • Above 16 years old and have never had a U.S. Passport before.
      OR
    • Under 16 years old when most recent passport was issued.
      OR
    • Have not received a U.S. Passport in more than 15 years.

New Passport Processing Options

Generally, there are 3 options to secure your new passport.

  1. Traditional processing through the Post Office in 4-6 weeks.
  2. Make an appointment (mandatory) and visit a regional passport agency within 2 weeks of travel OR 30 days, if a visa is needed.
  3. Expedited Service through a U.S. State Department-registered service. This process takes 2 weeks or less.

To order an expedited new passport:

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport.
  • You are under 16 years old.
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under 16 years old.
  • It was lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago.
  • You changed your name since your U.S. passport issuance, and you are unable to legally document your name change.

Applying for a New US Passport

Routine processing generally takes 4-6 weeks. Additionally, expedited services can get your passport as quickly as 2 weeks or sooner. For specific details on passport processing times, please see Passport Processing Times Explained and Expedited Passport Service.

Refer to the appropriate section below for your instructions on how to obtain a US passport.

First-Time Applicants (Adults)

To obtain a new passport for the first time as an adult. You must apply in person at a passport acceptance facility and submit:

  • A completed Application for a U.S. Passport (Form DS-11).
  • One (1) Proof of Citizenship document (and a photocopy), such as:
    • Fully valid, undamaged US passport.
    • US birth certificate (specific requirements apply).
    • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • One (1) Proof of Identity document (and a photocopy), such as:
    • Fully valid, undamaged US passport (expired is okay).
    • Fully valid US driver’s license.
      • If you present an out-of-state ID, you must present an additional ID.
    • US military ID.
    • Valid foreign passport.
  • One 2″ by 2″ color passport photo.

First-Time Applicants (16 to 17 years old)

You must apply for your new passport in person at a passport acceptance facility or regional passport agency if you’re between 16 years old and 17 years old. You’ll need:

  • A completed Application for a U.S. Passport (Form DS-11).
  • One (1) Proof of Citizenship document (and a photocopy), such as:
    • Fully valid, undamaged US passport.
    • US birth certificate (specific requirements apply).
    • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Proof of parental awareness:
    • You may apply for a passport by yourself if you have your own ID document. However, the U.S. Department of State suggests appearing with a parent to show parental awareness.
    • Otherwise, you may bring a signed statement from at least one (1) parent and a photocopy of the parent’s ID document.
  • One (1) Proof of Identity document (and a photocopy), such as:
    • Fully valid, undamaged US passport (expired is okay).
    • Fully valid US driver’s license.
      • If you present an out-of-state ID, you must present an additional ID.
    • US military ID.
    • Valid foreign passport.
  • One 2″ by 2″ color passport photo.

NOTES:

  • Notably, your passport will have a validity of 10 years.
  • Firstly, your parent or guardian must be present at the passport acceptance facility. However, if your parent or guardian is unavailable, you must provide a signed letter of passport parental consent must along with a photocopy of the parent’s passport or driver’s license.
  • Lastly, if you do not have a driver’s license or state ID, you must bring a parent/guardian to the passport acceptance facility to prove your identity.

First-Time Applicants (Under 16 years old)

NOTE: Your passport will have a validity of 5 years.

If you’re under 16 years old, you must apply for a new passport in person at a passport acceptance facility. You’ll need to submit:

Passport Photo Creator mobile app download

Applying for a Passport Outside of the U.S.

To apply for a US passport while outside the United States, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate near you for instructions and forms.

US Passport Renewals

You may renew a passport by mail or in person at a regional passport agency.

For specific details about renewing your passport, see US Passport Renewals.

Changing a Name or Passport Error

You will need to submit an Application for a U.S. Passport | Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement (Form DS-5504) by mail or in person for all of the following items:

  • Changing a name within a year.
  • Correcting a passport error.
  • Replacing a Limited Validity Passport within 1 or 2 years.

For detailed instructions on name changes and printing errors, please see U.S. Passport Name Change.

Passport Fees & Payment Methods

NOTE: Please see Fees for Your U.S. Passport for specific details on fees and payment methods.

Important to realize, passport fees will depend on a number of factors, including age, location and application type.

Adult (16 years old and older)

  • New U.S. Passport Book: $110
  • New Passport Card: $30

Child (under 16 years old)

  • New U.S. Passport Book: $80
  • New Passport Card: $15

Additional Fees

  • Execution Fee: $25
  • Expedited Service: Add $60
  • Name Change: $0-$165
  • Data Error: $0
  • Overnight Delivery Service: $15.45
  • File Search: $150

For more details on expedited passports, see Expedited Passport Service.

Frequently Asked Questions: New Passports

Q: What is a new passport?

A: Your U.S. passport is issued by the U.S. Department of State and gives you the ability to travel international via plane, sea, and land.

Q: How long is it valid for?

A: A new passport for an adult (16 years old and older) is valid for 10 years from the date of issuance and must have 6 months of validity prior to travel date.

Additional Information

As can be seen, the Application for a U.S. Passport can be confusing and overwhelming. Passports Online is a helpful resource to guide you through each step of the process. Please contact our Passport Help Desk for support with your passport application.

 

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