Read for your answer to, “Which Passport Do I Need?”
Applying for a U.S. passport is an important part of life, travel, and U.S. citizenship. Important to realize, there are many different types of passports.
If you’re asking, “Which passport do I need?” now, continue reading this post as it will help you identify which passport application you must submit.
Which Passport Do I Need?
Do you Have Travel Plans?
If you do not have travel plans anytime soon (i.e., within the next month), then you must apply at a local passport acceptance facility for routine processing of 4 to 6 weeks. Please see Passport Processing Times Explanation for more info.
If you plan to travel within the next month, then you may be eligible for the expedited passport service. To qualify for expedited passport processing, you must have confirmed travel plans (e.g., flight itinerary, e-tickets, or an official business letter).
If you are 16 years old and older, you will need to apply for a new adult passport, even if you had a passport as a minor (15 years old and younger). Also, you can expedite your adult passport if you have confirmed travel plans within the next 2 weeks (or 4 weeks if the country requires a visa).
See our New Adult Passport Checklist.
Adult Passport Renewal
The only passport type that does not require proof of travel plans is an adult passport renewal. In short, the U.S. Department of State will issue an adult passport after you turn 16 years old. To renew an adult passport, it must be valid (not lost, stolen, or damaged) and less than 5 years expired.
If you need your passport renewal even faster, you can apply for an expedited passport renewal.
See Passport Renewal Checklist for the required documents.
Child Minor Passports
If you are 15 years old or younger, then you MUST apply for a new minor (child) passport. In other words, the U.S. Department of State does not process minor passport renewals.
Each time (every 5 years), you must submit a new passport application (until you turn 16 years old). Then, you can apply as a new first-time adult passport.
NOTE: You can expedite a minor passport if you have confirmed travel plans within the next 2 weeks (or 4 weeks if your destination country requires a visa.) See Child Passport Checklist to get more details on the required documents.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Passports
You may also expedite the passport application for a lost, stolen or damaged passport, if you have confirmed travel plans within the next 2 weeks (or 4 weeks if you need a visa).
Name Change Passport
If your passport is less than 1 year old, you can submit a name change passport application. If your passport is more than 1 year old, you will need to process a passport renewal.
See Name Change for further details.
Second Duplicate Passport
You may only apply for a Second Duplicate Passport if you currently have your passport in your possession. In this case, you can send in your current passport to get a temporary 1 year duplicate passport. This is a unique scenario, as you need to apply for a visa, you plan to travel on the same trip, and you need a second passport.
You may apply for a second duplicate passport when visiting two countries in conflict with one another. Having a visa or stamp in your passport from both countries could cause issues.
Add Visa Pages
If you want to add additional visa passport pages, you can apply for expedited passport service (but only if you have confirmed proof of travel plans).
In other words, you can submit your passport for a renewal and request a 52-page book at no additional charge if your passport is close to expiring anyway.
Please feel free to get in touch with us via the chat box at the bottom right, or contact us by phone or email directly. We’d love to help you get your U.S. passport fast!
If you did not find an answer to “Which Passport Do I Need,” you may also submit an inquiry via our Passport Help Desk.