If you travel outside of the country, you will need to obtain a passport. There are certain steps that you have to go through before you can get this form of ID.

In this article you will learn what you have to do to get your passport.

  1. Get your Documents Together

  • You will first need to make a point of getting together all of the necessary documents.
  • This includes your birth certificate, previous passport, driver’s license, or some other form of photo identification.
  • If you don’t have your original birth certificate, you can get one from the city hall where you were born.
  1. Fill out the DS-11 Form

  • Next you will need to get a copy of the DS-11 form, which is specifically for passport applicants.
  • You can also go online and print out a copy of this form. It has to be filled out in full, and it’s important to read all of the instructions on the third page.
  1. Find a Post Office or Passport Agency

  • Most post offices in the U.S. will accept DS-11 passport applications.
  • You can go onto the official USPS website to find the closest location. There are also passport agencies across the country where you can go to apply for a passport or renew one.
  • If you aren’t sure if a certain post office in your area offers passport processing, you can always call them up before heading there.
  1. Get your Passport Photo

  • You can obtain your passport photo from most U.S. post offices as well as passport agencies.
  • There are other places like CVS and Walgreens that do passport photos, but they aren’t always reliable. Make sure that you have carefully read through all of the requirements for these photos.
  • You must have a neutral expression in the photo and nothing on your head like a hat.
  • The background also must be a certain shade of blue. It is best to get your picture taken at a designated passport application center so you aren’t taking any chances.
  1. Choose the Right Processing Option

  • There are going to be numerous processing options available when you are filling out passport application.
  • This entire process can take up to two months. If you need your passport sooner, you can choose a faster processing option.
  • Keep in mind that you will end up having to pay more for expedited processing, but it could be worth it.
  1. Find out How Much you Will Owe

  • The total amount that you pay for a passport will depend on a couple different factors, including the processing option you have selected.
  • It will also depend on whether you are getting a brand new passport or renewing an old one. You can expect to pay anywhere from $110 to $220.
  • Make sure that you have the money on hand before going to a post office or passport agency to turn in your application. You will most likely be able to submit payment in the form of cash or any major credit/debit card.
  1. Turn in your Application

The final step is going to a passport agency or post office in your area to turn in your  and pay all of the required fees. This is something that you must do in person.


  • If you have legally changed your name since obtaining a passport, you will have to apply in person for a new one. The same applies if you have lost your passport or it was stolen.
  • If you are applying for a passport for your child, you will have to bring their original birth certificate and a copy of your photo ID. Both parents of the child are required to submit their signatures when filing an application for a passport.
  • Make sure that you take the time to fill out your passport application in full. Do not leave any field blank. Double check your application to make sure that all of the information on it is completely accurate and up to date. If it is not, your application could be denied and you will have to file again.
  • It is a good idea to file an application to renew your passport nine months prior to the expiration date.
  • If you are going to travel out of the country, you should keep your passport on your person at all times. You will most likely have to show it to someone before boarding the plan and when you arrive at your destination. Keep it somewhere safe so it doesn’t get lost or stolen.
  • Always have a copy of your passport somewhere in your house or stored online. This will make it a lot easier to obtain a temporary passport if you lose yours.


  • There are some countries that will require your passport to be valid six months after you have departed back to the U.S. You should double check just to make sure.

What is the quickest way to get a US passport?

If you need to get a passport quickly, you will need to have your passport renewal expedited and pay additional fees. There are two options for getting an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency: Use the online passport appointment system OR. Call 1-877-487-2778; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793.

How do I apply for a US passport for the first time?

FirstTime Passports
  1. Step 1: Gather Documents Early.
  2. Step 2: Prepare Your Application Package.
  3. Step 3: Schedule an Appointment.
  4. Step 3: Find a Post Office with Passport Services.
  5. Step 4: Pay Passport Acceptance & Processing Fees.
  6. Step 4: Pay Passport Acceptance & Processing Fees.

Is it hard to get a US passport?

Obtaining a U.S. passport isn’t a difficult process, but the rules set forth by the Department of State are particular and inflexible. The approval process can take up to six weeks, which can make it even more frustrating when a passport is denied.

How long does it take to get US passport?

Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 18-week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.

What color shirt to wear for passport photo?

Wear a Color Other Than White

Your passport photo must have a plain white background, so if you wear a white shirt, it may blend into the background and leave you looking like a floating head.

How much does it cost to get a US passport for the first time?

I’m an adult (16 and older) and I’m applying for the first time
Product Form Application Fee
Passport Book DS-11 $110
Passport Card DS-11 $30
Passport Book & Card DS-11 $140

Do I need my Social Security card to get my passport?

You must have several documents to prove your identity, and one of those is a United States Social Security card. You must provide Social Security number in order to apply for your US passport. If you don’t have you Social Security Card, you should order a replacement card for when you apply for your passport.

How much does a US passport cost 2019?

New Passport (for adults age 16 and older): For a new adult passport book: $110 application fee and a $35 execution fee. The new total fee is $145. Passport Cards (for adults age 16 and older): The application fee is $30 and the execution fee is $35.

Is a Social Security card a proof of citizenship?

If it is not possible to provide the required birth certificate, then an applicant must submit several forms of secondary evidence. A social security card is not considered adequate proof of citizenship. It is a statement made by a person that knows details of the applicant’s birth.

What qualifies as proof of citizenship?

You are a U.S. citizen if you have a: Birth certificate showing birth in the United States; Form N-550, Certificate of Naturalization; Valid unexpired U.S. passport.

Is a driver’s license proof of US citizenship?

The following must be accepted as sufficient documentary evidence of citizenship: (4) A valid State-issued driver’s license if the State issuing the license requires proof of U.S. citizenship, or obtains and verifies a SSN from the applicant who is a citizen before issuing such license.

Can a non citizen get a US passport?

Passports are only issued to applicants who possess U.S. citizenship or are noncitizen nationals. U.S. citizenship must be proved in order to get a United States passport unless the person is a noncitizen national.

What documents are needed to get a US passport?

2. Provide Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
  • Fully-valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
  • U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements: Issued by the city, county, or state of birth.
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth.
  • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Certificate of Citizenship.

Can you be asked for proof of citizenship?

How can I get proof of citizenship? If you were born in California, the county may be able to get your birth record. (A birth record is proof of citizenship.) Fill out a Request for California Birth Record to ask the county to request your birth record.

What documents do I need to apply for citizenship?

Copy of your passport showing departure and arrival stamps. Copies of income tax returns (or transcripts) for the past 5 filing years (or past 3 filing years if applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen) Rent or mortgage payment receipts. Bank, credit card, and loan statements showing regular transactions.

Can you enter the US with a birth certificate?

U.S. citizens under age 16 may present a birth certificate or alternative proof of citizenship when entering by land or sea. All travelers must have a passport book for international air travel. Please note that hospital-issued birth certificates, voter registration cards, and affidavits cannot be used.

Where is the citizenship number on a US passport?

The Certificate of Naturalization number is generally an 8-digit alpha numeric number located in the top right section of the document. The certificate number, also known as a C-file number, is printed in red on all certificates issued since September 27, 1906.