How to Apply for the First Time (In Person)
|YOU MUST APPLY IN PERSON IF:|
Before You Start, Please Note:
- Special Requirements for All Minors Under Age 16
- Special Requirements for All Minors Ages 16 & 17
- Special Requirements for Diplomatic, Official, & Regular No-Fee Passports
Read and understand Steps 1-5 before leaving this page.
STEP 1: Complete and Submit Form DS-11: Application For A U.S. Passport
Complete Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport. To submit Form DS-11, you:
STEP 2: Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
When applying for a U.S. passport in person, evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.
|Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):|
*A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrarâ€™s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.
NOTE: If you do not have primary evidence of U.S. citizenship or your U.S. birth certificate does not meet the requirements, please see Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship.
STEP 3: Present Identification
When applying for a U.S. passport in person, acceptable identification must be presented at the time of application.
|Primary Identification (One of the following):|
- If you cannot submit primary identification, please see Secondary Identification.
- If you apply at an Acceptance Facility and submit out-of-state primary identification, you must present an additional ID document, as well. For example, if you apply in Maryland with a Virginia Driver's License, you must present additional ID.
STEP 4: Submit a Photocopy of the Identification Document Presented (STEP 3)
The photocopy must be of the ID document that you will present when you apply.
- Photocopy must be on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper stock, showing the front and the back of your ID
- Photocopy must contain images on only one-side of each page submitted.
- If copies cannot be made on the same side of one page, you may present two separate pages; one displaying the front of the ID and the second displaying the back of the ID.
- The paper should be free of other images and/or markings.
- The 8 1/2 x 11" paper size cannot be substituted with a larger or smaller size paper, even if the alternative folds down to the 8 1/2 x 11" size.
- You may enlarge the image of your ID on the 8 1/2 x 11" page, but you may not decrease the size of the image.
Other situations that require a photocopy of identification, but are less common, include:
- If you are presenting Secondary Identification, you must provide a photocopy each document being presented with your application.
- If you submit out-of-state primary identification, you must provide a photocopy of each additional identification document submitted with the primary ID.
- An assistant to a disable applicant who witnesses the signature or signs on the disabled customer's behalf must present a photocopy of his or her ID
- A person acting as an Identifying Witness must present a photocopy of his or her ID
STEP 5: Pay the Applicable Fee
Please see Current Passport Fees and methods of payment.
STEP 6: Provide Two Passport Photos
We can help you submit clear and correctly exposed passport photos the first time - especially when applying for the U.S. Passport Card. See Quality Requirements for Passport Book & Passport Card Photographs to avoid photo processing delays.
Your Photographs Must Be:
- In color
- 2 x 2 inches in size
- Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
- Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
- Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- Taken in normal street attire:
- Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily
- Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline
- If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture
- Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)
- Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable
- See Digitized Passport Photos for information on acceptable digital photos
- Professional photographers see Guidelines for Producing High Quality Photographs for U.S. Travel Documents
NEED A U.S. PASSPORT IMMEDIATELY?
You should make an appointment to be seen at a Regional Passport Agency only if:
- The U.S. passport is needed in less than 2 weeks for international travel
- The U.S. passport is needed within 4 weeks to obtain a foreign visa
Contact the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment or locate a Passport Agency.