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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
1995 MARCH: APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT
BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has prepared this
publication to assist you in applying for your U.S. passport. This
guide will give you information on where to apply, how to apply, and the
best time to apply.
Other Than Passport Agencies, Where Can I Apply for a Passport?
You can apply for a passport at many Federal and state courts, probate
courts, and some post offices.
Over 2500 courts and 900 post offices in the United States accept
passport applications. Courts and post offices are usually more
convenient because they are near your home or your place of business.
You save time and money by not having to travel to one of the 13 major
U.S. cities where passport agencies are located.
When Do I Have to Apply in Person?
You must always apply in person if you are 13 or older, and if you do
not meet the requirements for applying by mail (see "May I Apply for a
Passport by Mail? ").
Usually, for children under 13, only a parent or legal guardian need
appear to execute a passport application.
What Do I Need to Do to Apply for a Passport at a Courthouse or Post
Go to a courthouse or post office authorized to accept passport
applications and complete the DSP-11 application form, but do not sign
it until instructed to do so.
You must present:
1. PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP
-- a previous U.S. passport, or
-- if you were born in the U.S., a certified copy of your birth
certificate issued by the state, city, or county of your birth (a
certified copy will have a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed, or
multicolored seal and the date the certificate was filed with the
If you have neither a passport nor a certified birth certificate...
- bring a notice from the registrar of the state where you were
born that no birth record exists;
- also, bring as many as possible of the following: a baptismal
certificate, hospital birth record, early census, school record, or
family Bible record. (To be considered, these documents must show your
full name and date and place of birth.);
- also, bring a notarized affidavit completed by an older blood
relative who has personal knowledge of your birth.
-- If you were born abroad, bring a Certificate of Naturalization,
Certificate of Citizenship, Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen, or
a Certification of Birth (Form FS-545 or DS-1350). If you do not have
these documents, check with the acceptance office agent for documents
that can be used in their place.
2. TWO PHOTOGRAPHS
-- The photos must be recent (taken within the past six months),
identical, 2x2 inches, and either color or black/white;
-- they must show a front view, full face, on a plain, light (white or
off-white) background. (Vending machine photographs are not
3. PROOF OF IDENTITY
-- a previous U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization or
Citizenship, a valid driver's license, government or military ID, or
-- $65 for a ten-year passport;
-- $40 for a five-year passport for persons under 18 (these amounts
include a $10 execution fee.)
Make your check or money order payable to Passport Services. Post
offices (and passport agencies) accept cash, but courts are not required
to do so. If you must have your passport within 10 days, you will need
to pay an additional $30 expidite fee and provide proof of the need for
this service (see "What If I Need a Pasport in a Hurry?").
5. SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
Although a Social Security number is not required for issuance of a
passport, Section 603E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 requires
passport applicants to provide this information. Passport Services will
provide this information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
routinely. Any applicant who fails to provide the information is
subject to a $500 penalty enforced by the IRS. All questions on this
matter should be referred to the nearest IRS office.
May I Apply for a Passport by Mail?
Yes, if you already have a passport and that passport is your most
recent one, and it was issued within the past 12 years, and if you were
over 18 years old at the time it was issued.
Ask the court, post office, or your travel agent for a DSP-82
"Application For Passport By Mail." Fill it out, sign it, and date it.
Attach to it:
-- your most recent passport;
-- two identical passport photographs (see previous section on passpor
-- and a $55 fee (and if applicable, a $30 expedite fee for emergency
service); make your check or money order payable to Passport Services.
(The $10 execution fee is waived for those eligible to apply by mail.)
If your name has been changed, enclose a certified copy of the Court
Order, Adoption Decree or Marriage Certificate, or Divorce Decree
specifying another name for you to use. (Photocopies will not be
accepted.) If your name has changed by any other means, you must apply
Mail the completed DSP-82 application and attachments to:
National Passport Center
P.O. Box 371971
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7971.
Your previous passport will be returned to you with your new passport.
If you need faster service, you can use an overnight delivery service.
If the service of your choice will not deliver to a post office box,
send it to:
Attn: Passport Supervisor 371971
3 Mellon Bank Center, Rm. 153-2723
Pittsburgh, PA 15259-0001.
Include the appropriate fee for overnight return of your passport.
Note: If the passport has been mutilated, altered or damaged in any
manner, you cannot apply by mail. You must apply in person and use Form
DSP-11, present evidence of U.S. citizenship, and acceptable
When Should I Apply for a Passport?
Apply for your passport several months in advance of your planned
departure. If you will need visas from foreign embassies, allow
What Happens to My Passport Application After I Submit It?
If you apply at a passport acceptance facility, the day you apply your
application will be forwarded to the passport agency that serves the
acceptance office, or, in the case of mail-in applications, they are
forwarded to the National Passport Center.
Applications are processed according to the departure date indicated on
the application form. If you give no departure date, the passport
agency will assume you are not planning any immediate travel. Your
passport will be returned to you by mail at the address you provided on
What Should I Do if My Passport Is Lost or Stolen?
If your passport is lost or stolen in the U.S., report the loss or theft
in writing to U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, 1111 19th
Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20522-1705, or to the
nearest passport agency. If you are abroad, report the loss immediately
to local police authorities and contact the nearest U.S. embassy or
What Else Should I Know About Passports?
All persons, including newborn infants, are required to obtain passports
in their own name.
If you need to get a valid passport amended because of a name change,
use Form DSP-19. (See "May I Apply for a Passport by Mail?" for the
Before traveling abroad, make a copy of the identification page to make
it easier to get a new one should it be necessary. It also a good idea
to carry two extra passport photos with you. If you require additional
visa pages before your passport expires, submit your passport with a
signed request for extra pages to one of the passport agencies listed on
the last page. (Please allow time for the processing of the request.)
If you travel abroad frequently, you may request a 48-page passport at
the time of application.
Some countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months
beyond the dates of your trip. If your passport is expiring in less
than the required validity, you will need to get a new one. Check with
the nearest embassy or consulate of the countries you plan to visit to
find out their entry requirements.
In addition to foreign entry requirements, U.S. law must also be
considered. With certain exceptions, it is against U.S. law to enter
or leave the country without a valid passport. Generally for tourists,
the exceptions refer to direct travel within U.S. territories or between
North, South, or Central America (except Cuba).
Note: If you mutilate or alter your U.S. passport, you may render it
invalid and expose yourself to possible prosecution under the law
(Section 1543 of Title 22 of the U.S. Code).
What If I Need a Passport in a Hurry?
If you are leaving on an emergency trip within five working days, apply
in person at the nearest passport agency and present your tickets or
travel itinerary from an airline, as well as the other required items.
Or, apply at a court or post office and have the application sent to the
passport agency through an overnight delivery service of your choice
(you should include a self-addressed, pre-paid envelope for the return
of the passport). Be sure to include your dates of departure, travel
plans on your application and all fees (including the $30 expedite fee).
Apply Early For Your Passport!
Boston Passport Agency
Thomas P. O'Neill Fed. Bldg.,
Rm. 247, 10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222-1094
Chicago Passport Agency
Kluczynski Federal Office Bldg.
230 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604-1564
Honolulu Passport Agency
First Hawaii Tower
1132 Bishop St., Suite 500
Honolulu, HI 96813-2809
Information: 808-522-8283 or 8286*
Houston Passport Agency
Mickey Leland Fed. Bldg.
1919 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77002-8049
Los Angeles Passport Agency
11000 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024-3615
Miami Passport Agency
3rd Floor, Claude Pepper
Federal Office Bldg.
51 Southwest First Avenue
Miami, FL 33130-1680
New Orleans Passport Agency
Postal Service Building
701 Loyola Ave., Rm T-12005
New Orleans, LA 70113-1931
504-589-6161 ext. 620
New York Passport Agency
Room 270, Rockefeller Center
630 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10111-0031
Philadelphia Passport Agency
U.S. Customs House
200 Chestnut St., Rm. 103
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2970
San Francisco Passport Agency
Tishman Speyer Bldg.
525 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2773
Information: 415-744-4444 or 4010*
Seattle Passport Agency
Room 992, Federal Office Bldg.
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174-1091
Stamford Passport Agency
One Landmark Square
Broad and Atlantic Streets
Stamford, CT 06901-2667
Washington Passport Agency
1111 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20522-1705
*This is a 24-hour information line that includes general passport
information, passport agency location, and hours of operation and
information regarding emergency passport services during non-working
If you are applying by mail, see the section "May I Apply for My
Passport by Mail?" for proper mailing addresses. If you have any
questions about an application that was mailed, write or call:
National Passport Center
31 Rochester Ave.
Portsmouth, NH 03801-2900
DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 10255
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Revised March 1995
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