U S Passport Application Details

by garrett on February 4, 2012

A passport book or card is needed whenever you travel to other countries and the pass port application can be downloaded online. The State Department’s DS 11 form needs to be completed when applying for a book or card for the first time. Getting a book or card is a process that can take a few weeks to complete.


Complete the form by listing your name, mailing and permanent address, sex, place of birth and birth date. You will also need to state your social security number, marital status and other personal information. Providing your parents’ names, birth dates, and places of birth is also required. Review the completed form to make sure all of the information is correct.

Verifying Documents

The agency processing the form needs to review certain documents to confirm your identity. Gather documents that verify your citizenship. Acceptable documents include a certified birth certificate, school records, hospital records or a previously issued passport. Individuals who aren’t citizens can submit either a certificate of naturalization or a certificate of citizenship. Expired or current passports and birth reports from the country of birth are also sufficient.


Proof of identity needs to be shown. A driver’s license, a military identification card or government employee identification are verifiable forms of documentation. An old or current passport is also acceptable. Non-U. S. Citizens can provide a naturalization certificate or a citizenship certificate. A person you have known for two or more years can also be used to verify your identity. The person needs to have proof of his identity and sign an affidavit at the agency or facility. By signing the affidavit the person attests under oath that he knows who you are.


An applicant needs to get a color photograph of his face that was taken within the past six months. The photograph has to be a full view of the face. The picture should be 2 x 2 inches. There can be nothing in the picture that obscures the view of the face. If the picture does not meet the State Department’s regulations it cannot be used. Certain accessories can be included in the picture but only if they are worn on a regular basis due to medical or religious reasons.


The fees for first time applicants vary depending on whether you want a book, card or both a book and card. The card lists the same information as the book regarding your physical description, identity, and citizenship. The card is more limited since it is only valid when traveling to certain countries such as Mexico, Canada, and Caribbean territories. The fees cover the expense of processing and executing the book or card. Personal checks, certified checks and money orders are acceptable forms of payment. Any checks or money orders should be issued to the Department of State. Major credit cards can also be used for payment.


When you are within the country, the forms and supplemental documents can be processed at a expedited pass port agency, acceptance facility or at certain post offices. When you are in a foreign country, the documents need to be submitted to the U. S. Consulate or embassy. The representative at the facility will look over your application and the documents you provided. The representative can also assist you if you have any questions regarding the process. If you need to receive the book or card within a short period of time, set up an appointment at an agency that can facilitate your request.

It may take four to six weeks for a American passport application to be processed. Expedited service can take two to three weeks or even less for an expedited United States passport. Submit the form to the processing agency or facility as soon as possible so that there is enough time to receive the book or card prior to the planned travel time. Being prepared and informed prior to submitting all of your materials is the best way to prevent any delays that could tamper your travel plans.

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