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US Passports

A US Passport an internationally recognized travel document that verifies identity and nationality.  A passport is the best form of identification to use for travel overseas and to facilitate reentry into the United States.  A passport is also required to enter and leave most foreign countries.  Passengers of all ages, including newborns and infants, are required to have their own passport. 

It can take up to 8 weeks for your application to be processed, so plan accordingly.  Need it faster?  You can expedite your application for an additional fee.

How to Get a US Passport

1. Fill Out Form DS-11: Application For A US Passport.  Do not sign the application until instructed to do so by the Acceptance Agent.

2. Submit Completed Form DS-11 In Person.   You must submit the form in person at an Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency.  Many post offices, clerks of court, public libraries and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices can accept passport applications.

3. Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship.   Evidence of citizenship can include a previous US passport, a certified birth certificate issued by city, county, or state officials, a naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

4. Present Identification.  Acceptable identification can include a previous US passport, a naturalization certificate, a valid Driver’s License, a current government ID, or a current Military ID.

5. Submit a Photocopy of the Identification Document(s) Presented.  Make copies of the front and back of your ID on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.

6. Pay the Applicable Fee.

7. Provide One Passport Photo.  Many photo centers can take passport photos for a nominal fee.

Traveling for a Wedding or Honeymoon?

Make sure your passport and travel documents match.  You will not be able to change your name on your passport until you have copies of your marriage license, usually not available for weeks after your wedding.  When planning a destination wedding or honeymoon, make all reservations in your maiden name so your passport and travel documents match.  After you return, file the necessary paperwork to change your name on your US passport.

For more information, obtain forms, or find an Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency, visit travel.state.gov.