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How to Apply for a US Passport Application

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In the United States, US Passport is one of the important document while you are travelling as it is the only recognised travel document which is crucial that authorises your travel as well as helps to maintain your identity. So if you are a citizen of United States and planning a trip with your family or friends and want to know how to apply for a Passport then your search is over.

Here you will get all the details related DS-11 US Passport Application Form, documents required and stepwise guide for how to fill DS-11 US Passport Application Form.  Travelling is one of thing that brings happiness and joys to anyone’s life as it allows you to have new experiences, memories, breaking routines and allows you to meet new people from all over the world. So get ready to explore the world.

How to Apply and get a US Passport: DO YOU NEED ONE

All the US citizens travelling to various parts of the world outside the United States need to have the passport. Also, the children regardless of the age, including the newborns as well as infants, must have their own passport so that to travel across the world and come back to the United States. And getting a new passport in the US is quite tough and challenging task which you cannot achieve without proper guidance or help. I will suggest you follow the steps and guidance given here in this article for filling the US Passport Application form. So here we providing you all the details of the US passport application form for adults as well as for children and documents that are required to fill the passport application form and some other important details that you should be aware of if you are going to fill the US passport application form. Getting your passport can result in one of the tedious tasks and can be full of challenges if you don’t know all the details and procedures. So I will suggest you follow the given steps below as it will be very much helpful for you.

There are basically only 3 steps to apply for the US Passport and get your passport in your hand. The steps are listed  as below:

  1. Gather all the documents
  2. Fill the DS-11 US Passport Application Form
  3. Mail the application form with required documents.

First of all the things you should keep in mind before filling up the application form are given below:

Things to keep in mind before filling US Application Form

You must apply for the US passport if you qualify for the below-given criteria.

  • This is your first attempt to apply for the US passport or
  • You are under the age of 16 or
  • Your previous US passport was issued to you when you were under the age of 16 or
  • Your previous issued passport was stolen, lost or damaged or
  • The time when US passport was issued to you is more than 15 years ago or
  • Your name has been changed now you are unable to provide the documents to legally change the name in passport.

Also, there are some of the special rules for all the minors who are under the age of 16 that are mentioned below.

  1. Gather All the US Passport Documents

US Passport Requirements

Before filling of the US passport application from you must be aware of the document that is required to be attached while submitting the application form. And if you will miss out any of these documents then your application will get cancelled and after which it will become a bit difficult for you to again get the date for US passport.  So before filling the form gather all the below-given documents.

  1. Proof of US Citizenship

Along with the form, you also need to provide a proof of US Citizenship. If you know about the documents that authorised as the proof of the citizenship in the US then it is excellent and if you are not aware then no need to worry. Below is the list of the documents that proves US citizenship, so you need to provide any of the below documents.

  • A certified US birth certificate issued by the city, county or state. You should original as well as the photocopy of the document as the only photocopy will not be accepted. It must include your full name, date and place of birth, sex, date of birth.
  • Records of the birth abroad
  • Naturalizations certificate
  • Or a certification of citizenship


Applicants who are born outside the United States can submit a previous US passport, certificate of naturalisation, certificate of citizenship or consular report of birth abroad.

  1. Proof of Identity

The second document that you need to have while filling the form is Identity proof. As United States has its strong security and requires identity proof from everyone while applying for the US passports. Below is the given list that can be given as the identity proof. Have a look.


  • Previous Passport (If a passport is already issued it you then you can bring that but make sure altered or any damaged passports won’t work)
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Certificate of citizenship
  • Current valid Driver’s license
  • Current valid Government ID, City, state or federal
  • Current valid Military ID for military and dependents
  1. Colour Photograph

An acceptable passport photo in the application for a US Passport goes through the below-given requirements. So make sure that the photos you are going to use for the US passport application from meet the following standards.

  • The photo must be in colour and should be printed on the matte or glossy high-quality photo paper.
  • The dimension of the should be 2 inches x 2 inches.
  • Your head in the photograph should be between 1 inch and 1 and 3/8 inches in the length. These dimensions should be strictly followed in the photographs that you submit the application form.
  • The photograph should be a recent one or should be taken within max. 6 months duration.
  • The background of the photograph should be plain white or off-white.
  • The expression in the photograph should be neutral and both the eyes should be open.
  • Make sure that you wear civilian clothes and make sure nothing is covering your head. As pictures with any of the part covering face or head are not valid.
  1. Fees

With all the other above given documents, you have to submit US Passport fees too with the application form. The application fees amount change periodically with time and location as well. You can check the fees by the location from where you are applying. The fee varies but typically it is $135 and it includes an application fee and execution fees. To get a passport fast you to provide some extra fee amount, so if you are in hurry use this method too.

Note: If you are thinking to visit the photographer to take out the recent photograph then you must tell him that you need a photograph for passport application, as somewhere professional photographers know about the specifications of the passport application photograph or you can tell him in detail. As this is one of the convenient options to get the correct photograph.

As all these were the most important requirement that you need to have while filling up the US passport application form. If you fail to provide any of these documents at the time of applying for the passport then your application will be cancelled and then further it will be delayed. So, it is my suggestion to you that you must apply for the US passport after you have all the documents in original. So all of you who don’t have any of the above documents should first gather documents and all those who already have for them let’s move to the nest step of applying for US passport application form.

  1. Flight itinerary or any proof travel plans: These documents are not necessary for everyone. These documents need to be submitted by only those who have applied for the expedited passport renewal application

Where to apply for a US Passport

There are mainly 3 methods by which you can apply for the US passport as listed below

Method: 1 Department of State Passport Agency

Method: 2 A Passport Acceptance Facility, such as a local post office.

Above two methods are very clear, as you need to visit any of the above two places to apply for the United States Passport Application. Both the above application methods are for the people who live in the United States or in Canada. But if you live outside the United States or Canada then you need to follow the third method.

Method: 3 if you live outside of US or Canada then should contact the local US Embassy or Consulate.

Or now US Government provides various services with which you can easily and conveniently apply for the passport. As now you don’t need to visit the office and take appointments of US Passport as it is very task, what you need to do is just go to the US passport official website and from there you can take and schedule your appointment easily.

So, without wasting your time, now you can easily apply for the Passport online and take an appointment as per your convenience and walk into the US Passport Bureau office and the particular desired appointment day.

US Passport Application Form: Important Instructions

Before filling the DS-11 passport form or follow below-given steps to fill the form you must read all the details given here as if there will be anything wrong at the time of form submission then it will be straight rejected by the officers.

  1. At first, gather all the important documents that are required to be submitted with the application form as listed above.
  2. Passport Validity Length
  • If you are 16 years of age or older then your passport will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue except where limited by Secretary of State to a shorter period.
  • If you are under 16 years of age then your passport will be valid for five years from the date of issue except where limited by the Secretary of State to a shorter period.
  1. Warning: Make sure that all the details and documents that you are going to provide in the application form are all true. As if any false statements made knowingly and willfully in passport applications, including affidavits or other documents submitted to support the application form are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment under US law.

2. Fill the Application Form

Steps to fill DS 11 Passport Application Form

Below are the steps which you can follow while filling the application form, make sure not to make any mistakes while filling the form as any mistake can lead to rejection of the form. For your help screenshots have been also provided referring to which you can easily fill the form. You can either fill the form passport application online or download it and then fill. But application forms cannot be submitted online it can be only mailed to the provided address.

How to fill US Passport Application Form: Step by Step Guide

Step: 1 The first step towards US passport application is to first get the DS-11 Passport Application Form. You can easily get the DS-11 application form from a US post office or can download from here.

US Passport Online Application: Apply here

US Passport Application Form: Download

Step: 2. Download the application form from above-given link and follow the procedure. With the application form, the instructions are also mentioned clearly so take out the print out of the instructions page also. Below given is the image of the of both the pages of the passports that you need to fill.

ds 11, passport application
DS-11 Form Part 1


how to get a passport, how to apply for a passport
DS 11 Part-2


Step: 3 once you have all the documents you can start filling the application form. In DS-11 application form, you need to enter following details such as

  • Your Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Email address
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing Address
  • City, State, Country and Zip code
  • Also, you have to list down the names that you have used till now, for example, your birth name, previous marriage name, legal name change and also if needed you can attach additional pages.

Step: 4 After all these details the next part in the form is your Signature. But make sure that you don’t sign the application form as you need to do the signature in front of authorised agent whom you submit the application form. So carefully leave that part in the application form.

Step: 5 In this step you need to fill the information about your documents that you are going to provide as identity. To know which documents can serve as the identity proof, you can take a look as all the details have been provided there.

Step: 6 You need to staple the colour photograph. All the important details and specifications regarding photograph are given above. Make sure you read all the specifications.

Step: 7 Now page-1 is complete now move on to the page 2 here you need to provide the details about you such as:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Parental Information: Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth.

Till here in total 11 points have been completed as per the application form.

Step: 8 Now in 12th point you need to provide the details about your relationship i.e. married or not. And if married then details of your current or most recent spouse, and other details such as

  • Full name
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of birth
  • Is he/she is US citizen or not
  • Date of Marriage
  • Widowed/Divorced
  • Date of Divorce/Widow

Step: 9. In this step, you need to fill the additional contact phone number.

Step: 10. In this fill the details about your occupation

Step: 11 here in this you need to tell about your employer or school if you are a student.

Step: 12 Height specifications

Step: 13 Hair colour

Step: 14 Eye colour

Step 15 Here you need to describe about your travel plans, mention here departure date, return date and countries to be visited

Step: 16 Fill here details about your permanent address such as address, city, state and zip code

Step: 17 Here you need to provide the emergency contact details, such the person whomsoever can be contacted at the time of any emergency. You need to fill the Name of the person, address, city, state, zip code, phone number and your relationship with the person.

Step: 18 In this point you need to tell if you have ever applied or been issued a US passport book or passport Card. If yes, then you need to fill other details and if not then no need to fill further details.

So till here only you need to fill the details below this, you don’t need to fill anything as those details are for office use only as already mentioned in the form. These were the steps to fill

Now as you have filled the application form so now you need to take out the print of the application form in black ink only and with all the above-required documents mail it to the US Passport locations, proper address as mentioned below:

For Routine Service (If you live in CA, FL, IL, MN, NY or TX)

National Passport Processing Center

P.O. Box 640155

Irving, TX 75064-0155

For Routine Service (If you live in any other state or Canada)

National Passport Processing Center

P.O. Box 90155

Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

**You can also avail the expedited service, in this you just need to pay some additional fee

National Passport Processing Center

P.O. Box 90955

Philadelphia, PA 191900955

Hope everything till here is clear. But still, if you have any doubt then you can also refer to the given below video to understand the procedure of application filling.

 Processing Fees for a US Passport

After filling the form if you are applying online then you need to pay the fees through online payment methods and if offline you need to submit the fees with the application form.  Also, you can request for the expedited USPS passport processing with an additional amount of $60.00 fee.

Need your passport fast?

Also, if it is really urgent and you require the passport and you want an expedited processing of your application for the passport then as per the State Department, you can schedule the appointment with the officials.

How long it takes to get a passport?

Passport service requires an appointment and multiple visits and once you qualify for the new US passport, you just need to ensure your presence at the Department of State. And once the document verification is done you can expect to get your passport soon. The time that is required to get the passport is not fixed it may vary according to the situation.

If you are applying for your passport at a passport agency then you can expect that you will get your passport by 2 to 4 weeks. And if you want to avail the expedited service then you need to provide the present proof of your planned international travel to the agency.

Next, if you are applying for the passport at a passport acceptance facility then you need to wait between 3 to 6 weeks, and here if you want to get expedited service then you need to pay the extra fee of $60.


How to get a Passport for Minors ?

As passport is necessary for everyone, for adults or a child, so if you are planning an international trip and have a baby then you need to apply for his/her passport. And here we are for your help to make it much simpler.

How to Apply for a Child’s Passport ?

Documents Required for Passport for New Born Baby

The most important document that you need to provide is

  • Proof of US citizenship: Birth Certificate

Other than this you don’t need to submit any of the documents but the birth certificate is necessary which proves your relationship to your baby and is also a proof of US citizenship.

  • Social Security Number

For baby, although you don’t need to show your child’s social security card as you just need to provide the Social security number as asked in the application form. So, you must submit a request for the social security card at the time of birth certificate paperwork. You will easily without any headache will get the social security card in the mail within few weeks. The processing time for the card vary from state to state but most the states issue the card within 2-4 weeks after your application.

Also if you want to apply for the passport application before you get the social security card then you can do, at the time of application filling you need to fill “000-000-0000” in the place of Social security number in the application form.

  • Colour Photograph

You need to submit one passport photo of the child with the application form. Below are some of the specifications that you should follow while taking the photograph

  • The photo must have plain white background
  • There should be nothing with the baby such as- parents, toys, furniture or anything else.
  • The baby should look barely in the camera with both the eyes open
  • Do not cover head with hats, hood, bow or anything. As if any part of the face is covered then the photograph will be found invalid
  • The dimension of the photograph should be 2 inches x 2 inches.
  • The photograph should be a recent one or should be taken within maximum 6 months duration.
  • The background of the photograph should be plain white or off-white.

US Passport Application Form: Same DS-11 Application Form needs to be filled for the child, and need to be signed by both the parents.


How to Track your passport and its Processing

After applying for the US passport, after few days you can track your US passport application status and its processing. You can check the status online or by phone. To track the application status you need to have the following information:

  • Last name as written while applying for the passport
  • Date of Birth
  • Last four digits of the Social Security Number provided in application form


Both the methods of passport tracking have been detailed below:

Check Online

  • Access the Online Passport Status System to check your application status
  • You can track your application status online after 7-10 business days of applying for the passport.
  • You can also receive automatic email updates on the status of your application by just entering your email address as after locating your pending application in the Online Passport Status System.

Check by Phone

  • You can call the National Passport Information Centre at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) to speak to the Customer Service Representative. Below timing is mentioned as when you can make a call.


Monday- Friday: 08: am to 10:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Saturday: 10:00 am to 03:00 pm (Eastern Time)

*Excluding Federal Holidays

Note: And if Online Passport Status System or National Passport Information Centre has indicated that your passport have been mailed out but still you didn’t have received it after 10 business days then you can contact to National Passport Information Centre regarding this.


  • Collect all the documents that are required while submitting the passport application form
  • Make sure that you all the required documents in original.
  • Make sure the agency through which you are mailing your documents is good and secure.


  • Do not do signatures in the application form until the time the official person asks to do so.

So all these were the important information for applying for the US Passport Application Form. Hope you liked the detailed guide provided by us on How to Apply for your first US Passport and you would have now applied for it. In case, if you have any doubt on any step that we have explained in the article than you can ask your doubts/ queries in the Comment section below. We will be solving your query at the earliest within 1 Working day. Also, Share it online (Facebook, Twitter etc) with your friends, if this guide helped you in applying the passport easily, so that your friends can also apply it easily from this Guide.

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