Applying for Your U.S. Passport

us passportAll American citizens have the right to own a US passport. Submission of Form DS-11: Passport Application, for issuance a US passport is generally necessary if you find any one of following conditions apply to you:

  • You have not on previous occasions been issued a US passport
  • You are under 16 years of age
  • You were under 16 years of age when the last passport was issued
  • You received your latest US passport more than 15 years ago
  • You lost your latest US passport, or it was either damaged or stolen
  • You have changed your name since issuance of your last US passport and you are unable to legally document your name change

If however none of above statements is deemed to specifically apply to your present condition, you could be eligible for submission of your US passport application through mail.

The first step in applying for your US passport entails entering the required information online and printing out Form DS-11. For this purpose, you must remember that it is essential to use pages that are printed on one side only. What’s more, you must only use black ink to complete the form.

Optionally, you may take a blank print-out of form-DS-11 and proceed to complete it by hand. Again, ensuring that for your print-out purpose, you use pages that are printed on one side only and that black ink is used in completing the form.

On the other hand, copies of blank DS-11 forms are also available through your Passport Agency or the Acceptance Facility in your locality.

Once you have completed your passport application (form DS-11), in strict compliance of specific instructions, you will need to submit your completed application for a US passport in person at a convenient Passport Agency or Acceptance Facility; submission of Form DS-11 is not permissible through mail.

As a new applicant, who is applying for the first time, you need to appear in person if:

  • You are under 16 years of age
  • You were under 16 years of age when the last passport was issued
  • You received your latest US passport more than 15 years ago
  • You lost your latest US passport, or it was either damaged or stolen
  • You have changed your name since issuance of your last US passport and you are unable to legally document your name change

While submitting your application for a US passport in person, you will need to carry the following additional documents with you:

  • Documentary Evidence of Your US Citizenship
  • Documentary form of Present Identification
  • Photocopies of all Identification Documents presented by you
  • Applicable Fee for issuance of US Passport
  • One Passport-size Photograph

Form DS-11 must not be signed by you, till asked by the Acceptance Agent to specifically do so. In perusal of 26 U.S.C. 6039E, you will need to present your Social Security Number, SSN. If you fail to present any information that is requested for on form DS-11, including your SSN, it could possibly result in your application being denied and/or in considerable processing delays.

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