Applying for a Passport from a U.S. Post Office

Applying for a Passport from a U.S. Post Office

If you have decided a passport card isn't enough to meet your traveling needs, here's how to get your passport from your local post office.

Forms

First you need a copy of Form DS-11, Application for Passport. Copies are available at the post office or you can download the document by going online to the U.S. Postal Service. Make sure you read it completely before you fill it out.

Proof of Identity

For most people, a valid permanent state driver's license is all you need. If you don't have one, a government or military ID will suffice, as will a previous passport, certificate of citizenship, or naturalization certificate. A social security card is not sufficient. You must present a document showing your signature and photograph of physical description.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship

You can use a previous passport, a certified birth certificate (with a raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, the registrar's signature, and the date the certificate was filed, which must have been within one year of your birth - photocopies are unacceptable), a certificate of citizenship, a naturalization certificate, a consular report of birth abroad, or certification of birth.

Two Passport Photos

To save yourself time and trouble, many post offices are able to take your passport photo when you come in to complete and submit your application...for a cost of $15. Or you can visit a photo shop to get the necessary two copies made. The photos must be color prints, 2 inches by 2 inches, and identical. They must have been taken within the last six months and show your current appearance, full face looking directly at the camera, in front of a white or off-white background. In the photo, you face must measure between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head. Wear normal street attire, without a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline. If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn in the photos. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable.

Social Security Number

As a person "doing business" with the U.S. Department of State, you must provide your Social Security Number (SSN) to obtain a passport.

Fees

For those 16 years of age and older, the passport processing fee is $67. An additional fee of $30 is charged for the execution of the application. Your passport will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue except when limited by the Secretary of State. Young people 15 years of age or younger must pay $52 in processing fees, plus the $30 passport execution fee, and will be valid for five years, except where limited.

You may pay the passport fee by check, bank draft, cashier's check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of State. You can pay the execution fee in cash or by debit or credit card, money order or check made payable to the Postal Service. Additional fees may also apply under special circumstances involving citizenship documentation.

DON'T SIGN THE APPLICATION FORM until the passport clerk tells you to do so. The passport clerk must witness you signing the form.

For more information or to print a passport application form, just go to usps.com/passport. To find the closest post office or other government facility wher eyou can apply for a passport, go to http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/.


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The above information is courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.