A passport is a crucial document for international travel. It serves as proof of identity and citizenship, and without it, you won’t be allowed to leave the country. If you’re planning to travel abroad, you’ll need to fill out a passport application form. In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of filling out a passport application form correctly.
Step 1: Gather Required Documents
Before you start filling out the passport application form, you’ll need to gather the following documents:
- Proof of citizenship: This can be a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or previous passport.
- Identification: This can be a driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or previous passport.
- A passport photo: This must meet specific requirements, including size, background, and facial expression.
- Payment: The fee for a new passport varies depending on the type of passport and how quickly you need it.
Step 2: Download the Passport Application Form
You can download the passport application form from the U.S. Department of State website. The form is available in two formats: DS-11 and DS-82. The DS-11 form is for first-time applicants, minors, and those who have lost or stolen passports. The DS-82 form is for renewals.
Step 3: Complete the Passport Application Form
Fill out the form carefully and accurately, using black ink and legible handwriting. Some of the information you’ll need to provide includes:
- Personal information: Your full name, date of birth, and contact information.
- Travel plans: The countries you plan to visit and the dates of your trip.
- Emergency contact: The name and contact information of someone who can be reached in case of an emergency.
- Additional information: Any other information that might be relevant to your application.
Step 4: Submit the Application
You can submit the application in person at a passport acceptance facility, which can be found on the U.S. Department of State website. You’ll need to bring the completed application form, the required documents, and payment. You can also expedite the processing time for an additional fee if you need your passport quickly.
Tips for Filling Out a Passport Application Form
Here are some additional tips to help you fill out a passport application form correctly:
- Check the requirements: Make sure you have all the necessary documents before filling out the application form.
- Use accurate information: Double-check that all the information you provide is accurate, including your name, birthdate, and contact information.
- Be specific about travel plans: Provide as much detail as possible about your travel plans, including the dates and countries you plan to visit.
- Follow photo guidelines: Your passport photo must meet specific guidelines, including size, background, and facial expression.
- Keep copies of documents: Make copies of all the documents you submit with your application, in case they are lost or stolen.
- Check the processing time: Check the processing time for your passport application, so you know how long it will take to receive your passport.
- Keep your passport safe: Once you receive your passport, keep it in a safe place and make copies of it for your records.
- Follow up on your application: If you don’t receive your passport within the expected time frame, follow up with the passport acceptance facility or the U.S. Department of State.
- Be prepared to pay: The fee for a new passport can vary, so be prepared to pay the required amount.
- Read the instructions carefully: Read the instructions on the application form carefully to ensure that you fill it out correctly.
How long does it take to get a passport?
The processing time for a new passport can vary, depending on the time of year and how quickly you need it. Typically, it takes 4-6 weeks for routine processing and 2-3 weeks for expedited processing. However, you can expedite the process for an additional fee and receive your passport in as little as 24 hours.
Can I fill out a passport application form online?
You cannot fill out a passport application form online, but you can download the form from the U.S. Department of State website.
Can I use a photocopy of my birth certificate for my passport application?
No, you must provide an original or certified copy of your birth certificate for your passport application.
Can I use a passport photo from my phone for my application?
No, you must provide a printed passport photo that meets specific guidelines, including size, background, and facial expression.
Do I need a passport if I’m traveling within the United States?
No, you do not need a passport if you are traveling within the United States. However, you will need a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or state ID.
Can I travel internationally without a passport?
No, you cannot travel internationally without a passport. A passport is required for international travel as proof of identity and citizenship.
Can I renew my passport by mail?
You can renew your passport by mail using the DS-82 form if your previous passport was issued within the last 15 years and you were over the age of 16 when it was issued.
Can I get a passport if I owe taxes?
Yes, you can still get a passport if you owe taxes. However, your application may be delayed if you have unresolved tax issues.
Can I apply for a passport if I have a criminal record?
Yes, you can still apply for a passport if you have a criminal record. However, your application may be subject to additional review and processing time.
Can I get a passport if I am not a U.S. citizen?
No, you must be a U.S. citizen to apply for a U.S. passport. Non-U.S. citizens can apply for passports from their home country’s embassy or consulate.