How To Obtain A New Passport

How To Obtain A New Passport

Knowing how to obtain a new passport is important to learn before making and confirming travel plans. Applications for passports are available online. The entire process can take up to two months so plan accordingly and have it renewed on time to avoid having to reschedule your travel itinerary. Also remember to register passports for each member of the family as current US laws require people of all ages to have one. The process may seem daunting but it is in fact simple and could be the easiest part of planning your trip.

Passport Applications

Passport application forms for passports are available online and can be filled out at home. Then they can either be mailed or taken directly to a Passport Acceptance Facility. The form will require information such as Social Security number, height, hair color, emergency contact numbers, and address. They only take a couple of minutes to fill out.


A photo must all be included with each application. It has to be a head-shot, from the top of the head to the shoulders, taken with a white background. Most post offices can take these photos for a low fee. It will have to be 2 by 2 inches. Be sure to take off any hats, hoods, and head coverings, unless worn daily for religious purposes. Sunglasses are not allowed, though normal prescription eyeglasses are fine. Work uniforms may not be worn in the photo.


Proof of citizenship must also be included. For most, this is in the form of a valid birth certificate with a raised seal. If an original US birth certificate is not available, an alternate form of proof of citizenship is suitable.


Identity will need to be verified with a driver’s license or other valid form of photo ID. A government or military ID is also acceptable. When renewing,proof of citizenship and identification are not needed so long as the current passport is included.


Initial passports require a 25-dollar execution fee as well as the 110-dollar application fee. These fees will not be returned if the application is returned or rejected. First passports must be applied for in person. Most forms of payment are accepted such as major credit cards and checks.

Passport Renewals

Renewals only cost 110 dollars for the application fee. They may be sent the facility through the mail. A good rule of thumb is to renew about 9 months before it expires. Only checks or money orders can be used as payment when applying through the mail.

Child Passports

Passports for children under 16 will require parental consent. Even newborns must have their own passports when traveling. Minors will have to apply in person.

Expedited Services

A fee of 60 dollars is applied for expedited American passport applications. Normally, it takes about six weeks for the application to be completed and returned. However,with overnight shipping both ways, it can take as little as two weeks with an expedited application. Be sure to mark “expedite” in bold letters outside the envelope when sending in the mail.

Passports for the whole family can be submitted at once. They only have to be renewed once every ten years. While the process can be a bit long and tedious, you will learn how to obtain a new passport in no time.

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