Requirements For Getting A New Passport


Getting a first passport is a rite of a passage, one that used to be experienced primarily by the well-to-do. Prior to the horrific events of 9-11, the United States and many other countries had fairly lenient travel document requirements with other recognized friendly countries. While documenting one’s identity and applying for a passport is more detailed and now required for almost all travel abroad, the process is actually pretty straightforward. Let us take a look at what is necessary to meet new passport requirements.

A Personal Appearance

Any first time applicant will have to make a personal appearance at a government U.S. passport office. There are also several other situations that will require the person to go to the office in person. Minors will always have to be presented at the office and anyone that is trying to replace a lost or stolen document will have to go to the passport office.

Form DS-11

The first form that will have to be filled out by everyone is the DS-11. There are also quite a few secondary documents that must be presented to the clerk. The clerk will need to check the ID that is presented and actually witness the signature on the application. The forms can be filled out ahead of time, but nothing can be signed until the applicant is in front of the passport agent.

Proof Of Citizenship

Come to the visit prepared with evidence of U.S. Citizenship. It is a required part of the interview process and all of the documents will be given back to the owner. Several items can be used a proof of citizenship with a certified or officially stamped birth certificate being the most common for first time participants. Other acceptable paperwork includes a certification of birth from a Consulate, a certificate of citizenship or a naturalization certificate. Submitting a social security number is also a necessity.

Other Document Requirements

Some people like to get cute with things like their birth certificate and laminate them so that they do not get ruined. This is absolutely unacceptable and they will send anyone who walks in with laminated documents right out the door. It must not be covered in any way and must also have the raised seal on it. Also, all documents must be photocopied.

Minor Passports

When a minor is trying to get a child passport, they must also have all of the above documents and the parents must accompany the child. If the parents are no longer married, then a consent form that has both parents signatures must be presented in order for the child to be able to get a passport. If one parent has sole custody and the other parent has no visitation rights, then only that parent need be present.


The parents or guardians must be prepared to present their identification too. This can be a passport, a government ID card, military ID, or a current and valid driver’s license. If applying for the documents outside of the state of residence, also be prepared to have another form of identification. All applicants must also provide two clear color head photographs that are no larger than 2′ x2′.

Time It Takes

One of the reasons that acquiring a passport takes so long is because of the all of the documents that are needed to get approved. Sometimes a birth certificate cannot be found and a new one must be ordered. It is unlikely that current passport photos are lying around and this means another trip. However, as long as all expedited passport requirements are met and the photos are current (within 6 months), everything should go smoothly at the USA passport office.

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