What Documents Do I Need To Get A US Passport

These are the documents needed to get a US Passport. It has been often mentioned that it is easier to renew a passport than it is to be issued with one for the first time. This may be true, but one must also put into consideration the fact that after the first issue, one becomes familiar with the process, and with the documents needed to obtain the passport.

The documents needed to obtain a passport can be broken into two parts, the first one being to prove citizenship, while the other being to prove identity.

What Documents Do I Need To Get A US Passport

You Need The Proper Passport Form

In order to apply for a passport, the first thing you need is a passport application form. If you are applying for your first passport, or you are below 16 years of age, or your previous passport was lost or damaged, or it was issued over 15 years ago; what you need is a Form DS-11 which you can get from the Department of State website, or just copy the link: https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds11.pdf and paste on your browser.

If you already have a passport which has now expired, then what you need is to renew your passport. You can do that using a Form DS-82, which you can obtain at the Department of State website, or by copying the link: https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds82.pdf which you will paste in your browser.

You will need to print the forms, and then fill in black ink, using clear, bold characters.

It is also possible to fill the form online using the form filler feature of the Department of State website, and then printing it out after the form has been filled.

However, please do not sign the form until you are told to do so.

You will be required to provide a social security number. But if you do not have one, you will need to provide a signed statement with the words  “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct:  I have never been issued a Social Security Number by the Social Security Administration.”

On the form, please ensure that you select “Passport Book” as the document you are applying for.

Provide Evidence Of U.S. Citizenship

You will need to provide evidence of citizenship; which is what entitles you to a US passport. The evidence you will provide will need to bear the stamp or seal of the official issuing authority. There are several options at your disposal.

Clean and undamaged US passport, even if it is expired. The Department of State adds the stipulation “Full Validity,” meaning it must have been valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children under 16.

U.S. birth certificates can also be used if they are issued by the state, city or county, and if they list out your date of birth, as well as your place of birth, your parents’ names, the registrar’s signature, and the seal of the issuing authority.

If you were born abroad, then you would need a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth

Or if you were born and raised in a different country then you would need a Certificate of Naturalization as well as a Certificate of Citizenship, which would make you a citizen of America.

Please note that digital copies of evidence of U.S. citizenship will not be accepted. Therefore, you must submit physical evidence of U.S. citizenship, and also a photocopy of said document.

Identity Documents

You must also produce evidence showing that you are who you say you are. There are many different documents that one could present for identification. Such documents as:

A valid Driver’s License issued by the state is always accepted; it should show your photo.

A previously issued U.S. passport book or passport card is also acceptable; however, it must be undamaged.

Government employee ID. This is for those who work for the government (it could be city, county, state, or federal government).

U.S. military or military dependent ID. This is commonly used by people in service or their children.

Certificate of Naturalization- for those who were formerly citizens of another country.

Certificate of Citizenship; this for those who were born in another country.

Other Forms Of Identification Include:

Current (valid) foreign passport issued by another government.

Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular ID) – commonly used by child applicants whose parents work at the Consular Office.

U.S. Permanent Resident Card (This is also known as a Green Card) – commonly used by child applicants whose parents came from other countries.

Enhanced Tribal Cards and Native American tribal photo IDs; mostly used by citizens who live in Indian Reservations.

Trusted Traveler IDs (some of which include: Global Entry, SENTRI, FAST and NEXUS cards)

Please remember that you are to bring a photocopy of whatever ID document you elect to bring along.

A Passport Photo

You will also need to provide a passport photo with your application. This simple requirement is often a huge problem to applicants because the photos they bring often do not meet the passport office’s requirements.

The Passport Photo must have a white background.

Please do not smile- although a faint, barely noticeable smile is acceptable.

Please do not use glasses or a head-wear.

The passport should show your neck, and shoulders, and there should not be any shadows on your face, or on the background.

Some passport offices can take your photo for a fee. It usually costs around $15. Please call ahead to ensure that such a service is available at the passport office, as at the time when you are visiting.

Please do not staple the passport photo to your form. The accepting officer will staple the passport photo to your form after seeing that it meets the requirements.


Of course there are fees that go along with the processing of the passports; this is the standard practice in most countries. Therefore the following fees are applicable; depending on the particular circumstances of the individual.

Adult Applicants (Age 16 and older):

Passport Type      Form Type          Application Fee                    Acceptance Fee

Passport Book      DS-11                    $130                                         $35

Passport Card       DS-11                    $30                                           $35

Book & Card          DS-11                    $160                                         $35

Child Applicants (Age 15 and younger):

Passport Type          Form              Application Fee                           Acceptance Fee

Passport Book          DS-11             $100                                 $35

Passport Card           DS-11             $15                                   $35

Book & Card              DS-11             $115                                 $35

In order to have the passport expedited you will need to pay an additional $60. Please note that the application fees, acceptance fees and expedition fees (if applicable) will be paid separately.

Checks and money orders are acceptable. Credit and debit cards are not acceptable. You may receive further instruction at the passport office if necessary.



Documents needed when applying for a US Passport include; an old passport previously issued, a birth certificate, a driver’s license issued by the state, a Government Employee ID, a Certificate of Naturalization, or a Certificate of Citizenship. You will also need to have the correct passport form, and then your passport photo.

For more clarification about these documents feel free to read the article again or contact the Department Of State on phone.

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