Do you want to walk the desert sands in Morocco, tour the palaces in Seoul, South Korea, or drive across the Canadian border to see Niagara Falls? You'll need a passport!

Why do I need a passport?

Image showing air, land, and sea using images of a plane inflight, a train billowing smoke and the underside of a docked ship

A passport shows who you are when you travel to international destinations.

US passport, eyeglasses, and a black pen on US passport application

Requirements

Moira Rose from Schitts' Creek asks,

You must apply in person if:

  • It is your first US passport.

  • You are under 16 years old (accompanied by your parents).

  • You are 16-17 years old.

  • Your previous US passport was issued when you were under age 16.

  • Your previous US passport was lost, stolen, or damaged.

  • Your previous US passport was issued more than 15 years ago.

Who Needs To Apply For Their Passport In-Person?

Girl with blue flower in her hair illustrationUma

  • Is seventeen years old.

  • Got a passport when she was twelve years old.

  • Needs a new passport.

Woman with curly hair and pink shirt with collar illustrationLeslie

  • Is twenty-two years old and lives in Arizona.

  • Spends summers in Hawaii with her grandma but does not have a passport.

  • Plans to study abroad in Spain.

Elderly couple with grey hair illustrationFiona & Sebastian

  • Have traveled to Canada and Mexico.

  • Have passport cards.

  • Plan to travel to Barbados.

Mother and daughter with blonde hair illustrationTalia & Ophelia

  • Ophelia's passport has expired.

  • Both spend a lot of time in Italy.

  • Ophelia is ten years old.

Quiz

Who needs to apply in person?

Fiona and Sebastian

Uma and Leslie

Ophelia, Uma, and Leslie

Talia and Ophelia

Application Process

Pen writing on a clipboard illustrationFill out the appropriate form.

First-time applicants use form DS-11.

US citizen holding a US flag illustrationProvide evidence of US citizenship.

You will need an original or certified physical copy of your US birth certificate or certificate of naturalization along with a photocopy of the same.

ID card illustrationShow photo ID.

Your ID must be a physical government-issued photoID.

Woman getting her photo taken illustrationProvide an appropriate photo.

Ensure that your photo meets all photo requirements to avoid delays during the application process.

Hand holding a coin illustrationPay fees.

You will pay application fees and execution fees separately.

Cursor clicking a button that reads Submit the completed application.

You must submit the application, citizenship evidence (original and copy), photocopied ID, photo, and fees in person at a passport acceptance facility.

Where Do I Go?

Where you apply depends on when you need to travel.

Beige business building illustration

The Department of State designates many post offices, clerks of court, public libraries, and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices as acceptance facilities.

Passport Book Vs Passport Card

US passport illustration

Passport Book

Valid for all international travel by land, air, and sea.

  • Adult: $110

  • Child: $80

  • Execution fee: $35

US Passport card illustration

Passport Card

Valid for land border crossing and sea port-of-entries from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.

  • Adult: $30

  • Child: $15

  • Execution fee: $35

Sign post with red arrow and an x, and a green arrow with a checkmark illustrationOptional Fees:

Expedition fee: $60

1-2 Day delivery: $17.56

An expedited delivery service is not available for passport cards.

Quiz

A group of friends have traveling plans for the summer from the US. Ana needs a ______ to visit Hawaii. Darius will use his ______ to travel to England. Gia needs a _____ to create her Mexico travelog.

nothing, passport book, passport book

ID, passport card, passport book

ID, passport book, passport card

nothing, passport book, passport card

How Long Does It Take?

A man in a suit looking at his hand as if looking at an imaginary watchThere are three different processing times:

  • Routine: 10-12 weeks

  • Expedited: 4-6 weeks (at an acceptance facility)

  • Expedited at Agency: 3 business days (must have an emergency or urgent international travel within 72 hours)

Take Action

Alexis Rose from the show Schitt's Creek looks up excitedly and says,

The US Department of State's website provides specific detailed information on their website in the Passport Services section. Status updates become available after 14 days; you can track your application status online or call the National Passport Information Center.

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This Byte has been authored by

ZG

Zhaneille Green

Graduate Student