By | December 6, 2023

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you navigate the U.S. passport process with ease.

First-time Passports:

  1. Apply in person at a Post Office: Schedule an appointment online or at a self-service kiosk.
  2. Gather documents early: Start months ahead, as processing times can vary. Check the State Department website for current estimates.
  3. Prepare your application package: Visit the State Department website for instructions and required documents.
  4. Schedule your appointment: Post Offices with passport services have set hours, so book your slot online or at a kiosk.
  5. Pay fees: There are separate fees for application acceptance, processing, photos, and expedited service.

Renewing Your Passport:

  1. Check eligibility: Not all passports qualify for renewal by mail. Minors, for example, need a new application.
  2. Renew by mail: If eligible, complete form DS-82 and mail it directly to the State Department. Use a tracked USPS service.
  3. Renew with urgency: Need it fast? Pay for expedited service and mail with Priority Mail Express® to get it within 10 weeks.

Passports for Minors:

  1. Both parents’ consent is required: Ideally, apply together in person.
  2. Proof of citizenship and parental relationship needed: Birth certificates and photo IDs work well.
  3. Children’s passports expire after 5 years: Apply for a new one when it expires.