Getting or Renewing a U.S. Passport

How to apply, renew, or quickly get a passport.

Apply for a Passport

All individuals, regardless of age, must have their own passport to travel internationally.

Passport Book or Passport Card

  • Passport book is required for all international travel.
  • Passport card can be used to enter the United States at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry from:
    • Canada
    • Mexico
    • the Caribbean
    • Bermuda

A Passport card is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book, but it cannot be used for international travel by air.

Apply for a Passport Book

To complete the application, first do one of the following:

It is important that you do not sign the form until you are instructed to do so.

Apply for a Passport Card

If you have a U.S. passport book:

If you have never had a U.S. passport book:

Find a Passport Facility

Once you’ve completed the application, if you have to take your application to a passport facility in person:

Find out what forms of payment the facility accepts. Remember to bring the following:

If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad and need a passport, contact a contact a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for information on how to apply for your passport.

U.S. Passports for Minors Under the Age of 16

If your child is a minor under the age of 16, parental consent is required. In addition to the above, you must:

  • Accompany your child(ren).
  • Co-sign the application.
  • Provide additional documentation, including proof of parental consent.

Passports issued to minors are valid for five years and you must reapply in person. 

Back to Top

A Recipe for Applying in Person for a U.S. Passport Video

0:15 You Must Apply For A Passport in Person If:

0:17 Applying for your first U.S. passport and/or under the age of 16

0:19 Previous passport issued when under age of 16

0:21 Previous passport lost, stolen, or damaged

0:22 Previous passport issued 15+ years ago

0:23 Name changed since passport was issued and unable to legally document name change

0:25 Here’s how to get started!

0:28 Step 1: Go to

0:36 Step 2: Save time and fill out the[DS-11]form online. Wait to sign until you apply in person

0:41 Step 3: Print the form

0:44 Step 4: Dig up your citizenship evidence

0:46 Examples include:

0:48 Birth Certificate

0:52 Naturalization Certificate

0:54 Consular Report of Birth Abroad

0:57  Step 5: Make a front and back photocopy of your government-issued ID, such as:

1:00 Your Driver License

1:03 Step 6: Take a passport photo!

1:17 Photo Requirements Include:

1:19 Photo must be in color

1:21 Must be 2" x 2" inches in size

1:22 Taken within the last 6 months

1:23 Plain white background

1:24 Visit for further requirements

1:27 Step 7: Bring money for passport fees

1:31 Common forms of payment are accepted: Cash, Credit/Debit Card, Checks/Money Orders

1:38 Step 8: Go to to find your local acceptance facility

1:42 Call to verify forms of payment and hours

1:45 Step 9: Visit your local acceptance facility

1:51 Remember to bring your DS-11 form, plus your citizenship and ID documents

1:57 Be ready to take the oath, sign the DS-11 form, and pay the fees

2:16 Need a passport in a hurry?

2:18 If you're traveling in less than 2 weeks, make an appointment at a passport agency

2:25 Don't be this couple... Avoid the last minute stress, and apply early!

2:28 For a more relaxed experience, plan ahead and select routine service.

2:30 4-6 weeks later your passport should arrive!

2:41 Step 10: Enjoy your trip!

2:44 For more information, visit

A step by step video guide to applying for a passport in person.

Back to Top

Get a Passport Quickly

Family Emergency

You can get a passport quickly for a family emergency that requires you to travel outside the United States in 24-48 hours.  These emergencies include serious illness, injury, or death in your immediate family.

The only offices that can process this request are the Regional Passport Agencies and you must have an appointment.  To make an appointment, call the National Passport Information Center (NPIC).  

Note: The NPIC is only open during regular business hours,  Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 10 PM, Eastern time 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793).   If you are calling after 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, on weekends and holidays, call 1-202-647-4000 and the operator will help you make an appointment with your closest Passport Agency.  

Expedited Service

If you have purchased tickets for a trip outside the United States that will take place within 2 weeks, visit a Regional Passport Agency. Call National Passport Information Center's automated service to make an appointment.  

If your trip is not within 2 weeks, but you need the U.S. passport more quickly than the normal processing period of 4 to 6 weeks, ask for expedited service.  You can:

Important: The extra cost for shortening the processing time is $60, plus any delivery costs.

Back to Top

Renew a Passport

All individuals, regardless of age, must have their own passport to travel internationally.

You can renew your U.S. passport book and/or passport card, except if your current passport was: 

  • Issued before your 16th birthday.
  • Issued 15 or more years ago.
  • Lost or stolen.

If any of these are true, you must apply for a new passport in person.

Renew your passport approximately nine months before it expires. Certain countries require passports to remain valid for up to six months after your trip. Some airlines do not allow you to board if you don't meet this requirement.

How to Renew Your Passport

If you live in the United States or Canada, you can renew by mail:

The Passport Services Office returns official documents submitted as supporting documentation either with or separate from the passport.

How to Renew Your Passport from Outside the U.S.

If you live in any other country, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in that country for information on how to renew your passport.

Back to Top

Replace a Lost or Stolen Passport

You must report the loss or theft of an American passport immediately:

Find information on how to replace your lost or stolen passport on the Department of State’s U.S. Passports site. You may report your lost or stolen passport in person, online, or on the phone  toll free at 1-877-487-2778 (TTY 1-888-874-7793). There are different procedures if your trip is scheduled within 2 weeks.

If you are outside of the U.S., contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to replace your lost or stolen passport.

Back to Top

Do you need help?

Ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We'll get you the answer, or we'll tell you where to find it.

What you think matters!