Frequently Asked Questions
A passport is a necessity for U.S. citizens seeking to travel abroad to another country. Having a valid U.S. passport is essential for citizens who:
Seek to visit family living or traveling abroad
Are planning a vacation in another country
Hold a job that may require regular international travel
Currently, it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to process a U.S. passport from the time of application. The number of Americans interested in international travel has grown over the past decade and that’s resulted in longer waiting times.
As many people plan to travel over the warmer months, spring is usually the busiest season for passport applications followed by summer. The increased number of requests may delay processing times, therefore take this into account when applying for your document.
To apply for a passport book or card you simply fill out our simplified online form. The whole process takes a few minutes, you just enter the required information following step-by-step instructions.
After completing the online application, you print the finalized form and submit it to your local passport office.
This way of applying makes the whole process faster. It’s quicker to fill out the application and it saves you the time and expense of making a mistake and needing to reapply.
Applying through is simpler and quicker and you avoid the risk of submitting an application with errors, which is costly and takes more. Here are some of the specific benefits you will receive:
Simple, intuitive application form
Comprehensive error checking
Easy step-by-step instructions
24/7 customer support
Some countries require at least 2-4 visa/stamp pages in your passport to be left blank in your passport upon arrival to their borders. In cases where this applies, some airlines will not permit you to board if this prerequisite is not met.
The duration of a passport’s validity varies depending on the age of the passport applicant. If for example, you apply for a passport aged 15 or under it will only be valid for 5 years. However, applicants aged 16 or older receive passports that are valid for 10 years.
Yes, a number of countries do require that you have at least 6 months of passport validity remaining beyond the dates of your trip. In this event, some airlines will not allow passengers to board who do not meet this requirement.
For example, if you are planning a trip to a country with these criteria in place 3 months from now but your passport has 8 months’ validity remaining, it will have only 5 months left before its expiry date on arrival. You will therefore not be permitted entry with the current document. In this situation, you would need to renew your passport before traveling.
A significantly damaged passport will need to be replaced. If there is substantial damage to the book cover and/or the personal data and photo page it will not be accepted as valid and you will need to apply for a new passport.
Damage that could invalidate your passport includes:
Unofficial markings on the data page
Missing or torn out visa pages
Cut off corners or sections of the book covers
A passport card is a smaller wallet-sized travel document. It can be used to re-enter the United States via land borders and seaports of entry from eligible countries, including:
The passport card is a less expensive and more convenient alternative to a passport book for frequent travelers to destinations in North America and around the Caribbean. Be aware, however, a passport card cannot be used for international air travel.
A passport card can be applied for using the same form you would use for a passport book (DS-11 or DS-82). In order to apply for the card, you would need to indicate your preference to receive one via a marked checkbox when completing the form.
In the event that you already have a passport book and are eligible to use a renewal by mail DS-82 form, you also can use this to apply for a card even if it’s your first passport card. If you are ineligible for this option, you should use a DS-11 form instead.
Yes, this is possible. To apply for both a card and a book at the same time, check the appropriate box on the form that indicates you would like to receive both forms of ID.
If you already have a passport book but wish to apply for a passport card you can use a DS-82 form even if it’s your first card. You can also use this form to apply for a passport card and renew your passport simultaneously.
To enter Mexico by air it is necessary to have a passport. To enter by land you need to present either a passport book or card. This means you can enter Mexico by land, without a passport book, as long as you have a passport card.
If you do enter Mexico by land with a passport card, make sure you use the ‘Ready Lanes’ otherwise you will hold up the lane and increase your waiting time. Just follow the ‘Ready Lane’ logo as you approach the border to make sure you are in the right queue.
Only one photo is required.
The following requirements must be followed when submitting the photo for a passport application:
Size: 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
Face clearly visible
Taken within last 6 months
No uniforms (unless daily religious clothing)
Jewelry is allowed but must not block the face
No social media filters
Plain white or off-white background
It is not possible to renew a child’s passport by mail. Instead, the child and their parent/s or guardian/s need to go to a passport application facility, in person, with a completed DS-11 form.
If a child is too young to sign their own passport book, their parent or legal guardian should print the child’s name and sign his/her name in the space provided for the signature. Additionally, the parent or guardian should also indicate their relationship to the child in the parenthesis next to the signature.
To obtain a copy of your birth certificate, you will need to contact a birth certificate service and apply to receive it from the state you were born in.
If you wish to apply for a U.S. passport and you haven’t been assigned a social security number you will need to submit a statement that must include the following phrase:
“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.” The statement must also be signed and dated.