How to Get a Passport

By M L | Updated April 24th, 2019

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Passport Cost

Are you ready to apply for a U.S. passport? There are different ways to apply. How soon you need one will determine the choice you make. Also, the cost will vary on the processing time. You can get a passport if you are a U.S. citizen, child, or adult. A legal resident with a green card cannot get a passport. Unlike an adult passport, a minor passport is valid for five years and cannot be renewed. An adult passport is valid for ten years.

What Passport Forms Do I Need to Get a Passport?

The type of form you use will be different for a first-time applicant, renewal, and a lost or stolen passport. Each form will have instructions on completing it and a list of supporting documents to submit. Also, the form will have the cost you must pay.

Related Article: Do You Need a Passport to Fly Domestic? 2023

DS-11 Application Form for New Passport

Minors and adults will use this form when applying for the first time. The form could be completed online and then printed. It can also be done by hand with a black ink pen. You should not sign the form until you are before an acceptance agent.

DS-64, Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen U.S. Passport Book and Card

Complete this form if you have a valid passport book or card that got lost or stolen. Provide as many details as possible to the State Department.

A hold will be placed on the document, which will become invalid. If you find it after reporting it lost or stolen, you cannot use it even if the passport still has validity. The form is used for an adult or minor passport book or card.

DS-82, U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals

Only an adult passport can be renewed. After ten years, you can apply to renew your expired passport with the DS-82 Form. You must submit the expired and undamaged expired passport. The passport cannot be older than 15 years; otherwise, you cannot use Form DS-82 but must use Form DS-11.

Submitting a U.S. Passport Application

Normal or Expediting Process

The Department of State has many acceptance facilities to process a passport application. The most convenient place in our community is the post office. Also, other designated locations include the county clerk’s office, courthouse, and the public library. All these facilities only offer standard or expedited service.

Private Expeditor Company

You can obtain a passport sooner than two weeks if you must leave the country because of an emergency. However, to get one that quick, you can hire a private company. The company will submit your application via overnight service and receive it the same way.

For a service like this, the cost will be more. The price is determined by how soon you need to travel. Check with the private expeditor about the cost.

Regional Passport Agency

The Department of State has designated agencies in states to provide a passport within 24 hours. However, an appointment is necessary. You must call the National Passport Center to get an interview. The number is (877) 487-2778 or (888) 874-7793 for the hard of hearing.

There are only 26 Regional Passport Agencies in the United States. So, prepare to travel out of state if there isn’t any in your state. You will pay a single fee and the application cost at the agency.

Supporting Documents

Along with the form, additional documents are given. The other papers are used for identification purposes. These include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Passport Size Photo
  • Expired Passport

Other documents that are acceptable for a minor passport if one parent is absent when applying include:

  • Form DS-3053, Parental Consent Form
  • Form DS-5525, Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstance
  • Court document if you have sole custody
  • Death certificate if one parent is deceased


Getting a passport is no easy process; however, it can be done. By gathering the necessary documents like your birth certificate or valid ID and completing the passport application online or in-person, the process of getting a new passport ready for use can be completed in as fast as 6-weeks.