How to Get a Passport

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. If you are a U.S. citizen, child or adult, you can get a passport. A legal resident with a green card cannot get a passport. A minor passport is valid for five years and cannot be renewed, unlike an adult passport. An adult passport is valid for ten years.

U.S. Passport Application Forms

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 how to complete it and a list of supporting documents to submit. Also, the form will have the cost you must pay.

Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport

Minors and adult will use this form when they are applying for the first time. The form could be completed online and then print. It can also be done by hand with a black ink pen. You should not sign the form until you are in front of an acceptance agent. Adults can sign for minors if the minor cannot do so.

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

Complete this form if you had a valid passport book or card and it got lost or stolen. Provide as many details as possible to the State Department. A hold will be placed on the document, and it 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 both an adult or minor passport book or card.

Form 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. For standard service, the process takes 4 to 6 weeks to get a passport, and the cost for a minor is $115 and $145 for an adult. The prices are the same to replace a lost or stolen passport. For an adult renewal, it cost $110.

It is expediting processing decrease the processing time. The time to process is now 2 to 3 weeks. It will cost an additional $60. So, for a minor, the total price is $175, for an adult $205, and for renewal, it is $170.

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 a 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 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 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 for the hard of hearing (888) 874-7793. There are only 26 Regional Agencies in the United States. So, prepare to travel out of state if there isn’t any in the state you reside. 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 submitting the application 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