How to Sign a U.S. Passport
By Lloyd C | Updated September 19th, 2018
After you have applied for your passport and received it in the mail, there are a few things you must do upon receiving it. Besides checking that your name, date of birth, and other vital information are correct, you’ll need to sign a passport before it’s considered valid.
Now, you may be wondering… How hard could signing a U.S. passport be?
Surprisingly, the thrill and excitement of receiving a passport can have your hands a little jittery. This could lead to you scribbling in a signature that doesn’t look like yours.
Or worse, you could make the mistake of panicking while correcting your name and invalidating your new passport!
This is why we made this short but detailed guide on how to sign a U.S. passport.
Let’s get to it.
First Thing’s First: Double-Check Your Details
There’s no sense in stressing over signing your new passport if the details aren’t correct.
While the chance of your details being incorrect isn’t too likely, these things happen occasionally and can cause a lot of heartache and trouble.
So, most importantly, check that your name is spelled right. Check your DoB and that your passport photo is yours, too. If not, return your passport with the correct name spelling. Also, if you change your name, return the passport with a name of change form. If all the information on your new passport is correct, locate the page where you must sign.
Where to Sign A Passport
On the page before your picture, page 3, you will see on the top “We the People” then follow the text of the Preamble to the constitution and the image of a bald eagle and the flag.
At the bottom of the page is a line that runs from left to right. Below the line printed “SIGNATURE OF BEARER/SIGNATURE DU TITLAIRE/ FIRMA DEL TITULAR”, this is where you will sign your name.
The signature should be similar to the one you used on the application. Try to be consistent when using your signature, as it is used as identification sometimes.
Sign your name with black or blue ink and no other colors or with a pencil. Use a non-ballpoint pen so that you don’t accidentally smudge your signature. In fact, let it sit for a moment to dry fully before closing the passport.
An adult should sign his or her passport unless incapable of doing so.
If, for any reason, the bearer of the passport cannot sign the passport, then a parent or legal guardian can sign on their behalf. Similarly, this would be for a minor if the minor cannot sign his or her name. The parent or guardian can sign the passport.
How to Sign a Passport for a Minor
A minor passport is similar to an adult passport.
The only difference is the validity of the minor passport.
A minor passport is valid only for five years; you cannot renew it after it expires. If a minor passport expires and the child is still under 15 years, then the parent or guardian must reapply for a new passport. The new passport will be valid for five years again.
So, when it comes time to sign a minor passport, the signature line will be on the same page as an adult passport, page 3. Above the line, the minor must sign their name if possible.
Since a minor does not have a signature, they must print their name.
For minors that cannot write their name, the parent or guardian can print the minor name and, next to it, sign their name. By having the minor print their name or the parent doing it, the passport is now valid and can be used to travel.
To sign a passport is not a big deal, but not endorsing it is.
Keep in mind that when you get your new document or your child, verify your information or your child and if they are not right, signing your document does not make it official. In a case where the data is not correct, return it with the proper information. Once you receive the passport with accurate information, then go ahead and sign it for yourself and your minor if necessary.
Fixing a Passport Signature Mistake
What happens if you accidentally sign your name wrong on a passport? Luckily, you don’t have to send it back to get a new one. You do need to amend it correctly, though, which would be as follows:
- Strike a single line through your misspelled name
- Sign the new, correct signature above or to the side of it
If you’ve made too big of a mistake then you may need to replace the passport. It’s probably for the best, anyway, so you don’t run into issues with local authorities who may not be as lenient with issues with passport signatures.
FAQs About Signing a United States Passport
Got questions about signing your US passport? We’ve got you covered.
Q: How Long is a Passport Valid?
An adult passport is valid for ten years, while a child’s passport is valid for five years. Learn more here about passport validity.
Q: What if my name changes?
It’s always good to keep your documents up to date. If your name has changed since signing a passport, consider getting a new one and repeat the signature process.
Q: Does a passport card require a signature?
No, passport cards do not need a signature to be valid.
Q: Why is signing a passport so important?
Your signature is both an identifier and a promise that you are who you say you are. Signatures validate the passport. In rare instances, your signature may prevent fraud if someone were to have swiped your passport and tried using your identity!