Requirements for Getting a United States Passport

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A passport is a required document for all those who wish to travel outside of the United States’ borders. There are several requirements for getting a United States passport. The process is relatively easy and any United States citizen–no matter your age, sex or race–can obtain one.

Apply in Person

If you are applying for a United States passport for the first time, you are required to submit your application in person. At that time, you will present all of your required documents, including identification.

Application Form and Fee

Before submitting your application for your passport, you must fill out an application form and pay a processing fee (prices vary). The United States passport application form can be found online on the United States’ governmental Website. you’ll find the direct link in the Resources section. You may also opt to get an application at your local passport agency. To locate your nearest passport agency, call (877) 4-USA-PPT from Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern standard time.

Evidence of Citizenship and ID

You are required to provide evidence of your citizenship in the United States when applying for a United States passport. This evidence includes: a birth certificate (or naturalization certificate/certificate of citizenship or an expired passport that is not damaged. In addition to evidence of United States citizenship you must also present a form of identification. ID also includes an undamaged, expired passport (though it does not count for both ID/evidence), a military ID, government ID, naturalization certificate, or valid driver’s license.

Passport photos

In order to get your United States passport you must also provide two passport-sized (typically 2-by-2 inches) photos that are full color and display your current likeness. A picture taken within six months is often okay. You can obtain your passport photos at your local pharmacy, superstore or even Passport Agency. The cost is usually under $15, and the photos are often ready within one hour of being taken.


Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to “Glamour” magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the “Indianapolis Business Journal,” “Kiwanis International” and “NUVO Newsweekly,” she earned B.A. degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in health, beauty and fashion topics.

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