New Passport FAQ
Common reasons for rejection include:
- Photos that do not meet the official guidelines. Your photo must be clear, in color with a white background, printed on photo paper, and must measure 2″x2″. You should have a neutral facial expression in the photo and your eyes must be open. You can wear glasses with clear lenses so long as there is no glare, but do not wear hats or uniforms.
- Outdated sealed envelopes. Once your application has been sealed into the official envelope by the Passport Acceptance Agent, it must be submitted to a Passport Agency within 5 business days. If you are using a passport expediting company, send in your request right away!
- Insufficient proof of US citizenship. Your birth certificate must be a “long form” certificate that shows both of your parents’ names. “Short form” or card-style birth certificates are not accepted. If you submit an old passport as proof of citizenship, your request may be rejected if your appearance has changed significantly. To be safe, you can submit both an old passport and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
Birth certificates can be obtained from the Vital Statistics Office in the state where you were born. You can also order a certified copy of your birth certificate online through Vitalchek.com.
Applicants age 16 or 17, who are not yet legally adults, should be accompanied to the Passport Acceptance Agent by one of their parents to show “parental awareness” that they are applying for a new passport. If the traveler needs to go to the Acceptance Agent alone, they can take a signed letter from a parent saying that the parents approve of the passport request, along with a photocopy of the parent’s passport or driver’s license.
If the young applicant does not have a driver’s license to show as current identification, a parent can go with them to the Passport Acceptance Agent, show their own passport or driver’s license, and vouch for the identity of their child.
You may apply for a new US passport as soon as you have received your Naturalization Certificate, which you will submit with your passport application as your proof of US citizenship.
Yes, it will be returned to you with your new passport.
Passport Renewal FAQ
The expiration date will be printed on the first page of the passport, on the bottom right-hand side of your photo. It will be under the section, “Date of expiration,” but above the “Endorsements” title.
US adult passports are valid for 10 years from the date they are issued. It seems logical to assume that you should renew your passport two or three months before it expires. In fact, you may need to start the renewal process as early as eight months before your passport’s expiration date, depending on your destination.
As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.
If your passport has expired, follow this link to renew it today!
The new passport will include a new, unique identifier. This is a common practice that keeps the passport updated and secure. The old passport and number will be invalidated and should not be used.
By looking at a passport number, you can tell where it was issued and possibly where it was applied for. For example, if your passport number starts with “01,” it was issued at the Washington Passport Agency. If it starts with “04”, it was issued in Miami, and so on. If it was issued at the National Passport Center in New Hampshire, it will start with a “15”, “20” or “21,” depending on when it was issued. Passports that start with the number “60” were issued with no fee to military dependents. “80” is the prefix for “official” passports, while diplomatic passports always start with “90.”
If you had to get your passport replaced at an embassy or consulate overseas, your passport number will begin with the letter “Z” or the number “70.” Both indicate that the passport, if issued after 2002, was issued as an emergency passport and is only valid for a year.
Yes, your previous passport will be marked canceled and returned to you. It may be returned to you in a separate envelope. When you receive the expired one, do not use it for any purpose. However, It is a good idea to keep your old passport in a safe place as it is considered proof of your U.S. citizenship if absolutely necessary.
The most common reason for an application to be rejected is submitting a form with incomplete documents.Passport renewals may also be rejected if the application is not signed or if any required documents are missing.
Another common reason for rejection or suspension of a passport renewal request is that the photos do not meet the official guidelines. Photos must be high quality, printed on photo paper, and must measure 2” x 2”. They must have a white background and good lighting, and you should have a neutral facial expression. Do not wear hats or uniforms; you can wear glasses with clear lenses as long as there is no glare.
If the passport is in poor condition (such as having any torn pages or damage to the information page), or if it has been expired for more than five years, you will need to apply for a new passport instead of a renewal.
Yes, you may request a large book with 52 pages at no additional fee. Some countries require that your passport has two to four blank visa/stamp pages. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. As of January 1, 2016, you can no longer add pages to your existing US Passport. If you need additional pages you must apply for and obtain a new passport.
Children age 15 and younger cannot renew their passports and will need to go through the minor passport procedure to get a new passport. Children age 16 and older whose last passport was issued before their 16th birthday will need to do the new passport procedure to get their first adult passport.
If the passport renewal application is for a minor, both parents are required to participate in the process. If one parent is absent, then a consent form must be included with the application. Whether the absent parent is involved in the minor’s life or not, proof must be given to complete the application process. When a consent form is missing, the application will be denied. For a minor, the official birth certificate must be submitted.
If your US passport is expired or will expire within the next 6-7 months, now is the time to renew it! If your passport is expired, you have 5 years from the date of expiration to renew it without going through the new passport procedure.
You do not need to apply for a new one, but you do need to submit the form DS-82 with the expired passport. You cannot renew an expired one without it being included in the application.
Passport for Minors FAQ
Yes, under U.S. law every individual must have their own passport in order to travel internationally, regardless of age.
The photo you submit for a child U.S. passport must meet the following criteria:
- 2″ x 2″ in size, printed in color on high-quality photo paper
- Plain white background
- No hats, headbands, or hair bows
- No extra objects or people in the photo – no pacifiers, bottles, toys, chairs, or parent’s hands
- The child must face the camera and have eyes open
Have the baby lie on a plain white blanket or sheet, and take the photo looking down at the baby’s face.
If a child only has one parent listed on the birth certificate, it’s easy – that one parent will be the only one who has to sign the child passport application form, and will have to accompany their child to the Passport Acceptance Agent.
If a child has a legal guardian other than the parent(s) listed on the birth certificate, you will need to submit certified copies of the proof of legal guardianship.
If the child has a non-custodial parent who is listed on the birth certificate, the non-custodial parent will still need to either accompany the child to the Passport Acceptance Agent or sign the “Statement of Consent” form.
You can get the birth certificate from the Vital Statistics Office in the state where your child was born, or you can order it online through Vitalchek.com
Yes, the birth certificate and previous passport will be returned to you. They may arrive in a separate envelope after you get the new child passport.
Add Pages to Passport FAQ
If your passport does not have much validity remaining, you can either add pages or opt for an early passport renewal. If you do not have any valid visas in your passport that you need to continue to use, doing an early passport renewal may be the best option for you.
The standard additional pages service will add 24 visas pages to your passport, but if you are a very frequent traveler, you can request a large 48 page insert at no additional cost. You will just need to check the appropriate box when you fill out your application for additional pages.
You can have up to three 24-page inserts added, or two 48-page inserts.
If the State Department feels that your passport is not in good enough condition to have additional pages sewn in, they will tell you to renew the passport instead. They will not add pages if they think that the passport binding may break.
Lost Passport FAQ
No, your new passport will have a different number than has never been used on any other passport.
The new passport you get when you get your lost passport replaced will be valid for a full 10 years. (If you are under age 16, your passport will be valid for 5 years.)
Yes, it does. You are expected to turn in your most recent passport when you apply for a new one, so if you have lost your expired passport you will need to go through the lost passport replacement procedure described on this page.
If you find your lost passport after you have started the replacement process, that passport is considered cancelled and is no longer valid for travel. As soon as you have filed the DS-64 form, the State Department will cancel the passport you lost. This is a safety procedure so that if someone else finds your passport, they can not use it.
If you lose your passport overseas, you will need to go to the nearest US consulate to have your lost passport replaced. All of the same requirements for getting a lost passport replaced will apply.
Stolen Passport FAQ
You do not need to report the theft of your passport to the local police to have your passport replaced. The most important thing is that you report the theft to the US State Department, which is done as part of the replacement process when you fill out the DS-64 form. Of course, if you have been the victim of a violent crime or if you have also been robbed of credit cards or other valuables, you should report the robbery immediately.
No, your new passport will have a different number. Every passport book has a unique number that has never been used on any other passport.
The new passport you get when you get you replace a stolen passport will be valid for a full 10 years. (For travelers under age 16, the passport will be valid for 5 years.)
Yes, because you are required to turn in your most recent passport when you apply for a new one. If your most recent passport was stolen, you will need to go through the stolen passport replacement procedure described on this page, even if that passport was already expired.
After a passport has been report stolen, it is invalidated by the US State Department and cannot be used for travel or as proof of US citizenship. If you find a passport that you have reported lost or stolen, you should send it in to the State Department. They will destroy the passport, or, if you request, they will mark it cancelled and return it to you.
You will need to go to the nearest US embassy or consulate to report the theft and get a replacement passport.. All of the same requirements for getting a stolen passport replaced will apply.
Change or Correct a Passport FAQ
Your passport change or passport correction will be issued as a new passport book.
If you apply for corrections in a passport less than one year after the passport was issued, your new passport will be valid for a full ten years.
If you apply for corrections more than one year after your passport was issued, your new passport will be issued for whatever validity remained on your previous passport.
No, you will no longer be eligible for the no-fee reapplication service. If your passport was issued overseas on an emergency basis more than one year ago, you will now need to apply for a passport renewal and pay the appropriate fees. If your passport was issued in the United States more than one year ago, but was issued for limited validity because of a documentation issue, you will need to follow the new passport procedure and apply using Form DS-11. Full government fees will apply.
Passport Name Change FAQ
You will be issued a new passport book in your new name.
Your new passport will be valid for a full ten years.
You can travel using the passport that shows your maiden name; just make sure your air tickets are booked using your maiden name and not your married name. You can apply for a passport name change when you return from your honeymoon.
Passport Card FAQ
This form of Real ID is a wallet size card that offers border-crossing access to countries like Mexico and Canada with access to sea ports to and from The Caribbean and Bermuda. This card is less expensive than a traditional passport book but it DOES NOT ALLOW for foreign air travel. The passport book and passport card are both U.S. passports. If issued for the full validity, they are both proof of your U.S. citizenship and identity.
The most important difference between U.S. passport books and passport cards is that passport cards are not valid for international air travel; they’re only acceptable for land and sea border crossings between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. They both have a validity of 10 years for 16 years or older and 5 years for children under 16. Passport cards typically cost less than passport books and are wallet size cards
Like passport books, adult passport cards remain valid for 10 years from the date of issue. The date your passport card was issued is printed on the front of the card along with the expiration date, making it easy to check how much validity is left.
Children’s passport cards are only valid for five years. Again, this is the same validity period applied to the traditional passport book.
The card does use RFID technology. It is safe to use because there is no data on the chip. This chip has a unique id number that can only be read when it is being scanned by an authorized chip reader and has no identifiable information such as name, age, sex, or race. The number on the card is stored in a secure government database.
The passport card and the passport book are two different documents. They provide you with a form of Real ID but the passport book gives you more access to international travel. The number in your passport book is your passport number. The passport card (US has an optional card for ground travel between Mexico and Canada) is a different number than your passport number. When you’re traveling, if asked for your passport number, use the one in your passport book.
Even if your passport book is expiring, your passport card will still be valid for 10 years. If you want to renew both a valid passport book and passport card, you must submit both documents. Please note that the passport card does not allow for international air travel.
The Real ID law was passed by Congress several years ago to set federal standards for identification documents. When the law is fully implemented, you will need to have a Real ID-compliant identification document to enter government buildings like courthouses or to pass through TSA security at the airport, even for domestic flights. Depending on where and when it was issued, your driver’s license may not be Real ID certified, so a passport card is a convenient, reliable form of Real ID that you can easily carry in your wallet.
For children too young to be issued driver’s licenses, the passport card is an excellent form of card-sized official identification. Families who travel frequently find them particularly useful – they report that they can pass through airport security much more quickly than families who do not have identification for their children.
Children’s passport cards are only valid for five years, the same time period as a children’s passport book.
You will need to report the loss of your passport card by calling 877-487-2778 or by filling out the lost passport report form DS-64 and mailing it to the address on the form. If you have also lost your passport book, please see our Lost Passport or Stolen Passport pages for details on how to replace your passport.
Second Passport FAQ
Per the US State Department, the following countries may deny or delay entry to travelers who have Israel markings in their passport: Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
No, your second passport will have a unique number.
Yes, you can renew a second passport, but you will need to submit all the requirements for second passports, including the second passport letter of request and proof of travel plans.
Damaged Passport FAQ
Your damaged passport will be replaced by a completely new passport. It will be valid for 10 years (if you are over age 16) and will have a different number than the damaged passport.
The passport expediting company can review scans or photos of your damaged passport and give you their expert opinion on whether it is badly damaged enough to require the mutilated passport replacement procedure we’ve described on this page. If you request an early renewal, the final determination will be made by the US State Department – if they decide the passport is too badly damaged to renew, your passport and application will be returned to you so that you can fill out a DS-11 form and go to a Passport Acceptance Agent to have your application sealed into an official envelope.
Yes, you can. Just collect all the pieces you have and put them in a clean ziploc bag for submission.
New Passport Application FAQ
Please list the color of one of your eyes.
Provide the color of your eyebrows or other facial hair.
Sorry, but the name you list on your passport application must be your legal name exactly as listed on your birth certificate or legal name change document (i.e. court order or marriage certificate).
Passport Renewal Application FAQ
Yes, you may request a large 52-page book on your passport renewal application. There is no additional fee for the larger book. However, the large books are issued only at State Department discretion and may not always be available, so sometimes a standard 28 page book is issued when a 52 page book was requested.
List the current color of your hair, as shown in the passport photo you are submitting with your passport renewal application.
The travel plans section is optional if you are requesting standard processing by mail. If you need expedited service for your passport renewal, you will need to list an upcoming trip in this section.
No, this section is only for previous legal names, such as a maiden name or previous married name. Do not list any nicknames, pen names, religious names, etc.
Lost or Stolen Passport Application FAQ
As you go through the application questionnaire online, you will be asked whether your previous passport is still in your possession, and you will select the option that says “No, it has been stolen.” The online application will then prompt you for the extra details needed for your DS-64 form to be created.
When asked for the number of your stolen passport, fill in “000000000” (nine zeros). If you are filling in the passport application online, you will need to fill in a date of issuance, so provide a guess. It is fine if this date is not accurate. If filling in the application by hand, you may leave this question blank.
Damaged Passport Application FAQ
You will select the option that says “Yes, but it was damaged or mutilated.”
When asked for the number of your damaged passport, fill in “000000000” (nine zeros).
Name Change Application FAQ
List your current legal name, as shown on your name change document. The only places you need to fill in your previous name as printed in your passport are:
- The section that asks about your current passport
- The question that asks to list all your previous legal names
You do not need to list any travel plans unless you are requesting expedited service.
If your passport book and passport card were both issued less than one year ago, you can use just one copy of application form DS-5504 to request that your name be changed on both the book and the card.
Passport Pages Application FAQ
The standard additional pages insert is 24 pages. You can request a large 48 page insert on your DS-4805 application. There is no additional charge for the 48 page insert, but they are issued at State Department discretion only. A 24 page insert may be issued even if a 48 page insert is requested.
You do not need to list any travel plans unless you are requesting expedited service.
List the passport number and issue date for the passport that needs additional pages.
Second Passport Application FAQ
List the details as follows:
- If you currently hold a second passport (2 year passport), list the number and date of issue of the second passport.
- If you do not currently hold a second passport, list the number and date of issue of your valid 10 year passport.
Yes, you must list travel plans, because second passports are only issued to US citizens whose travel plans require a second passport.
- If you are requesting a second passport because of upcoming travel to a country that will not allow you to enter with a passport that shows Israel stamps, list the details of this trip.
- If you need a second passport because you have to get a visa for a future trip while you are on another international trip, list your soonest international departure.
No, you must list your name exactly as it is shown on your current 10 year passport. If your name has changed since your 10 year passport was issued, or if there is a printing error on your passport, you must go through the name change or passport correction process on your 10 year passport before a second passport is issued. A passport expediting company may be able to help you do both processes at once to save time.
Minor Passport Application FAQ
Please list the color of one of your child’s eyes.
You can state the color of your child’s eyebrows.
You may leave this question blank, as it’s only required for applicants over age 16. However, if your child goes to school, you may also list the occupation as “student” and put the school name in the employer field.
Passport Replacement FAQ
No, your new passport will be issued with a completely unique number.
The validity of your new passport doesn’t have anything to do with how much validity was left on the passport you replaced. Your new passport will be valid for a full ten years from the date of issuance, or five years if you are a minor under age 16.
Sorry, but no. You’ll need to get a new photograph to submit with your application to replace your passport.
You’ll be able to replace your passport at the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate General. Check out our blog article for more information!