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  • Outdated sealed envelopes.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

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.


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