April 2015

Apply for a U.S. Passport - Frequently Asked Questions

I am applying for a passport for a minor under age 18. Are there special requirements?
There are special requirements when applying for a passport for a minor (under the age of 18).
Passports for minors under age 16:
  • All passports for minors under 16 require application in person using the DS-11 form, including renewals. For a renewal, the previous passport must be submitted. If that passport cannot be located, a form DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport is required
  • The minor must be present. Both parents or guardians should appear with the minor.
  • A document providing evidence of parental relationship between the applicant and parents is required.
  • For further details, see the U.S. Department of State’s Passports for Minors Under 16 webpage.
Passports for minors age 16 and 17:
  • It is recommended that at least one parent be present with the applicant at the time of application to show parental awareness.
  • For more detail, see the U.S. Department of State’s Passports for Minors Age 16 and 17 webpage
I have an expired (or soon-to-expire) passport. Can I renew it using the DS-82 US Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals?
Expired passports can be renewed by mail if you can submit your passport and that passport:
  • Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
  • Was issued when you were age 16 or older
  • Was issued within the last 15 years
  • Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change
  • For further details, see the U.S. Department of State’s Renew a Passport page
Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines may not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. The Library is willing to review your renewal application as a courtesy, however, applicants are required to mail their own renewals.
Full details about passport fees can be found on the State Department website
How can I get a replacement for a lost or stolen passport?
You should report a lost or stolen valid passport immediately! To replace a lost or stolen passport, you must complete the forms DS-11 and DS-64 and submit those forms in person. All usual documents and new photos required by the DS-11 must be resubmitted.
How long does it take to process my passport?
Current times are posted on the State Department website.
I have an emergency and need a passport very quickly. What can be done?
If you can demonstrate the need to travel in less than 14 calendar days, a main option is to engage the services of a “third-part expeditor;” an important web resource is the National Association of Passport and Visa Services. If you use an expeditor you still must come to the Library (or another acceptance agency); alert Library staff about this so that an hour-long appointment can be arranged. A visit to a Regional Passport Agency can also be considered. In extreme circumstances the office of your congressional representative might be of assistance. Contact the National Passport Information Center and the staff there will advise you.
Where can I get information about the status of my application?
Status information is available from the National Passport Information Center.
Where can I get my passport photo taken?
The Library does not offer photograph services. Passport photo services are available at many local businesses including: FedEx Office, AAA, CVS, Costco, Sam’s and Walgreens locations. Call ahead for availability. The State Department’s Passport Photo Requirements offer more guidelines.
What if my name has changed? What if there's been a printing error on my passport?
The name on your passport should match your evidence of identity and citizenship. To have your name changed on a replacement passport, you must submit a completed form DS-5504 Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement, and any evidence or documentation required by that form, a current photo is required whenever submitting a DS-5504.
Applicants who apply for a passport shortly before being married must apply in their present name, even if planning to change their name after marriage. After the legal name change, you can use form DS-5504 to apply for a re-issued passport under the new name within one year of the name change.
Visas
See the State Department's Country Specific Information for the foreign entry requirements of your destination countries.
Still have questions?
Contact the National Passport Information Center (1-877-487-2778) or the Library's Information and Reference Department (513-369-6900).