How to Renew or Apply for a US Passport

passportNeed a passport? Turns out you’re not alone. In 2012, 64 percent of U.S. citizens did not have passports.  But today is National Passport Day which means there’s no excuse to put off applying for or renewing your passport.

You have to apply in person, unless you are renewing a recently expired document. If you are trying to get your first passport or yours was lost, stolen, damaged, issued more than 15 years ago, or before you reached the age of 16, you also need to make an appointment for an in-person application.

To obtain a passport, Department of State passport agencies are open Monday through Friday schedule. There are also other options: post offices, clerks of court, and libraries. To find a location nearest you, click here.

Lines may get a little long, so be sure to arrive early. Here are the things you will need to apply for a US passport:

  • A DS-11: Application form. The form is available online, but it can only be signed in front of an acceptance agent.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship. This can be a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or previously issued passport.
  • Secondary Form of Identification. Can be a driver’s license, military or government ID, but make sure to bring a photocopy of it with you.
  • Form of Payment. Passports have different fees, either to apply for the first time or renew an old one.

If you don’t have the types of identification listed above, click here to see other acceptable forms identification.

Just make sure to have all of the items listed above, and schedule an appointment at your closest facility. If you only need to renew an old passport, you can fill out the forms online and pay a renewal fee ($140 for adults to $95 for minors).

If you need more information, the U.S. Department of State has created a Facebook page and their Twitter account @TravelGov has created the hashtag #PPTDay. You can see what they’re putting together for today and join the online discussion.

By Stephanie Ervin for