How to Apply for a First-Time US Passport Online
Step 1: Start Early – Gather Documents
Apply for your US passport several months before your trip. First-time applicants, minors, and applicants who may not renew by mail may submit their passport application at the Post Office. The U.S. State Department website explains what you’ll need to bring with you.
- Application forms (unsigned)
- Proof of identity document and a photocopy of the front and back
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship document and a photocopy of the front and back
- Passport fees
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Step 2: Prepare Your Application Package
- Complete your Form DS-11 Application for US Passport on the State Department website.
- Print your completed application.
DO NOT SIGN YOUR APPLICATION. A Postal employee must witness your signature.
- Have a passport photo taken.
NOTE: Many Post Offices with passport services can also take your photo. Call to confirm your Post Office takes photos.
- Photocopy your proof of identity and U.S. Citizenship documents.
- Calculate your fees.
- Post Offices accept credit cards, checks, and money orders for Post Office acceptance fees.
- State Department fees are mailed with your application. You can pay with a personal, certified, cashier’s, traveler’s check, or money order, payable to “U.S. Department of State.”
Step 3: Find a Post Office
Post Offices have set hours for passport services. Many require an appointment. Use the Find USPS Locations tool to find the nearest Post Office offering passport services.
- Go to Find USPS Locations.
- Select Passports from Location Types.
- Enter a ZIP Code™ or address.
- Select a mileage range.
- Click Refine search to select services such as walk-in, appointment, or photos.
- Click Search.