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Passport Information

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Learn more about applying for or renewing your passport.

Obtaining Your Passport

A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue or verify United States passports.

The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport.

New Application for a U.S. Passport

To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to:

  • Go in person to one of 6,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States
  • Bring two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver's license.

Passport Acceptance Facilities

Acceptance facilities include many federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices. There are also 13 regional passport agencies, most of which serve only those who are departing urgently. Appointments are required in such cases.

Application Process

You'll need to apply in person if:

  • You are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time
  • Your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession
  • Your previous U.S. passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago or your previous U.S. passport was issued when you are under 16
  • Your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost of stolen.

For more information on getting a new passport, please see: How to Get a Passport

Renewal of a U.S. Passport

You can renew by mail if:

  • Your most recent passport is available to submit and it is not damaged
  • You received the passport within the past 15 years
  • You were over age 16 when it was issued
  • You still have the same name, or can legally document your name change.

If your passport has been, altered or damaged, you cannot apply by mail. You must apply in person. For more information on how to renew a passport, please see: How to Renew a Passport


The content of this page has been obtained from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.