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How to Get Your New Passport

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You should apply for a new passport if:

  • You are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time.
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Your previous U.S. passport has expired & was issued more than 15 years ago.
  • Your previous passport has expired and it was issued when you were under 16.
  • Your name has changed since your passport was issued and you do not have a legal document formally changing your name.

To apply for a new passport, you need to provide the following items:

1. Completed Form-DS11, Application for Passport.

Read directions carefully. Check everything twice or, even, three time. You wouldn't want your application denied for a simple thing like not signing the application.

2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship.

The two most frequently used documents to prove citizenship are a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate. If you do not have one of these, you can provide a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Naturalization Certificate or a Certificate of Citizenship.

Voter registration cards and army discharge papers are not acceptable proof of citizenship.

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3. Proof of identity.

A previous U.S. passport can also serve to prove your identity. If you do not have one, you can provide a Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, a current, valid Driver's license, government ID or military ID.

4. Two passport photos.

The two photos must be 2 x 2 inches, identical, taken within the last 6 months. The photos must show a full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background.

You should dress in normal street attire. Uniforms other than religious retire that is worn daily, hats, headgear and dark glasses are not acceptable. Prescription glasses with clear lenses may be worn.

5. Applicable fees.

The passport fee is $55. The security surcharge is $12. The execution fee is $30. The total is $97.

When applying at one of the thousands of designated application acceptance facilities in the U.S., you pay the passport fee and the security surcharge to the ''U.S. Department of State'' and the execution fee to the facility where you are applying. Acceptable forms of payment vary.

Fees are non-refundable.

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6. Social security number.

If you do not provide your Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Service may impose a $500 penalty.

If your passport was lost or stolen, you must also provide a completed Form DS-64: Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport.

After gathering the documentation, take it to one of the more than 6,000 passport acceptance facilities where an acceptance agent will witness the signing of the application.

Regular passport processing takes about 6 weeks. This is not guaranteed and may extend to 3 months or more.

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