Passport Application Documents You Need

“What documents do I need for a passport?” is a question you may have. When you are preparing to apply for your travel credential, you may feel overwhelmed. If you are a first-time applicant, there are certain items you need to submit along with passport application form DS-11. It is important that you understand what passport application documents are required to be submitted along with your form. If you do not submit all the necessary materials, the U.S. Department of State will be unable to process your request.

Keep in mind that the supplemental documents needed for a passport application to be submitted are the same throughout the country. Since this is a federal document, each state passport office is responsible for enforcing identical application rules. As a result, you need to submit your completed DS-11 form with the same US passport application required documents no matter where you live.

What documents do you need for a passport?

If you are a new passport applicant, you may be wondering what documents are needed to apply for a passport. There are several different types of items you need to submit along with your application form. The types of documents you must bring and examples of each of these items are provided below.

Proof of Citizenship

One of the first types of documentation for a passport application form that you must submit is proof that you are a U.S. citizen. To satisfy this requirement, bring one of the following documents:

Government Photo ID

An ID is needed for a passport application to be processed at your local post office or other acceptance facility. Otherwise, program agents cannot move forward with your request. Keep in mind, though, that there are various forms of ID for a passport you can use. These include:

  • Your state-issued driver’s license.
  • Your state-issued identification card.
  • A military ID card.

US Passport Photo

It is important that you submit acceptable passport photos along with your application. Usually, you can go to a pharmacy and obtain a passport photo at CVS or Walgreens. Other facilities such as Costco or AAA may also offer these services. Depending on where you apply for your ID, your nearby passport office may also offer passport picture services. Regardless of where you obtain your image, it is important that the photo meets the US passport photo requirements. These criteria relate to:

  • Passport size photo – Your image needs to be 2-by-2 inches in size. Additionally, you need to make sure your head is centrally positioned within the image.
  • Paper quality – The photo you submit needs to be printed on glossy or matte paper.
  • Clarity – You can only use a passport photo that is clear. Also, the picture cannot be a selfie.
  • Unedited – You may not use a passport photo that has been digitally altered in any way. Also, the image cannot be ripped, bent or torn.
  • Background – You must be positioned in front of a white or off-white background. The picture itself must also be printed in color.
  • Age – Your passport picture must have been taken within the previous six months.

Additionally, make sure you are prepared for your US passport photo to be taken. This means you are:

  • Not wearing your glasses, and your head is not covered unless you can prove these items are medically necessary or required for your religion.
  • Fully facing the camera.
  • Smiling naturally or have a neutral expression on your face.
  • Wearing clothes you generally wear. You cannot wear camouflage or a uniform.
  • Not wearing wireless devices, headphones or jewelry that covers your face.

Payment for Passport Services

When you apply for a US passport, there are different fees you need to pay. These include:

  • The passport application fee. The exact amount you owe depends on whether you are an adult or child applicant. It also varies based on whether you obtain a passport card or book.
  • An execution fee. If you have never had a passport before and are applying at a passport post office or other acceptance facility, you must pay an acceptance/execution fee. This costs an additional $35 for each applicant.
  • The expedited passport fee. If you choose to have your passport expedited so you can receive it sooner, you must pay an additional fee. This optional service costs an additional $60.