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US PASSPORT : How to Apply for a US Passport Online

By: Mary Jones

Traveling knowledge

Apply for a First-Time Passport

If you've never had a U.S. passport, are 16 or under, or aren't allowed to renew an existing passport by mail, you need to apply for a new passport in person at the Post Office.

Step 1: Gather Documents Early

Generally, you should apply for your new passport as soon as you know you’ll be traveling internationally—at least several months in advance.

Step 2: Prepare Your Application Package

1. Have a passport photo taken. 2. Photocopy your proof of identity and U.S. Citizenship documents. 3. Calculate your fees.Post Offices accept credit cards, checks, and money orders for Post Office acceptance fees.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment

1. Go to Schedule an Appointment. 2. Choose the passport service you need, along with the number of adults and minors who need appointments. 3. You can search for appointment by location or date first

Step 4: Pay Passport Acceptance & Processing Fees

First-time passport applications have two types of basic fees, the application acceptance fee and the application processing fee. Passport photos and fees for faster processing are extra.

Application Acceptance Fees – Postal Service

Pay acceptance fees in person at the Post Office. You may pay by check or money order, payable to "Postmaster," debit card, or credit card. – $35.00 - Post Office acceptance fee – $15.00 - Post Office photo fee (if needed)

Application Processing Fees – Department of State

State Department fees are paid separately from USPS fees. – State Department Fees State Department passport fees vary. Calculate passport fees online.

Application Status Updates

It may take up to 4 weeks from the day you apply until your application status is "In Process." During these 4 weeks, your application is delivered to a mail facility

Renew a Passport by Mail

f you are eligible to renew your passport, please complete Passport Renewal Application Form DS-82 (see completion instructions on the form), and mail your completed renewal application

Check Your Eligibility to Renew by Mail

1. Is in your possession to submit with your application. 2. Is undamaged other than normal "wear and tear." 3. Was issued when you were age 16 or older. 4. Was issued within the last 15 years.

Prepare Your Application Package

Apply early for renewals as many countries require that passports be valid for at least 6 months after you enter their country.

Mail Your Renewal Application

Department of State recommends using a USPS delivery tracking service to mail your renewal application.