The following is summarized from the website of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs:

HOW TO APPLY FOR A PASSPORT: Passport applications are accepted at over 9,000 facilities in the U.S., including courthouses, libraries, municipal offices and local post offices. Minors under age 16 need to apply in person with one or both parents. Application forms can be downloaded at the Bureau of Consular Affairs website:

The following steps are required to get a passport:

  • Provide an Application for Passport (Form DSP-11 which can be downloaded or obtained from any passport agency or acceptance facility; many travel agents also have application forms for their clients);
  • Present Proof of U.S. Citizenship (the following documents can be used: certified birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth, naturalization certificate or previous U.S. passport);
  • Present Proof of Identity (the following documents can be used: certificate of citizenship, current, valid driver’s license, government ID or military ID, naturalization certificate or previous U.S. passport);
  • Provide Two Passport Photographs (photos must be 2x2 inches in size, identical and taken within the past six months to show current appearance);
  • Pay the Applicable Fee (fees vary for age, passport renewals, and people born outside of the United States); and
  • Provide a Social Security Number (failure to provide a number may result in a financial penalty from the Internal Revenue Service).

Passports are routinely processed and sent to applicants within four weeks. Passports can be expedited within three weeks for an additional fee and the applicant’s arrangement of overnight delivery service.

NOTE: Beginning in June 2008, Passport Cards are available for U.S. citizens at a lower fee than passport books. The passport cards can be used for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean but are NOT valid for air travel. Further information and applications are available at the U.S. State Dept. website:

TO OBTAIN A PASSPORT WITHIN TWO WEEKS: Applicants who need a passport within two weeks (or within four weeks to obtain a foreign visa) can make an appointment at the Connecticut Passport Agency, 850 Canal Street, Stamford. Call (877) 487-2778 to make an appointment.  See details at website:

HOW TO RENEW A PASSPORT: Applicants can renew passports in person or by mail. You can choose to renew by mail if you already have a passport that is not damaged, have received the passport within the past 15 years, were over age 16 when the passport was issued, and still have the same name as in the passport or legal documentation of a name change. To obtain a passport by mail:

  • Complete an Application for Passport by Mail (Form DSP-82);
  • Attach your most recent passport, two identical photographs, and a $110 fee (check for current fee level and fee for Expedited Service, if needed);
  • Enclose a certified copy of a legal document such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree if you have changed your name (no photocopies accepted); and
  • Mail in a padded envelope to: National Passport Processing Center, P.O. Box 90155, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155.
  • For expedited applications, mail to: National Passport Processing Center, P.O. Box 90955, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955.

If your passport has been altered, damaged or mutilated, you must apply in person. U.S. residents abroad should renew their passports at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

HOW TO REPLACE A LOST OR STOLEN PASSPORT: To report the loss or theft of a passport, apply in person and complete an Application for Passport (Form DSP-11) and a Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport (Form DSP-64), if the lost or stolen passport is still valid. Submit the form(s) to the nearest passport acceptance facility with documentation, fees, and photos. Forms can also be mailed to:

  • U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section, 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036.

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website