Department of State: Passports and Visas
The Department of State represents and protects U.S. interests around the world. The agency issues passports and assists Americans with travel abroad. Its web site, listed to the right, provides travel safety announcements and explains entry requirements and services available to Americans living or traveling abroad.
To obtain a passport for the first time, you must go in person to one of 7,000 passport acceptance facilities located in the United States which can be located through the U.S. Department of State Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page, provided in the links to the right. You will need to bring: two photographs of yourself (most facilities can do this for you for a fee) proof of citizenship (usually a certified birth certificate) a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license
The passport acceptance agent (generally located at a post office) will assist in mailing the application. Requests for passports have increased 40% since recent changes in the law. At this time, it will take at least 10 weeks to renew or obtain a new passport. If you pay the expedite fee, it may take up to 3 weeks to obtain your passport. These time frames are subject to change so please check the Department of State web site for the most up-to-date information on processing times. Individuals will also need to show proof of travel to allow those with more immediate travel needs to be assisted first.
You can renew by mail if:
your most recent passport is not damaged and is available to submit
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
You can download a passport renewal application from the U.S. Department of State Passports Home Page. If your passport has been altered or damaged, you must apply in person. For a renewal, you will need 2 new passport photos to submit.
For a person over 16, a passport costs $97;
For a person under 16, a passport costs $82
A renewal costs $67
Expediting is an additional $60 per passport plus overnight fees
For further information, please see the appropriate web sites listed to the right.
- How long does it take to obtain a passport?
- Requests for passports have increased 40% since recent changes in the law. At this time, it will take at least 10 weeks to renew or obtain a passport. If you pay the expedite fee, it may take up to 3 weeks to obtain your passport. These time frames are subject to change, however. Individuals will also need to show proof of travel to allow those with more immediate travel needs to be assisted first. Return to Top
- If I have an overseas emergency, who can I contact?
- You may contact the Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) at 1-888-407-4747 during their normal office hours (8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time). The after hours contact number for emergencies is (202) 647-4000. This connects you with the OCS duty officer. Return to Top