If you have never had a U.S. passport before, or if you have to renew a U.S. passport, this guide is for you!
SPECIAL NOTE for Prague, Seville, or Florence in Fall 2023:
Step 1: Schedule an appointment to submit your application.
It can take several days or even weeks to get an appointment, so we recommend doing this first. This tool will show you all the passport acceptance facilities near you. Many libraries and post offices can accept passports, but it is extremely likely that you will need an appointment.
The scheduler tool will explain how to book an appointment at your selected facility. It is rare, but some places will allow you to walk in without an appointment. Be sure to check in advance.
The State Department is offering some special passport acceptance fairs in select locations. You may have luck securing an appointment at one of these events. You can also use this USPS scheduling tool to book an appointment at your local post office.
After you’ve scheduled your appointment, you will need to gather several documents in order to prove who you are (identity) and that you are eligible to get a U.S. passport (citizenship).
Step 2: Locate your documentation to prove your U.S. citizenship.
You only need ONE of the following documents:
- An original birth certificate (most common)
- A certified copy of your birth certificate with official seal
- Your Certification of Naturalization
- Your Certification of Citizenship
- A Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- An expired U.S. passport
- A valid U.S. passport that is about to expire
Step 3: Locate your proof of identity documentation.
This may be:
- Your driver’s license (NOT a learner’s permit)
- U.S. military or military dependent ID card
- Government employee ID card
If you don’t have one of the identity documents listed above, you may gather TWO (2) of these options:
- Your learner’s permit
- A state ID card
- A social security card
- A voter registration card
- Student ID card with photo
- Employee ID card from work with photo
Step 4: Locate your social security card.
Step 5: Make photocopies of both the front and the back of your citizenship and identity documents.
You will need both the original documents and the photocopies to apply for your U.S. passport.
Step 7: Complete the U.S. passport application form, also called a DS-11.
TIPS for completing the DS-11 application form:
- Use black ink only.
- At the top, check the box for a US Passport Book and Regular Book (Standard)
- Fill in your name exactly as it appears on your citizenship document. It is important that your name matches on all documents.
- *Contact your Student Onboarding Advisor ASAP if you have changed your name. You’ll need extra help with the process.
- The gender selection does NOT need to match your citizenship document. You may select (M) male, (F) female, or (X) other.
- Continue filling in other personal information such as address, SSN, and parent information.
As it states, DO NOT SIGN the application on Page 1. You will wait and sign this document in person in front of an agent when you submit your application.
Woohoo! You are ready to submit your application!
Step 8: Prepare your payment of the required U.S. passport fees.
These fees are non-refundable.
- You cannot use a credit card or debit card.
- You will need a check or a money order payable to “U.S. Department of State.”
- The amount of this check or money order will be $130, $190, or $209.53, depending on if you are applying for expedited processing or shipping.
- We recommend all Verto 2023 participants apply for expedited processing due to longer process times at the State Department.
- You will also need a separate form of payment (check, cash, card) for a $35 acceptance fee.
This calculator tool can help you understand exactly how much you will need to pay and how.
Step 9: Attend your appointment.
A parent or guardian must attend with you if you are under 18 years old. Be sure to bring all your documents!
- Proof of citizenship original
- Proof of citizenship photocopy
- Proof of identity original (1 or 2 documents)
- Proof of identity photocopies
- Social security card
- Passport photo
- Completed DS-11 application form
- Check or money order for U.S. Department of State
- Other payment for acceptance fee
Step 10: Receive your passport in the mail! You did it!
Upload a copy of your passport to your Verto Student Portal by your program deadline for passport submission.
Communicate with your Student Onboarding Advisor about applying for a visa if you are going to Prague, Seville, or Florence and follow all checklists in your Student Portal.
Keep your passport in a safe place until you are ready to get on the plane!