If you are getting a US passport for the first time, you will need to apply in person at a passport acceptance facility. Before you visit a facility to complete a first time passport application, it is important that you understand all the requirements in place. You must know what legal documents and fees are necessary to complete a first time US passport form, where you can submit your application and how long the process will take.
A standard passport application procedure can take several weeks to complete. Therefore, make sure that you apply for a first-time passport well before you expect to need it. However, if you must obtain a passport sooner, third-party passport services can expedite the process. With expedited services, applications can be processed in as little as one business day. For more tips for getting a first time US passport, review the sections below.
To complete a passport application for the first time, you must gather all the documents required for a passport application. Failing to provide the correct documents could result in your passport’s delay or denial. The necessary documents include:
When you are getting a US passport for the first time, you must double-check your documents and form to ensure that everything you are submitting is accurate and certified. Falsifying documents or information on a passport request form can come with a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Your first time getting a US passport requires an in-person appointment at an acceptance facility. You cannot mail in your application or submit it online through the Department of State. Begin by locating the nearest acceptance facility. Some facilities require that first time applicants make appointments ahead of time, while others accept walk-ins. Contact your facility and ask about their requirements, hours and what methods of payment they will accept for someone coming in to apply for a first-time passport. Acceptance facilities can be located at a city hall, post office or other government building.
Before getting your US passport for the first time, review the fees associated with your passport application. Fees can range from $115 to more than $700, depending on how quickly you need the passport, your age and what kind of passport you are applying for. Bring enough money to pay for your first time passport application, particularly if your facility does not accept credit or debit card payments.
After you schedule your appointment or select your acceptance facility, come in with all your documents to complete your passport application. You can use a paperclip to hold all your documents together. At the facility, you will meet with an agent and review your application packet. With the agent, finish filling out your documents, including the portions you left blank. Then, the agent will accept your documents and your method of payment. When the agent accepts your documents, you have successfully completed the process to apply for a first time US passport.
Once you have submitted your documents, you must wait for the State Department to process your application, print your passport and send it to you. Passport processing times can take several weeks. If you require documentation sooner or do not want to wait, you can request expedited passport service.
The State Department can expedite your passport application at your request, shortening the processing time from four to six weeks to two to three weeks. This comes with an additional passport fee. Additionally, third-party passport services can expedite your passport even sooner, providing you with your first time US passportin just days, rather than months.