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Passport Application

You must fill out a US passport application if you intend to travel abroad. A United States passport is required for all U.S. citizens to leave and re-enter the country. The passport proves that its holder has U.S. citizenship. Maintaining an up-to-date and accurate passport is vital to a citizen’s ability to travel freely throughout the world.

It can take several weeks to apply for a US passport, depending on the method chosen. Therefore, you should start the passport application process well in advance of a planned trip. Additionally, depending on your specific situation, you may need to fill out one of two forms.

US Passport Application Form Options

The US passport secure application Form DS-11 is used for the majority of submissions. This physical form can only be submitted in person at an acceptance facility. You should use Form DS-11 if you are:

You can use Form DS-82 for your US passport application only if you are renewing an undamaged adult passport issued within the last 15 years with an up-to-date name. If your passport name is not up to date but you can provide legal documents proving your change of name, use Form DS-82. Unlike Form DS-11, Form DS-82 can be mailed in and does not require an in-person appointment. Additionally, you can apply for a US passport online, and third-party providers can expedite your request if you need your official passport in only a few business days.

How to Fill out Form DS-11

If you intend to fill out a physical copy of US passport application Form DS-11, you must first print out the form. This application can only be submitted in person. Form DS-11 contains four pages of instructions and two pages of forms to fill out. Read through the four pages of instruction carefully, as they include requirements for successfully submitting a secure US passport application, details on relevant taxes or fees and multiple federal statements related to your legal rights. You can start the passport application on the fifth page.

The first section of your US passport application asks you to check off which document you are applying for. Use black ink to fill out the application. This is because other colors of ink will not be accepted. To fly internationally, select a U.S. Passport Book, not Passport Card. You can select both, but you will pay additional fees for the card. After you select what document you want, specify on your passport application if you want a standard book or a large book. Select the standard book if you are not a frequent international traveler. Otherwise, select the large book if you plan on crossing international borders frequently, as this option contains more space for stamps. Then, fill out the remainder of page one as follows:

  1. Name – Fill out your complete last name in the first line. Use one letter per box throughout your US passport application. Fill out your complete first name in the second line, along with your complete middle name, if applicable.
  2. Date of Birth – Fill out your date of birth in the format MM/DD/YYYY.
  3. Sex – Check M for Male or F for Female.
  4. Place of Birth – If you were born in the United States, list the city and state you were born in on your US passport form. If you were born outside of the United States, list the city and country you were born in. If the city or country name has changed since your birth, use the name currently in use.
  5. Social Security Number – Fill out your complete Social Security Number.
  6. Email – Provide an email address you use regularly.
  7. Primary Contact Phone Number – List a reliable phone number.
  8. Mailing Address – On line 1 of the mailing address portion of your U.S. passport application, write your street name. On line 2, write a suite number, apartment number, unit number or other identifying information, if necessary. On line 3, fill out your city, state abbreviation and Zip code. If you live outside the United States, list the country where stated.
  9. Other Names – List all other legal names you have used in the past. If you have more than two previous legal names, attach an additional page to your US passport application form to identify all your previous legal names.

Once you complete the yellow part of your US passport application, stop and turn to page two. The white portion of page one must be filled out with an authorized agent. As such, you will have to start the passport application process again if you fill out the white portion without authorization.

On page six of your US passport application, write your complete last, first and middle name in the top line. Fill out your date of birth beside it. This is to help agents identify what form the page belongs to if it is separated from the previous page. Then, resume filling out the form as follows:

  1. Parental Information – Fill out each parent’s first, middle and last name on your US passport application form. Use the last name they were born with. Include their date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format. List their place of birth, mark their legal sex, and note whether or not each was a U.S. citizen.
  2. Have you ever been married? – If no, mark no and skip the question. If yes, fill out your current or most recent spouse’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, citizenship status and marriage date. If you are widowed or divorced, list the date your marriage status changed.
  3. Additional Contact Phone Number – Fill out an alternative phone number on your US passport application, and identify what kind of number it is.
  4. Occupation – If you are 16 years of age or older, note your occupation. If you are still in school, write “student.”
  5. Employer or School – List your employer or school, if applicable.
  6. Height – List your height.
  7. Hair Color – List your hair color.
  8. Eye Color – List your eye color.
  9. Travel Plans – If you have upcoming travel plans motivating your US passport application, list your departure date, return date and the country you plan to visit.
  10. Permanent Address – If your mailing address is different from your permanent address, list your permanent address on your US passport application.
  11. Emergency Contact – List an emergency contact who will not travel with you. Include his or her permanent address, phone number and relationship to you.
  12. Have you ever applied for or been issued a U.S. Passport Book or Passport Card? – If no, mark no and stop. If yes, list the name, book or card number and issue date of your most recent passport book or card. Also, mark if you are submitting your old passport with your application, or if it is stolen, lost or expired and in your possession.

You have finished your US passport application form after you have completed section 21. Do not fill out the white portion underneath. Now, you must bring the completed form along with all additional required documents to your appointment at a passport acceptance facility. You can complete the next steps to apply for a US passport at this location. However, to save yourself a trip to an acceptance facility, you can also apply for your passport through a third-party provider. This option will also allow you to receive your passport in as little as one business day following a successful application.