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Proof of Identity

When applying for a US passport in person, you must provide passport officials with acceptable proof of identity before your passport application can be processed.

What is proof of identity and how can you fulfill the requirements?

Read below to find out more about primary and secondary proof of identity forms.

Primary Proof of Identity

Identity proofing is necessary to establish credibility when issuing passports. The following items are each considered a primary proof of identity and can be used individually when applying:

If you apply for your passport at an authorized agency and use out-of-state ID to establish a proof of identity, you must also present an additional proof of identity form. For example, if you apply in Florida with a Georgia driver’s license, you must present passport officials with a secondary ID containing a significant combination of the following: your photo, full name, date of birth, and the date the ID/proof of identity form was issued.

Do not submit the originals of any proof of identity forms. Instead, photocopy the documents and submit the copies to passport officials. Photocopies must be on plain white, standard size paper, and show the front and back of your ID. Photocopies of proof of identity must also contain images only on one side of the paper. If you cannot fit the ID all on one page, you may use two pages. Photocopies should be free of any irrelevant images or markings. Note: you may also enlarge the image of your ID on the paper, but you may not shrink it.

Secondary Proof of Identity

Certain individuals may not be able to provide one of the primary proof of identity forms. In this case, you must submit as many of the secondary proof of identity forms as possible.

Secondary proof of identity documents include anything officially issued with your personal information on it. This includes your Social Security card, credit cards, employee ID, library card, voter registration, etc. These documents are not acceptable proof of identity when presented individually, but when combined can serve as a form of identity proofing.

Identifying Witnesses

You can also elect to use an identifying witness as your proof of identity. An identifying witness is a person who can swear to passport officials that you are who you say you are. Identifying witnesses must:

The proof of identity form must be completed in the presence of a Passport Agent. Form DS-71 is only available in person at a passport facility or through an authorized passport agent.