Applying for a Passport at the Local Government Office

Applying for a passport is one of the unfortunate hurdles that await those seeking adventure around the world. There are many rules and procedures that have to be followed in order to complete the process in a timely manner.

Rest assured that obtaining a passport is well worth the adventure that can be had by traveling to all of the exotic destinations around the world.

All of the information needed to obtain a passport can be found on the government website; The process for first-time passport applicants is different than that of someone looking to renew an already existing passport. Below is the process for first-time applicants.

First-Time Applicants: Passport

You have to apply in person at a local government office such as a city hall or DMV if you fall into one of the following circumstances;

1. This is an initial passport application.
2. Under the age of 16.
3. A previous password was issued when the owner was under the age of 16.
4. A previous passport was lost, damaged, or stolen.
5. A previous passport was issued more than 15 years ago.
6. Any name change.

Before going into a local government office, one should prepare the necessary paperwork and proof of citizenship. The first step is to go onto the government site in order to download form DS-11 which is the application for a new issuance of a passport. Next, fill out the form but do not sign it until at the government office in the presence of the registrar.

The next step is to prepare a document that proves the applicant is a US citizen. This can be accomplished via one of the following primary methods:

1. A previously issues US passport.
2. Birth Certificate.
3. Consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth.
4. Naturalization certificate.
5. Certificate of citizenship.

Secondary Documents:

Applicants must also present secondary forms of identification in person such as a driver’s license, government ID, or military ID. These will need to be brought along with the primary form in order for applications to be processed.

Those wishing to save money should also have a passport photo taken of themselves before they head to the local government office to apply. This saves time and will cost about half of what the government charges. Applicants can also ensure that they are happy with the photo as well which isn’t a bad thing. Ensure that the photo is not attached to form DS-11 when applying.

Applicants will also be required to pay a passport origination fee when they apply. The fee ranges from $165 for adults seeking a book and card to $55 for only the card. Most applicants will want the book as the card only allows access to Canada.

The final step is for applicants to travel down to their local government office and apply in person. It is imperative that all of the required documents are brought as well as the proper forms filled out. Applicants will be sent home if anything is missing.

New passports take approximately a month to arrive on average but can fluctuate due to demand. Wait times have been known to be as long as six months although that is rare. Once the passport arrives, applicants should immediately sign and fill out all pertinent pages. After that, holders will be able to travel the world and maybe check off a few bucket list items.


In conclusion, applying for a passport at the local government office does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming process. With preparation and knowledge of what to expect, the entire experience can be a pleasant one. Remember to plan ahead and bring all necessary documents with you to the office.