U.S. Passport Requirements: What’s Needed to Get a Passport?

Two individuals exchanging a U.S. passport

U.S. passport requirements are the same for all United State citizens and naturalized residents. 

Provide the correct proof of identification, passport form(s), and payment and you won’t likely have an issue when applying, renewing, or updating a passport. However, there may be various instances where you have a unique case. 

Passport conditions vary by age, type of document (book or card), and personal circumstances.

On this page, you’ll learn of the basic passport requirements ranging from required documents to additional information needed to complete your process.

Passport Requirements

Meeting the passport requirements

If you were born in any of the United States or a U.S. territory, an original birth certificate or an old passport can be used as a form of identification. If you are a naturalized citizen, then the original certificate of naturalization can be used as proof of citizenship. 

In addition to these primary documents, there are secondary documents that an applicant can use as proof of identity.

The required documents for a minor varies and that is dependent on who is applying for the passport. Nevertheless, here is a list of documents the State Department requires to process a passport application:

For an adult, here are the requirements:

Note: Photocopies and notarized copies will not be accepted

In the event that you changed your name due to marriage or divorce, you will need to bring in a certified copy of your marriage certificate or a court decree that shows your name change.

If the applicant does not have a birth certificate or previous U.S. passport, then other forms of proof can be used, including a doctor’s record of postnatal care, baptismal certificate, census record, hospital birth certificate, the early school record, or family bible record.

Additional Information

Passport requirements can vary from person to person (depending on their circumstances). If you do not fit into the typical application, renewal, or amending process, then you may want to refer to these items to help:

  • The documents provided should show the date and location of birth and must have been created within the first five years of the applicant’s life.
  • Applicants that were born outside of the United States that do not have a birth certificate or consular report of birth abroad and have only one parent that is a U.S. citizen can use proof of citizenship of your parent, foreign birth certificate, a state-issued document indicating that there is no birth certificate on file for you or an affidavit stating all of the locations your U.S. parent lived in the U.S. and abroad before you were born.
  • If both parents are U.S. citizens, then you can bring in their marriage certificate as an alternative to the aforementioned documentation. Minors and first-time adult applicants must apply for passports in person. Adults are considered to be 16 years old and older.
  • Identification and proof of citizenship must be provided, which includes the following forms of documentation: driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage certificates, I.D. card, military I.D., or previous U.S. passport that isn’t altered or damaged.
  • You will need to fill out the proper form and a fee will be required. You can choose between getting a passport book or a passport card.
  • Two passport photos will also be needed and must comply with regulations regarding proper passport photo specifications.

Additionally, here are more helpful resources found on our site that answer common questions and concerns when meeting the U.S. passport requirements:

For answers to other passport requirement questions, please refer to your local passport agency, office, or helpful resources such as our website and its guides.

Passport Services

Are you overwhelmed with the passport process? 

Having trouble meeting passport requirements or simply do not understand them? 

If so, then you may want to explore passport services.

Passport services connect you with professionals who know how to navigate all areas of applying, renewing, updating, and amending passports. These services reduce headaches and having to spend time going back and forth with a passport agency or office.

See our passport and visa expediting directory where you’ll discover dozens of high-quality passport service providers.

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