Passport Questions and Answers

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We provide answers to frequently asked questions about passports. We recommend that if you do not find your answer on this page, to contact your local passport office. They should be able to answer your passport questions.

Is it required to make an appointment when applying for a passport?
Some passport locations do require you make an appointment when you are applying for a new passport. It is suggested that you contact the facility ahead of time to verify what is required as well as office hours, forms of payment and what documents are needed.

Am I able to mail in my application or apply online?
When you are applying for a passport using Form DS-11 you are required to apply in person only. Currently, they do not have a way to submit your passport application online.

What if I want both a passport card and a passport book?
You are allowed to apply for both at the same time. However you will need to pay both fees as well. For additional information, check out the passport card page.

How long will it take to get my passport?
Currently the processing times for routine passport applications is 4 to 6 weeks. For expedited services it is currently at 2 to 3 weeks. However this can change at any time. To get the most up to date processing time, click here.

I am behind in my child support payments, can I still apply for a passport?
If you are more than $2,500 behind in child support payments then you will not be eligible to obtain a US passport.

How will my passport book or card get mailed back to me?
Newly issued passport books will be delivered using Priority Mail along with Delivery confirmation, unless you went ahead and paid for the Priority Express return service when you submitted your passport application. Passport cards are mailed using First Class Mail, they however cannot be delivered using Priority Express. Your documents you submitted to verify citizenship will be mailed back to you separately.

On my birth certificate it states it is illegal to make copies. What should I do?
You do decide not to submit a photocopy of your birth certificate, you then can submit a second certified copy. They will then keep the second certified copy for their records.

Why am I unable to use my passport card to fly internationally?
Passport books are the only documents approved for internal air travel. Passport cards were designed for specific needs for northern and southern border communities with people who cross the border frequently.

Am I able to use my passport card at Ready Lanes?
Yes, US Customs and Border Protection have approved its use in Ready Lanes at several land border ports of entry.

If I already have a passport book, am I able to use the DS-82 Form to get a passport card?
Yes, if you have or have ever had a passport book AND you are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for a passport card as a renewal by mail, even if its your first passport card.

Am I able to renew my passport if it's still valid?
Yes, your passport does not have to be expired in order for you to request renewal. It is recommended you renew your passport well ahead of any planned international traveling. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond the dates of your trip.