Passport Requirements

Passport Requirements in United States

United States has particular passport requirements that must be satisfied before one is issued with a valid passport. Knowing these passport requirements is important in the passport application process because failure to produce these documents may lead to your being denied a passport. Most of these passport requirements center on the need to ascertain your US citizenship and are also dependent on age and personal histories.

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It is a requirement in the US for everyone intending to travel abroad to have a passport. This is the same with even minors under the age of 14. They are also required to have passports with their own photos. The US passport is a very important travel document and is legally issued to the citizens and other lawfully recognized individuals. This therefore means that you must provide the necessary documents to proof that you are a citizen of the US before being issued with a passport.

The documents that you must produce as passport requirements in the US are;

  • Birth certificate (Certified)
  • An expired passport
  • Certificate of citizenship or naturalization (Certified)
  • A letter of No Record if there is no official record of your birth, in which case you will be required to produce proof of identity by the possession and production of a photo identity such as national ID, Military ID or a driver’s license.
  • You should also be in a position to provide an acceptable passport size photo that has been taken within the last six months.

In addition to having the necessary documents, an applicant is also required to pay the necessary application fees. Application forms should also be filled correctly and submitted in person or by mail depending on the type of passport you are applying for. Passport requirements in the US also stipulate that you must fill out the DS-11 forms and submit them in person to the accepting agency. These forms can be downloaded from the internet and should be filled out by hand. However, you are not supposed to sign the forms before being asked to do so by the accepting agency.

All the supporting documents should be accompanied by their photocopies, while special care should be taken to provide as much evidence of your cause as possible. This applies to where there are special considerations and circumstances such as lack of a valid birth certificate. The necessary fees should be fully paid while the passport photo should be in the right specifications of size, color, quality and content.

Passport requirements for the minors aged below 16 years are more intense. A proof of the child’s citizenship, that of the parents and a proof of the relationship between the child and the parents or guardians are required. A parental consent should also be provided and payment of the necessary fees. There are also other passport requirements needed when renewing the passport, when changing a name on the passport or when replacing a lost or damaged passport. Knowing the passport requirements is the first and most important step in acquisition of the same.