A common question is how to get a passport. Here is some information I found on the U.S. State Department website:

How to Apply in Person for a Passport


Should You Apply In Person?

You are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time.

Yes

Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged.

Yes

Your previous U.S. passport has expired & was issued more than 15 years ago.

Yes

Your previous passport has expired and it was issued when you were under 16.

Yes

Your name has changed since your passport was issued and you do not have a legal document formally changing your name.

Yes

NOTE:

All persons must have their own passports, including infants.

For All Minors Under Age 14 :

For All Minors Ages 14 to 17:

  • Each minor child shall appear in person.
  • For security reasons, parental consent may be requested.
  • If your child does not have identification of his/her own, you need to accompany your child and
    present identification.
  • Follow instructions below.

To Apply in Person for a U.S. Passport

You MUST:

1. Provide Application for Passport, Form DS-11

NOTE: Please do NOT sign the DS-11 application form until the Passport Acceptance Agent instructs you to do so.

2. Present Proof of U.S. Citizenship

All documentation submitted as evidence of U.S. Citizenship will be returned with the issued passport.  See Processing Times

You may prove U.S. Citizenship with any one of the following:

  • Previous U.S. Passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as evidence of U.S. citizenship.)
  • Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state

NOTE: A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature,
and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth

A Delayed Birth Certificate filed more than one year after your birth may be acceptable if it:

  • Listed the documentation used to create it and
  • Signed by the attending physician or midwife, or, lists an affidavit signed by the parents, or shows early public records.

If you do NOT have a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate, you will need:

  1. Letter of No Record

Issued by the State with your name, date of birth, which years were searched for a birth record and that there is no birth
certificate on file for you.

  1. AND as many of the following as possible: 
  • Baptismal certificate
  • Hospital birth certificate
  • Census record
  • Early school record
  • Family bible record
  • Doctor’s record of post-natal care

NOTES: These documents must be early public records showing the date and place of birth, preferably created within the first five years of your life.

You may also submit an Affidavit of Birth, form DS-10, from an older blood relative, i.e., a parent, aunt, uncle, sibling,
who has personal knowledge of your birth. It must be notarized or have the seal and signature of the acceptance agent.

If you were born abroad AND do not have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth on file, you will need:

  1. If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to one U.S. citizen parent:
  • Foreign birth certificate,
  • Proof of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent, AND
  • An affidavit of your U.S. citizen parent showing all periods and places of residence or physical presence in the United States
    and abroad before your birth.
  1. If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to two U.S. citizen parents:

  • Your foreign birth certificate,
  • Parent’s marriage certificate, AND
  • Proof of citizenship of your U.S. parents and an affidavit of your U.S. citizen parents showing all periods and places of
    residence of physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth.

Click here for additional information on documentation of U.S. citizens born abroad who acquire citizenship at birth

NOTE: The following are NOT proof of citizenship

  • Voter registration cards
  • Army discharge papers

We have new information on foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizens.

NOTE: If you travel extensively, you may request a larger, 48-page passport at no additional cost. To do so, please attach a signed
request for a 48-page passport to your application.

FOR MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 14:

The citizenship evidence submitted for minors under the age of 14 must list both parents’ names. Read more information on the citizenship requirements for minors under the age of 14.

3. Present Proof of Identity

You may prove your identity with any one of these, if you are recognizable:

  • Previous U.S. passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as proof of identity.)
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Current, valid
    • Driver’s license
    • Government ID: city, state or federal
    • Military ID: military and dependents

NOTE:  Your Social Security Card does NOT prove your identity.

If none of these are available , you will need:

  1. Some signature documents, not acceptable alone as ID

(ex: a combination of documents, such as your Social Security card, credit card, bank card, library card, etc.)

AND

  1. A person who can vouch for you. He/she must
  • Have known you for at least 2 years,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • Have valid ID, and
  • Fill out a Form DS-71 in the presence of a passport agent.

FOR MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 14:

Each minor child shall appear in person. Both parents or legal guardians must present evidence of identity when they apply
for a minor under the age of 14. Read more information on the identity requirements for minors under the age of 14.

FOR MINORS 14 to 17:

  • Your child MUST appear in person.
  • For security reasons, parental consent may be requested.
  • If your child does not have identification of his/her own, you need to accompany your child, present identification and co-sign
    the application.
4. Provide Two Passport Photos
Your photographs must be:

  • 2×2 inches in size
  • Identical
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Color
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Taken in normal street attire
    • Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
    • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture.
    • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A
      medical certificate may be required.

Click here for information on acceptable digitized photos.

Click here for detailed information for professional photographers.

NOTE:Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable

5. Pay the Applicable Fee
Click here to see passport fees.

Methods of Payment -

At Our 14 Passport Agencies -

Both fees and the surcharge are combined into one payment to the ”U.S. Department of State”:

  • Credit Cards – VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
  • Debit/Check cards (not ATM cards)
  • Checks (personal, certified, cashiers’, travelers’), money orders (U.S. Postal, international, currency exchange), bank drafts

Note:  If abroad, U.S. Embassies and Consulates accept the foreign currency equivalent, or a check drawn on a U.S. bank.

At our over 7,000 Passport Acceptance Facilities -

You pay the passport application fee and the security surcharge to the ”U.S. Department of State” and the execution fee
to the facility where you are applying.

For Passport Application Fee:

  • Personal checks, money orders, and bank drafts at all locations
  • Exact cash at some locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)

For Execution Fee:

  • Money orders and bank drafts at all locations
  • Personal checks and exact cash at some locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)
  • Credit cards at U.S. Postal Facilities and some other locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)

Expedite Fee:  (See How to Get Your Passport in a Hurry.)

6. Provide a Social Security Number

If you do not provide your Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Service may impose a $500 penalty. If you have any
questions please call your nearest IRS office.

As far as where to apply for a passport, you can go to http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/. Type in your zip code, and it will give you a list of places where you can apply. Many post offices now take passport applications. Be aware that in most places, you must first make an appointment.

Hopefully this has answered the question of how to get a passport.