How to Fill out your Passport Application Form

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Sat May 2 2020

There are few facts about the passport application process of which every traveler should be aware before a big trip. The U.S. passport remains high on the list of those that can access other countries without a visa and holds a great deal of influence worldwide.

As a result, the time and effort needed to apply for one or renew an old one increases accordingly. Make sure you know how to fill out a passport application form long before you need to fly abroad.


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Filling out Passport Application forms for the first time


Form DS-11 is the standard application required by the U.S. Department of State for first-time passport applicants.

First-time applicants need to bring their proof of US citizenship – usually in the form of a birth or naturalization certificate – a color passport photo, and their photo ID to attach to the form. Unless you’re planning on expediting your application or going through a third-party agency like Travel Visa Pro, you will also need to make an appointment at a regional passport agency to apply in person.

When it comes time to fill out Form DS-11, remember to double and triple check your application. Any mistake may result in the form not being immediately accepted, resulting in another appointment or a missed trip. As with all travel, the more time, the better your chances of getting your documents ready.


Filling out Passport Renewal forms


Form DS-82 is the standard application required by the U.S. Department of State for those renewing their passport books or cards.

Assuming your passport hasn’t been expired for more than five years, applicants qualify to use this form. They have the choice of mailing in their application or applying in person at a designated regional passport agency.

Just like with other passport application forms, remember to check for any errors prior to submission. Mail-in applications with DS-82 have the benefit of letting you apply for a passport renewal from the comfort of home, but offers little communication between you and the State Department. Often, applicants won’t know something is wrong until their application is returned with a request for corrections days or weeks later.


Filling out Children’s Passport forms


Children’s passport applications require the same form used by adults for the first time – DS-11 – but also additional supporting documentation. While DS-11 allows adult applicants to apply for a ten-year passport, it grants five-year passport books and cards for children.

Form DS-3053 is required to be included in any child’s passport application when one parent cannot appear in person for the application. All applicants under the age of 16 must have both parents or legal guardians appear in person for their passport application to be processed. This form must be filled out in front of a notary public with the photo ID of the parent intending to be absent.

Form DS-5525 may be used if one parent or legal guardian is in prison, subject to a custody order, or subject to a restraining order which leaves them unable to sign DS-3053. Specifically, it is a Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances.

At a minimum, any parents or legal guardians applying for their child’s passport must include Form DS-11, photos showing age progression, $80 in fees for a passport book, photo IDs for both parents, proof of U.S. citizenship, and proof of relationship to the child. For anything beyond that, the aforementioned forms may be added.


Filling out Emergency Passport forms


There is no special form for applying for an expedited or emergency passport application. DS-11 and DS-82 still apply for first-time applicants and renewals, respectively. However, additional documents may be expected to be included with these forms, including proof of immediate travel, a doctor’s note for medical emergencies, or even a death certificate of a family member.

For expedited passport applications, mail-in applications are not recommended. Rather, travelers should make an appointment at the closest regional passport agency and provide proof of the emergency, or contact their nearest Travel Visa Pro to private assistance when needed. Travel Visa Pro also has dozens of pick up and drop off locations in major and minor cities to accommodate these last-minute passport requests. 

Do you now know how to fill out your passport application form? Let us know if you have any other questions!