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By Casey Carr

Feb 2, 2018

The Ins & Outs of Applying for a Passport

So you’ve booked that bucket list trip, now it’s only a couple of months away and you still need a passport.  Or, if you’re a procrastinator, now it’s only a couple of weeks away, and you just plain forgot to apply for your passport.  What are the ins and outs of applying for a passport?  How long does it take?  What do I do in an emergency?  We de-mystify the process below, with helpful links and instructions!

Double Check & Arrive Prepared For Your Application

The following information was taken from the State Department Website and is up to date as of the date of this post.  Please visit this link to verify all requirements before you go for your application!

You will typically need:

  • Proof of citizenship ie a birth certificate
  • A new passport photo (available at Walgreens, CVS and similar stores)
  • Check, cash or money order
  • A completed application

You can apply for a passport in person at many locations around Dallas (or wherever you are located), search for your local office here.

Renew a Passport by Mail

If you are just renewing a passport, you may do so by mail.  You will need to submit your old passport along with your application form.

You can renew by mail using Form DS-82 if your most recent passport:

  • Is submitted with your application
  • Is undamaged (other than normal “wear and tear”)
  • Was issued when you were age 16 or older
  • Was issued within the last 15 years
  • Was issued in your current name (or you can document your name change with an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order)

If any of the above statements do not apply to you, you must Apply in Person using form DS-11.

If you are eligible, follow this link for a full list of instructions for renewing your passport by mail.

Applying for a Passport in Person

You must apply in person using Form DS-11 if at least one of the following is true:

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport
  • You are under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago

If none of the above statements apply to you, you may be eligible to Renew by Mail using Form DS-82.

Follow this link for a full list of instructions for applying for your passport in person.

Applying for a Passport for Children Under 16

As you might expect, the requirements for applicants under the age of 16 are more strict than adult applicants, and they must apply in person using Form DS-11.

Please note: Passports for children under 16 are only valid for 5 years.

Follow this link for a full list of instructions for applying for children under 16 in person

How Can I Change or Correct my Passport?

Do you need to correct or update your passport to reflect a name change, a data error or a printing error?  There are a wide variety options, Follow this link for a full breakdown of topics

How Can I Expedite My Passport?

If you need your passport quickly, you can expedite your application. Please see the State Department’s most up-to-date processing timesExpedited service is an additional $60.

Follow this link for a full list of instructions for expediting your passport

Emergency!  I lost my Passport and my trip leaves in two days!  Don’t panic… yet.  In Texas, there are 3 locations where you can walk in and get a new passport: Houston, El Paso & Dallas.  In Dallas it’s the Earle Campbell Federal Building downtown at 1100 Commerce Street, Suite 1120, Dallas, TX 75242.  It’s best to make an appointment first via the Online Passport Appointment System.  But if you can’t, assemble the required documents (including Proof of immediate international travel), show up as early as possible and wait.  Appointments will be given priority, and there is no guarantee they will fit you in, but it’s your best option.

Call 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TTY 1-888-874-7793. Available 24/7. Se habla español.

What are the Fees?

Adult First Time Applicants (16 and older)

Application Fees and Execution Fees are paid separately. For more information on how to apply, please see First-Time Applicants.

  • Application Fee $110
  • Execution (Acceptance) Fee $35

Adult Renewal Applicants (16 and older)

Adult renewal applicants residing in the U.S. must apply by mail. For more information on how to apply, please see Renew My Passport or Children 16 and 17.

  • Application Fee $110

Child Applicants (under 16)

All child applicants, including renewals, must apply in person. Application Fees and Execution Fees are paid separately. For more information on a passport for a child, please see Children Under 16.

  • Application Fee $80
  • Execution (Acceptance Fee) $35

Changing or Correcting a Passport

  • $0 – $165 (it varies)

Expedited Passport

  • Expediting $60

If you would like assistance renewing your passport, visit our friends at Passport Visas Express!

Passport cards, which are good for border crossings and travel by sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean but are not valid for international air travel, will remain an inexpensive option but recently increased to $65 for adults and $50 for children.  For many reasons, we do not recommend passport cards.

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