Documents Required for a Passport
Before you go out of the country for work or fun you will need to get a passport. It is an absolute must; without it you will not be going anywhere.
Getting a passport for the first time can be painfully frustrating if you do not do your homework beforehand. You are going to need a number of documents in order to complete the application. To make the process less of a hassle, give yourself plenty of time to collect your paperwork before running out to the U.S. Passport Agency with the $100.00 fee in your pocket.
Proof of Citizenship if Born in the United States
If you were born in the United States you can submit a previously issued U.S. passport or a birth certificate.
The birth certificate must state your full name, your parent(s) full name(s), your date of birth, place of birth, your sex and the date that the birth certificate was filed. Your birth certificate must be certified with an official raised seal or other certification prepared by the records custodian.
If your birth records do not exist, you will be required to submit alternative documents, which include notarized affidavits of person(s) who have knowledge of your birth and a certified hospital birth record, school record, insurance file, newspaper file, Bible record or census record.
Proof of Birth Outside the United States
If you were born outside of the United States you may submit a previously issued U.S. passport, official certificate of citizenship, official certificate of naturalization or official report of birth abroad.
Additional documents must be provided if you are claiming citizenship because your parent(s) were naturalized, you were born abroad to U.S. citizen parents or adopted by U.S. citizen parents.
Proof of Identity
You must prove who you are with an official document that has your picture and signature on it. Acceptable documents include a previously issued U.S. passport, driver's license, certificate of naturalization or citizenship, military identification or government employee identification card.
Two Recent Color Pictures
You must submit two identical color photographs taken within the past six months. The photographs should be 2x2 inches showing a clear full front view of your face on a white or off-white background. The image should be a close-up showing between 1 and 1-3/8 inches from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head and must include your hair.
Photographs taken from vending machines are unacceptable. Photographs with hats, head coverings or dark glasses are unacceptable.
You should wear your normal attire for the photograph. You should wear prescription eyeglasses, hearing devices, wigs or similar items if you use them daily. If you wear religious attire you may be required to submit a signed statement stating to that effect. If you wear an item on a daily basis for a medical reason you may need a signed statement from your physician.
United States Passport Application DS-11
All items must be truthfully, accurately and entirely completed. You must supply your parent's information including their date of birth and their place of birth. You must supply emergency contact information, travel plans, marriage information and previous passport information.
You will need to supply the above documents and sign the application in person, in front of the administering government official.
Dwight Romulo Valdez, M.A., FAAA, has been writing health and technology articles since 2008. His articles have appeared on Youandmemagazine.com and Helium.com. Valdez has been in the hearing health care profession since 1983 and currently runs an audiology practice in New Hampshire.