Headed overseas for the first time?  Learn how to get a new passport here (renewal info is on a different page).  Scroll down to see the steps required.  You must submit the application form in person.  However, you can fill out the necessary form ahead of time in a few ways –  fill out online and print, print the form and fill out by hand, or obtain a copy of the form in person.  However, do not sign the form as you must do this in person when you arrive to submit the form.  Go here to determine the closest place you can go to submit your application.  Before you head out to submit your application, be sure you have everything you need, such as your evidence of citizenship, present identification and photocopy, fees, and photo.    Five to seven days after you apply, you can check the status of your application and sign up to receive automatic updates by email.

Procedures vary for certain situations and persons, such as renewing your passport, or applying for a minor.

Please note that this is just a summary of the passport procedures.  Be sure to carefully review the more detailed requirements and qualifications, such as those described on the websites linked to above.


Don’t forget to keep your passport safe:

First, be sure to keep your passport in a safe place the entire time you are traveling.  For example, lock it in the hotel safe if you’re worried it may be lost on a day trip, or keep it somewhere safe in your pocket or bag.  You can use a binder clip to keep it a bit more secure in a purse or bag.  For extra security, you can also buy a hanging or waist travel wallet to wear under your clothing, or a an anti-theft cross-body bag or hip pack.  You may also purchase a security-enhanced passport jacket that gives you protection from hackers looking to remotely access the RFID tag in your passport.

Next, keep at least one backup.  For example, make a copy and leave at home with a trusted friend or family member, bring a copy on your trip and store apart from your actual passport, or scan a copy and email it to yourself so you can access from anywhere.

See also Be Prepared to Deal With a Lost Passport.

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