How to Get a Passport

If you have a job that requires international travel, you might need to know how to get a passport. If you’ve never traveled abroad, the red tape involved in getting a passport can be discouraging. But getting a passport doesn’t have to be a hassle. First, you need to decide whether you need the traditional passport book, or a passport card. If the former, the application process can be quicker and easier.

Documents required

When applying for a passport, applicants must present proof of identity to prove their citizenship. Suitable forms of identification include an existing passport, naturalization certificate, driver’s license, or military ID card. Identity documents must be photocopied on one side of a white letter-size piece of paper. A photocopy must show the front and back of the ID. Applicants without appropriate proof of citizenship may also submit secondary identification, such as an employee ID or credit card. They may also have an identifying witness swear to their identity.

Applicants should first download official passport application forms from the U.S. government. Forms are available online and can be printed at home. The first and second pages contain instructions for completing the application. The third and fourth pages are where applicants must fill out the details and information about themselves. Then, gather all documents that show you are a U.S. citizen. Lastly, applicants must bring proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate.


Obtaining a passport is expensive. The Department of State announced that the processing fee will rise to $35 on April 2, 2018. The fee for renewing a passport in person will increase to $135 to $145. The good news is that you can get a new passport for free if you apply by mail. However, you will need to meet certain requirements. To apply by mail, you must submit form DS-82, a check for $110, and you should expect your new passport within four to six weeks.

The Allegheny County Clerk of Courts Passport Office charges $10 for passport pictures. Taking a new passport photo is important, and the fee for this can add to the total cost of getting a passport. However, you can get a passport photo for a reasonable price near you. These photos will be used as identification when you travel abroad, and you must present originals to prove your identity. After the application is submitted, the passport will be ready in about eight to 12 weeks, although some people have reported a faster turnaround time.


The U.S. State Department estimates that it takes 8 to 11 weeks to process a standard passport, plus six weeks for mailing. In the past, this process could take as little as two weeks, but the pandemic has forced the State Department to cut back on its services. While the government is still offering expedited passport services, the process still takes a few months. In recent years, it took almost 18 weeks to get a passport, making it a difficult task for many travelers.

If your passport application is urgent, you can make an appointment through the State Department. You can make a reservation online or call the nearest acceptance facility to schedule an appointment. You must pay a fee of $135 for an adult passport, and it takes at least four weeks for the passport to be processed. A standard passport application can take up to 10 weeks, so make sure you plan ahead to avoid any potential delays. To expedite the process, you should be able to find a passport office that works within a week or two of your departure date.

Where to get a passport

The State Department’s Passport Services Division processes passport applications in the United States. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you may need to visit your local Passport Acceptance Agent, which is usually the Post Office or county courthouse. These locations will help you obtain a new passport or renew an old one. If your passport has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply to replace it. If you have already got a passport, you can add new pages to the book.

If you are traveling abroad, the U.S. Department of State maintains a database of passport agencies in major U.S. cities. You can use the website to find the closest passport agency and adjust the distance requirement if you need a passport within two weeks. You can also visit a passport acceptance facility, which is located at over 9,000 locations across the U.S. These facilities can expedite passport processing for people who need to travel quickly.