When to Apply for a New Passport (Form DS-11)

ANY of the following are true:

  • You have never had a U.S. passport
  • Your passport has been damaged, lost, or stolen (also attach Form DS-64)
  • Your last passport was issued more than 15 years ago
  • Your name has changed and you do not have any legal documents to verify the change
  • The passport is for a child under 16 years old

When to Renew Your Passport (Form DS-82)

ALL of the following are true:

  • Your passport is undamaged
  • Your passport was issued less than 15 years ago
  • You received your passport when you were 16 years or older
  • Your passport lists your current name, or you have changed your name and can provide legal documentation to prove the change

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Help Guide

This guide provides a brief overview of how to complete a passport application for a new or renewed passport using LegalNature and what to do if your passport has been lost or stolen. After finishing our questionnaire and downloading your application, it is essential that you read the official government instructions attached to the application for the complete instructions on how to obtain your passport. These instructions will explain the following:

  • What additional documentation you must include with the application
  • How to properly submit the application
  • What to do if your passport is lost or stolen, in order to protect against identity theft
  • Any additional requirements you must meet in order to receive your passport

Application for a New Passport (Form DS-11)

Our form wizard will guide you through the information you need to provide, explaining each question as you go. You will need to provide some basic information, most of which you should have readily available. This includes the applicant’s:

  • full legal name;
  • previous name(s), if any;
  • date and place of birth;
  • contact information;
  • mailing address and permanent residence;
  • parental or legal guardian information;
  • spousal information, if any;
  • emergency contact; and
  • travel plans.

If you need to take some time to track down some of the required information, you can simply save your progress and return to finish your application later on.

Once finished, you are ready to download and print your application. You must wait to sign the application until you are requested to do so by an authorized agent at the passport office. Again, be sure to thoroughly read through the entire application and instructions to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements. If you have additional questions, your application lists the phone number and email address you can use to contact the National Passport Information Center.

Application to Renew an Existing Passport (Form DS-82)

The information required for this form is mostly the same as the information required for Form DS-11 listed above. However, if your name has changed from the name listed on your most recent passport, you will also need to provide some details regarding when and where your name change occurred and attach supporting documentation.

Note: if your passport book or card has been lost or stolen, then you cannot use this form to get a passport. Instead, you must complete the Form DS-11 application for a new passport and attach Form DS-64 to provide details regarding your lost passport book or card. The correct forms will automatically be completed for you when you use LegalNature’s passport application wizard.

When you have completed the application, you can download, print, and sign it. Read the entire application, following all instructions. To submit your application by mail, include your most recent passport book and/or card, all required fees, a recent color photograph, and supporting documentation if your name has changed. Because the photograph must meet very specific standards, we recommend visiting a local passport photo service in order to ensure that your application will be accepted.

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Review the following basic steps for the passport application process.

Step 1: Fill Out Your Application

Use our application wizard to quickly enter the required information and we will fill out your application and attach any additional forms needed with all applicable instructions. If you are applying for a new passport, be sure to wait to sign it until you are with an authorized agent at your local passport office.

Step 2: Collect Supporting Documents

When applying for a new passport, you will need to attach proof of citizenship, proof of identity, a color photograph, and the correct fee amount. If you are renewing your passport, then you must include your most recent passport book and/or card, a recent color photograph, the correct fee amount, and supporting documentation if your name has changed. The detailed instructions included with the application explain how to properly provide all of this documentation.

We do not recommend that you attempt to take your passport photo yourself. Your application will be rejected unless your photo meets very specific requirements. When applying for a new passport, it will be easier to simply have the passport agent take your photo when you go to the agency to submit your application. Applicants renewing their passports may have their photo taken at a local passport photo service, often available at shopping centers and convenience stores.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

New passport applicants must go to a local passport agency to submit their DS-11 applications in person. Be sure to take all supporting documentation with you.

If renewing your passport, you may do so by mailing your completed application and all supporting documents to one of the addresses listed in the application instructions.

Step 4: Check Application Status Online

You can check your application status online at passportstatus.state.gov 7 – 10 days after submitting your application.

Step 5: Receive Your Passport

While the processing time varies throughout the year, most applicants receive their passports by mail 6 – 8 weeks after submitting. If you need to expedite your passport processing time, follow the instructions on your application and include the additional expedited processing fee.