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Everything you need to know about an American passport

An American passport in America itself is not a necessary document. In the vast majority of cases, Americans use a driver's license or ID (state-issued identity card) to confirm their identity. A passport is needed primarily for travel abroad. For those who plan to receive it, we have collected US State Department answers to the most common questions: how to urgently obtain an American passport, how many years it is valid, how to change the last name in it and many others.

Photo: Shutterstock

How much is a US passport?

The cost of your US passport will depend on the type of document you order and the time of manufacture. More detailed information regarding the cost of a US passport in the form of a book or card, as well as related services can be found. here.

I got into a life and death situation in a foreign country, and I need a passport. What are my actions?

Life and death issues are serious illnesses, injuries or death of the next of kin, which require your presence in another country within 24-48 hours, which can only be reached with a passport. In such situations, you must personally come to the passport service and ask for an emergency service - you will need documentary evidence of your emergency.

Call the National Passport Information Center at: 1-877-487-2778 (number for people with hearing impairment: 1-888-874-7793) to schedule an appointment at your nearest passport service. Automated appointment management system works round the clock seven days a week. If the system cannot offer you the right time, then you need to contact a customer service representative during business hours. Working hours are Monday through Friday, from 8: 00 to 17: 00 EST (except federal holidays).

If you called after hours and cannot schedule an appointment at an appropriate time using an automated system, dial: 202-647-4000.

I am preparing for a business trip. How can I get a diplomatic, service or regular passport for free?

The Special Issuance Agency in Washington, DC, provides free passports for business trips abroad from the US government to citizens, their dependents (if they have permission to escort) and others who are exempted by law from paying issuance fees passports

More information about free passports and how to get them is available on the website. Bureau of Consular Affairs US Department of State.

My passport is ready and I was sent, but I have not received it yet. What should I do?

Connect with National Passport Information Center. A representative of the customer service department will confirm the date of sending the passport, the address to which it was sent, and, if necessary, will help you fill out an application for non-receipt of a passport.

You have 90 days from the date of issuance of a passport to apply for non-receipt of the document by mail. If you do not file an application for non-receipt within this period, you will have to re-apply and re-pay the full cost of the passport.

Will my passport and submitted documents come in one envelope?

Passport Book: Most likely, your new passport book and documents on proof of citizenship will come in two separate letters. Connect with National Passport Information Centerif the second letter does not arrive within 10 days after receiving the first.

Passport Card: Most likely, your new passport card and documents on proof of citizenship will come in two separate letters. Connect with National Passport Information Centerif the second letter does not arrive within 10 days after receiving the first.

Two passports: book and card: Most likely, your new passports and proof of citizenship will come in three separate letters. Connect with National Passport Information Centerif the second or third letter does not arrive within 10 days after receiving the previous one.

How long do a passport do?

The time it takes to process your request and issue the document depends on the time of year and unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster or a pandemic. During busier periods, such as during the summer holidays, it is best to apply at least 6 weeks in advance of your intended trip. More information is in the section Request Processing Times on the Bureau’s website.

Who is required to have a valid US passport?

The passport service recommends that valid categories of people have valid American passports:

  • Those whose families live or travel abroad;
  • Those who are planning a holiday abroad;
  • Those who may travel to other countries on official business.
Where can I find instructions for filling out a passport application form?

Instructions for completing the forms are on the following web pages:

How many blank visa pages should a passport have to travel?

Some countries require that your passport contain from 2 to 4 blank pages for visas and seals. You will not be allowed on some flights if this condition is not met.

How long is the passport valid?

If at the time you issued your passport you were 16 or olderhe is valid 10 years.
If at the time you issued your passport you were 15 or less yearshe is valid 5 years.

The date of issuance of your passport is indicated on the data page of your passport book or on the front side of your passport card.

Some countries require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months after the end date of your trip. Certain airlines will not allow you to board if this condition is not met. For example: the country in which you are going, requires that your passport be valid even 6 months. Your passport is currently valid 7, but the trip is only through 2 of the month. So, you only have 5 months of passport validity at the time of the trip - this is not enough. In this situation, you will have to make a new passport before traveling.

On the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the section "Country Information»Contains entry and exit requirements for different countries of the world.

If your passport is no longer valid, you can get a new one by mail (for more information, see “How to get a new American passport").

I am making a new passport. Will I give old?

Yes, old invalid passports are returned to their owners. It can be sent to you separately from the new. An old passport must be kept in a safe place, as it is proof of your US citizenship.

I recently got married / divorced. How can I change my passport name?

If the name change occurs within a year after the date of issuance of the passport, you need to fill out DS-5504 form: US passport application - name change, data correction, and limited passport replacement. You do not have to pay fees for this service.

If you change your name more than a year after issuing your passport, you need to file Form DS-82: Application for US Passport by Mail. You will have to pay all the required fees for such a passport update.

More information in the section on the website of the Bureau "How to change or amend passport».

Do I need to provide my social security number when applying for a passport?

Yes. According to the requirements USC 2714a и 22 CFR 51.60 (f), you must provide your Social Security Number (NSS), if you have one, when you apply for a new or updated American passport.

If you do not have a NSS, enter zeros in the field No. 5 of the form for obtaining a passport. You can get the NSS at the US Social Security Administration.

If you do not provide this information, there may be delays in processing your request or refusal to issue a passport. The Federal Tax Service will also oblige you to pay a fine of $ 500, according to Section 6039 of the United States Tax Code (26 USC 6039E). All questions about this can be asked in the nearest office of the Tax Service.

I found a lost passport. What should I do with him?

Please send the found passport by mail in a strong envelope to the address:

US Department of State
CA / PPT / S / L / LE
4th Floor
1150 Passport Services PL
Dulles, VA 20189-1150

My passport was damaged. Can I continue to use it?

If the passport is seriously damaged, especially on the dust jacket or the page with your data and photos, you need to get a new passport. Damages after which the passport needs to be replaced include water damage, tears, unofficial tagging on a data page, torn pages of a document, a puncture or hole, and other damage.

Allowed "wear" American passport which is not considered damage. For example, this is curvature due to wearing in the back pocket or a slight "frayed" visa pages due to frequent use of the document.

To replace a damaged passport, you need to apply in person (here you can see where to go) with such documents:

  • Damaged passport;
  • A signed statement explaining the reasons for the damage or poor condition of your passport (book or card);
  • Form DS-11 and documents required by Form DS-11, including proof of citizenship (for example, a birth certificate).
After receiving my passport, my gender changed. What should I do?

You need to apply for DS-11regardless of whether you are just starting or have already completed the gender reassignment process. In addition to the usual DS-11 form requirements, you also need to file a doctor's certificate. More information in the section “Gender Reassignment Statement».

Can I pay online?

No, the US State Department does not currently accept payment for passport services online. Perhaps this option will be provided in the future. Today on this site you will not be asked for credit card details.

My family has a valid US passport in the name of a deceased relative. Do I need to take it?

The State Department recommends that you pass the passports of deceased people in order to expire. Upon termination, you will receive your passport back. Please provide a valid passport, certified death certificate and application for termination and return (or destruction) of the passport at:

US Department of State
Consular Lost and Stolen Passport Unit (CLASP)
CA / PPT / S / L / LE / CP
44132 Mercure Circle
PO Box 1227
Sterling, VA 20166-1227

Can I add visa pages to my passport?

No you can not. If you need additional pages for a valid passport, you must apply for a new passport by mail. You can choose a passport book on the 28 or 52 page.

In the passport service require "proof of travel abroad." What is considered such evidence?

Your overseas trip should be scheduled on time in 2 weeks, or in 4, if you need a foreign country visa. Evidence of a trip abroad, among other things, is a plane ticket, a hotel reservation or a cruise trip ticket. Most agencies will require such proof in hard copy.

Do I need a passport for domestic flights?

Not. The Ministry of Homeland Security reports that citizens do not need to change their travel schedule or receive a new driver's license or passport for domestic flights. Until 22 in January 2018, residents of all states can use a driver's license or personal ID issued in their state (state ID) for domestic flights. In addition to them, passengers can use any other documents that are accepted by the US Transportation Security Administration (passport - book or card), Global Entry ID, US military ID, airline or airport ID, federally recognized ethnic ID). More details can be found on the information page Ministries of Homeland Security.

I have a passport, but I changed my address. Do I need to make changes to my passport?

No no need. Only if you currently have an application in processing, you can change the address of receipt of mail on this application. For this you need to contact the National Passport Information Center by phone: 1-877-487-2778.

Why do I need to pay for the manufacture of a passport-book and passport-card?

A manufacturing fee is charged to those who submit documents for the first time, children, those who change a stolen, lost or damaged passport, and who need to come in person to an agent authorized by the Secretary of State to declare the truth of the data under oath. For the convenience of filing documents for a passport, the US Department of State authorizes passport agents to accept applications for issuing passports. The passport fabrication fee covers the costs of such agents and encourages them to become such agents.

When applying for a passport book and a passport card at the same time, you pay only one manufacturing fee. This fee is not charged when applying for an updated passport-book or passport-card in the form DS-82.

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