Application & Requirements
To receive a U.S. Passport you must fulfill the following requirements and complete the application process which includes the following steps:
- Complete the passport application
- Provide proof of American citizenship
- Provide approved secondary forms of identification
- Provide passport photographs
- Pay the processing fees
Children's Passport – Requirements and Consent
The Federal Government now requires the signatures of both parents on all passport applications for children age 15 and younger. This requires the presence of both parents at the time of application, OR written documentation from the parent who cannot appear in person giving his or her consent for the issuance of the child's passport.
Consent can be given using Parental Consent Form DS-3053 or a written statement. This statement must contain the child's full name, date of birth and place of birth, and give authorization to the parent appearing in person to apply for the child's passport. The statement or form must be notarized and presented at the time of application. A separate statement or form must be presented for each child. You can find Parental Consent Form DS-3053 on the Federal Website.
Additionally, a birth certificate showing the names of both parents, known as a long form birth certificate, must be presented for each child age 15 and younger, even when there was a previous passport issued. (Public Law 106-113, Section 236) Long form birth certificates must also be presented for children of any age if their last name is different from the applying parents’ last name.
Your departure date, if known, and Social Security number must be included. It is important that you fill in all required information on the application. Do not sign the application until you are instructed to do so in the presence of the Passport Agent who is processing it.
Secondary Forms of Identification
Aside from your proof of citizenship, you must also be able to identify yourself and authenticate your signature with the following documents:
- Driver's License
If you are over 17 present your own driver’s license. If you are under 17, your parent may present his or her driver's license or other approved form of identification.
If you are over 17 and do not have a driver's license, you must present at least three forms of identification, one of which must contain your signature. Some acceptable forms of identification are …
- State Issued ID Card
- Social Security Card
- Voter Registration
- School or College ID
- Business or Industrial ID
- Union Membership Card
- Health Benefits Card
- Special License ID
Any passport applicant without acceptable ID must appear with an identifying witness who is a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, has known the applicant for at least 2 years and has acceptable identification.
You must present one photo, measuring 2" x 2", which must be in color on a white background. The photo should show your full face, be free of any head coverings, headbands (unless they are worn for religious purposes) or glasses and be less than six (6) months old. Photo can be taken at the County Clerk's office for $10.
Standard passport processing takes four to six weeks from the date of application. Expedited service takes two to three weeks. Since processing times may vary due to demand, please check the federal web site for the current processing times and any other special travel announcements.
Proof of American Citizenship
Any one (1) of the following may be considered as proof of American Citizenship:
- Birth Certificate
You must present an original birth certificate or a certified copy issued by the Bureau of Vital Statistics, which bears a raised/embossed or multicolored seal. Hospital certificates or church records are not acceptable in place of a Birth Certificate.
Note: As a result of a joint U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Justice investigation, Birth Certificates issued by the Hudson County Office of Vital Statistics and/or Jersey City Department of Health cannot be accepted for passport applications. A NJ State issued Birth Certificate is required. For a state issued replacement of a Hudson County or Jersey City issued birth certificate, click on the following link:
As of October 30, 2010 the Department of State will only accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010. Affected customers that do not yet have a new Puerto Rican birth certificate should be referred to the official websites for information on how to apply for their birth certificates. For more information and official website addresses: http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/countyclerk/forms/Puerto Rico Birth Cert Document.pdf
- Previous U.S. Passport
- Naturalization Certificate
- You must present the original certificate. A copy is not acceptable. You will get a receipt for your certificate and it will be returned to you with your new passport.
Renewing Your Passport By Mail
If you can answer "Yes" to all of the following questions, you may be eligible to renew your passport by mail:
- I can submit my most recent U.S. Passport Book and/or U.S. Passport Card with this application.
- I was at least 16 years old when my most recent U.S. Passport Book and/or U.S. Passport Card was issued.
- I was issued my most recent U.S. Passport Book and/or U.S. Passport Card less than 15 years ago.
- I use the same name on my most recent U.S. Passport Book and/or U.S. Passport Card. – OR – I have had my name changed by marriage or court order and can submit proper documentation to reflect my name change.
If you have determined that you can renew your passport by mail, you will need Passport form DS-82 (Application for a U.S. Passport By Mail) available via the link below:
Fill out all required information on the DS-82. Sign and date the application. Mail the completed application along with your $110 check or money order, made payable to the US. Department of State, plus one (1) new passport photos, to the address provided on the application. You may also expedite your application for additional fees.
Note: Children's passports cannot be renewed by mail.
Who Must Appear/Appearing in Person
All applicants, including children of all ages and adults who are not eligible to renew their passports by mail, must appear in person, whether applying for a new or renewal passport.