How to get a U.S. Passport
Different form apply for getting a first passport, replacing a lost or stolen one, amending or renewing an existing passport. Here are some general rules. Note: a visa is not required for an American citizen traveling to Ireland.
Up to 30 days
- Pick up a passport application. Check the government pages of your telephone directory or go to the post office.
- If a local office isn't available, download the application from the State Department's website.
- Get two passport pictures (same pose) at a photography shop. Check application diagram for appropriate size.
- Fill out application and attach photos where indicated.
- Take completed application to passport office with your birth certificate or citizenship papers. Note: birth certificate must be an original, not a copy.
- Give a current address where you can receive mail.
- Ask for rush service if you need the passport in less than two weeks. (Additional fees and documentation may be required.)
- Wait two to four weeks for regular service.
- If your passport is more than 12 years old, you need a new one.
- Passport application fees vary, depending on the form.
- If you are overseas and lose your passport, contact the U.S. embassy immediately.
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