Top Five Mistakes Applying for a Passport

Watch this video for tips to complete your application:

We want to make sure you get your application right the first time by avoiding these five most common mistakes:

  1. If you're renewing your application, submit your most recent passport with your application. Sign and date Form DS-82. 
  2. Complete all sections of your form including entering your correct Social Security number. Do not leave anything blank. If you're applying for the first time or with your child under age 16, wait to sign the form until you are instructed to do so. If you're renewing by mail, sign and date the form on your own. 
  3. Closely follow our passport photo requirements.
  4. Provide acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship.  
  5. Include your name change document (such as marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order) if your current name is not the same as the name on your most recent passport.




Other Reminders

  • Use our Form Filler tool to fill out our primary passport forms. The Form Filler will save time and reduce errors which may be caused by handwriting. 
  • Know how long it will take to get your passport, and consider that mailing times are not included in our processing times

  • Get a new passport at least 6-9 months before your current one expires, or ahead of planned travel.

  • Find entry requirements for the country or countries you plan to visit. Many countries require at least 6 months of passport validity to enter. 

  • Stay safe and receive security updates by signing up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.