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U.S. Passports

English

After I Apply

Respond to a Letter or Email

Did you receive a letter or email from us? If so, we need more information from you in order to process your passport application.

You have 90 days to send the requested information. Please send your response to the mailing address listed in the letter or email, including the last four digits of the zip code.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, please call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY).

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Common reasons we may have contacted you:

Your photo isn't acceptable.

This is the most common problem with passport applications. Please review our photo requirements before taking a new photo.

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Both of the child’s parents/guardians did not appear in person to apply for the child’s passport.

If only one (or neither) parent or guardian applied in person for the child’s passport, we may have a question about parental consent.

If... Please submit...
You have sole legal custody, or you are the only parent One of the following documents:
  • A complete court order granting you sole legal custody of the child, such as a
    divorce decree or other custody
    order (photocopy is acceptable)
  • A complete court order specifically permitting you to apply for your child’s passport  (photocopy is acceptable)
  • A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate listing you as the only parent 
  • A certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
  • A complete copy of a judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person (photocopy of the complete declaration is acceptable)
  • A certified copy of the death certificate of the other parent
One parent was unable to go in person to apply for the child’s passport (but both of you have custody)  Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent” filled out by the parent who did not appear in person to apply for the child’s passport. That parent must:
  • Sign and date Form DS-3053 in the presence of a certified notary public
  • Submit a photocopy of the front and back of the ID that they presented to the notary public
You cannot locate the other parent (but
both of you
have custody)

Form DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances" filled out by you. Please complete the form with as much detail as possible.

Please note: We may ask for additional information (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to protect against international parental child abduction.

third party (someone other than the parent/guardian) applied in person for the child’s passport (for example, a grandparent)

A notarized statement from both parents/guardians giving the third party permission to apply for the child. The statement must include a photocopy of both parents/guardians’ identifications (front and back).

(If the statement is from only one parent/guardian, you must also show proof that that parent/guardian has sole custody.)

Please Note: You must submit Form DS-3053 or other notarized statements within three months of it being signed.

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The document(s) you submitted with your child’s application does not show that you are the parent or legal guardian.

To show parental relationship, submit one of the following:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce/Custody decree

You may also have received this letter if your name has changed since the child’s birth. In that case, please send evidence of your name change. Examples include:

  • Court-ordered name change
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
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Something is wrong with the U.S. birth certificate you submitted.

You must submit both the original or certified birth certificate and a photocopy. To be acceptable, your U.S. birth certificate must meet the following requirements:

  • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
  • Lists applicant’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth
  • Lists parent(s)’ full names
  • Has the signature of the city, county, or state registrar
  • Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
  • Has the seal of issuing authority

If your birth certificate did not meet one of those requirements, you must contact the vital records office of the state or territory in which you were born to order a new U.S. birth certificate. 

If there is no birth certificate on file in the state or territory in which you were born, you must submit a Letter of No Record and a combination of early public records. See Citizenship Evidence page for more information.

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You mailed in your passport renewal application Form DS-82, but something was missing.

There are several reasons why we may need more information for your passport renewal application, such as:

  • No photo was attached to the application
  • The application was not completed or signed
  • Your most recent passport was not submitted with the application
  • The correct fee was not included with the application
  • The name change document you submitted was not acceptable

Follow the instructions in the letter and return the requested documentation or application to the address on the letter. See Renew by Mail for more information. 

Please note: You may also have received a letter from us if you were not eligible to mail in your application.

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Your ID wasn't sufficient.

When you applied in person, you had to show the acceptance agent an ID (e.g. driver’s license). If you received a letter or email asking for more identification, it’s best to send as many forms of ID as you have available (ID issued over 5 years ago is preferred). You can send photocopies of the IDs (front and back). For a list of acceptable IDs, please see Identification

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You became a U.S. citizen when your parents were naturalized, but the documents you submitted were not sufficient.

If you were born outside the United States and acquired U.S. citizenship through the naturalization of your parent(s), you must submit the following:

  • Your foreign birth certificate listing your parent(s)
  • Your parent(s)’ naturalization certificate(s)
  • Evidence of your permanent residence status. Examples include:
    • Permanent Resident Card/Green Card
    • Foreign passport with the original I-551 visa entry stamp
  • Your parents' marriage certificate (if your parents were married when you legally entered the U.S. and before your 18th birthday)
  • Documentation of legal custody (if your parents were not married when you legally entered the U.S.)
  • Evidence of your legitimation (if your parents were not married at the time of your birth). Examples include:
    • Your parents' marriage certificate dated after your birth
    • Certified court order of legitimation

Please see U.S. Citizenship Laws & Policy for more information.

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There was an issue with one of your previously-issued passports.

 

If…

Please submit…

You didn’t submit your previous passport book or card. Your previously-issued passport book or card.
Your previous passport book or card was lost or stolen. Form DS-64 to report your passport lost or stolen.
You used Form DS-64 to report your passport lost or stolen, but forgot to sign it. A new, signed Form DS-64 to report your passport lost or stolen.
You submitted a limited validity passport. Evidence of U.S. citizenship. Examples include:
  • Your original or certified birth certificate
  • A previous full validity U.S. passport
  • Your Certificate of Naturalization
  • Your Certificate of Citizenship
  • Your Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Your passport is damaged or mutilated. A signed statement explaining the damage or mutilation of your passport. The damaged/mutilated passport will be retained and destroyed.
Your passport is damaged or mutilated and cannot be used as evidence of U.S. citizenship. A signed statement explaining the damage or mutilation of your passport, as well as evidence of U.S. citizenship. Examples include:
  • Your original or certified birth certificate
  • A previous full validity U.S. passport
  • Your Certificate of Naturalization
  • Your Certificate of Citizenship
  • Your Consular Report of Birth Abroad
The damaged/mutilated passport will be retained and destroyed.
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You changed your name, but the document you submitted was insufficient.

 

If…

Please submit…

Your name has been legally changed A certified copy of the court order or marriage certificate.
Your name has not been legally changed

At least three certified or original public records, which show use of this name for at least five years.

  • These must include your date and place of birth or your Social Security number (school, military, insurance, medical, etc.).
  • Notarized affidavits completed by two people who have known you by both names may be substituted in place of one public record.