After You Get Your New Passport

Here's what you need to know about your new passport:


Where are my documents?

Now that you have your passport, we will return your supporting documents separately. Make sure to register for email updates so you are notified on the date we return your documents. How we send your supporting documents depends if you applied for a book and/or a card and if you paid for 1-2 day delivery service of your completed passport book.  

You will likely receive multiple mailings depending on what document(s) you applied for:

Passport Book Only: You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport before you receive a second mailing with your citizenship documents (examples: previous passport or birth certificate). 

Passport Card Only: You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport before you receive a second mailing with your citizenship documents (examples: previous passport or birth certificate). 

Both a Passport Book and Card: You may receive three separate mailings; one with your citizenship documents (examples: previous passport or birth certificate), one with your newly-issued passport book, and one with your newly-issued passport card. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport book before you receive a second and third mailing with your passport card and citizenship documents.

I have been waiting more than 8 weeks and have not received my supporting documents. What should I do?

It may take 8 weeks after you receive your new passport for your supporting documents (e.g. birth certificate or previous passport) to arrive. If you have been waiting more than 8 weeks, contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to report that you have not received your documents. 


Sign your passport

  • You must sign your full name in blue or black ink inside your passport.
  • On a passport for a child under 16, a parent should print the child's full name on the signature line. The parent should also sign their name next to the printed name of their child, and note their relation to their child (example: mother, father, or guardian).
Sign Your Adult Passport
Example of how to sign an adult passport
How to Sign A Child's Passport
Example of how to sign a child's passport

Six-month validity rule for your passport

Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.

If you were age 16 or older when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.

If you were under 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.

The Issue Date of your passport can be found on the data page of your passport book or on the front of your passport card. 

Check our Country Information to learn about entry and exit requirements for the country or countries in which you are traveling.  


What should I do if my old passport has a visa?

Once you receive your new passport, your old passport cannot be used for travel. If you have a visa in your old passport that you need for travel, check with the foreign embassy or consulate that issued the visa for guidance. 


Should I update my Trusted Traveler information (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI) when I receive my passport?

Yes. Update your Trusted Traveler account information with your new passport number, the date the new passport was issued, and the date it will expire. If you are changing any other personal information such as your name or gender, you must go in person to a Global Entry Enrollment Center and have a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer make the changes for you.


My new passport has a QR code sticker on the back. What is it for?

We are placing Quick Response (QR) code stickers on the back of passport books to give you easy access to important passport and travel information. You may remove the sticker, though we recommend keeping it on so you have quick and easy access to our website. If you scan the code using the camera on your mobile device, it will link you to this webpage. The QR code is identical on all passport books, does not contain any personally identifiable information, nor does it change the way border officials, airlines, and others review your document. We are not currently placing QR code stickers on passport cards. 

This is an image of the QR code sticker on U.S. passport books.

Stay Informed When You Travel Abroad

When you enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), you will receive current information about your destination country, including:


Preventing International Parental Child Abduction

It is a crime for a parent to take a child outside of the United States without the other parent’s consent. If you fear your child has been abducted, call us at 1-888-407-4747 if you are in the United States or at (+1) 202-501-4444 if you are abroad.

You can help prevent abduction by enrolling in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. We will notify you if someone submits a passport application for your enrolled child and ask you to approve the passport issuance.

If you need to change your passport or report it lost or stolen, we can help. Learn more:

Last Updated: February 28, 2023