Not sure how to apply for a United States passport? Don’t worry–the process can be a bit confusing for first-timers. Read on to learn how to navigate it!

1. Fill Out Your Passport Application Form

The first step in how to apply for a United States passport: fill out Form DS-11, which you can download from the U.S. Department of State website. Click here to view the form and other important information.

2. Take Photos for Your Passport

You’ll need to submit one photograph of yourself to be used on your passport. Pictures must be printed on photo quality paper, in full color, and sized to 2″x2″. You can have them taken professionally, in a photo booth, or on your own—but you will need to follow a few guidelines to make sure your photo is accepted with your application. Click here to view U.S. passport photo requirements.

3. Provide ID and Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Make photocopies of your valid ID and proof of U.S. citizenship, and set them aside to submit with your application. A photo ID, such as your driver’s license or government issued picture identification card as well as your birth certificate should do. Click here to learn more, and see what else you should do if you don’t have one of these items.

4. Pay the Passport Application Fee

Adult passport book applications (assuming this is a new passport and not a renewal) currently cost $130, plus an additional $35 for processing. You also can apply for a passport card, which is valid to use for entry into certain countries rather than a full passport. Click here to view passport application and renewal prices for adults and minors, as well as for special services.

5. Send It All In!

Now collect your DS-11 form, passport photo, identification, proof of citizenship, and your application fee, and bring it all in (or mail it along)! Click here to learn more about submitting your passport application.

About the Author

As the managing director of Frayed Passport, my goal is to help you build a lifestyle that lets you travel the world whenever you want and however long you want, and not worry about where your next paycheck will come from. I've been to 20+ countries and five continents, lived for years as a full-time digital nomad, and have worked completely remotely since 2015. If you would like to share your story with our community, or partner with Frayed Passport, get in touch with me at!

Featured image via Unsplash.

Want to connect with fellow travelers? Join our NEW Facebook community and share your insights and questions with nomads, expats, and other travel lovers worldwide!
Frayed Passport is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to