Documents needed to get a passport

Updated March 23, 2017

To travel outside of the country, you must have a passport. A passport can only be obtained with proper documentation. If you are going to be travelling with children, you will need to have passports and forms of identification for them also. Having the right documents and information in advance is key.


Having the right documents needed to get a passport helps you provide the proper identification and legal information so you can travel to and from countries that require a passport for entry and visitation. The documents you present to the passport officials before you get your passport are legal representations of your identity as a person.


The types of documents you need to get a passport include birth certificate, valid driver's license, form of signature ID other than a Social Security card and two colour photographs of yourself. You will then need to fill out an application for a passport at the U.S. Department of State website. Fill out the application completely and take it to the passport agency along with the required documents so your passport can be processed.


Having the correct documents for your passport makes the entire process of obtaining one simpler. When you finally get your passport, you can then begin to confirm your travel plans. The passport will allow you to easily pass through customs and other government-regulated areas without having to show several forms of identification.


The documents needed to get a passport should be original documents in good condition and they must not have not been manipulated or altered. If a document is not in good condition and cannot be recognised, you won't be able to use it to get a passport. Documents that have an authentic notary stamp are recommended when applying.


Having all of the proper documents helps lessen the chance that your application will be rejected. If there are forms or items that are missing from the application packet, you will have to reapply for the passport. Once you have your application submitted, you can expect your passport to arrive up to 14 days later.


If you have been charged with any type of crime, your chances of obtaining a passport are slim. You must have a clean criminal history as well as no interaction with legal matters or suspicious criminal activity. If you owe money on back child support, obtaining your passport may be a difficult task because of the outstanding amount owed to the state. Submitting outdated documents to the passport agent can also be grounds for serious penalties and reprimands.

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