Obtaining a certified passport copy is often a necessary step in opening a foreign bank account, or in applying for certain types of travel visas and study-abroad programs. A person may also request a certified copy of his passport for any number of other reasons. Fortunately, the Department of State makes it easy to obtain these records. The process does take some time, though, so don't procrastinate making the request until just before the records are needed.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Pen and paper, or computer
Gather the necessary information. A person requesting a certified passport copy will need to include the following information in his request: his full name and any name changes since birth; the date and place of his birth; his current address, telephone number, and e-mail address; the reason for the request; the dates or approximate dates when previous passports were issued; and a valid copy of his photo identification. Also include any other information that may help the Department of State in locating the correct records, such as previous passport numbers, if available. The request may be handwritten or typed.
Get the request notarised. Public notaries can be found by asking for recommendations at many police departments or city halls. Alternatively, searching online or in a phone book usually presents plenty of options. There may be a small fee to have the application notarised.
Mail the notarised request to the Department of State along with a check for £19.50. The correct mailing address is:
Department of State Passport Services Research and Liaison Section Room 500 1111 19th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20524-1705
The check should be made out to the Department of State. A money order may be sent in place of a personal check.
Wait several weeks for the certified passport copy to arrive in the mail. If it has been more than six weeks, contact the Department of State at (202) 955-0447 to inquire about the status of the request.
Tips and warnings
- The first certified passport copy costs £19.50, but each additional copy is only £13.00.
- Requests for the records of minor children may be made by their parents.
- If you are searching for records for passports that were issued prior to 1925, note that the National Archives and Records Administration maintains these records. Contact them instead of the Department of State. Their address is:
- National Archives and Records Administration
- Archives 1
- Reference Branch
- 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
- Washington, DC 20408-0001
- Beware of services offering to obtain certified passport copies for exorbitant fees. This is usually something each person can do for herself.
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