How to get a passport without a photo id

Updated March 23, 2017

Getting a passport is not a complicated procedure as long as you have all the necessary documents, but it gets a little trickier without a photo ID. Government procedures always require applicants to provide photo proof of their identity, but it is not always possible. However, getting a passport without a photo ID can be done. Applicants must supply as many forms of non-photo identification as possible.

Fill out Form DS-11 and submit it to a local passport office. The form cannot be submitted online. It must be submitted in person.

Submit proof of U.S. citizenship. This may be a previously-issued U.S. passport (undamaged), a certified birth certificate, a consular report of birth abroad or certificate of birth, a naturalisation certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

Submit identification. Using non-photo identification---called secondary identification---requires that applicants submit as many forms as possible. Use secondary identification from the list above and any other forms you have. In addition, you must present an identifying witness who will testify to your identity. That person must be present when you make your application, have known you at least two years, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, possess valid identification and submit a completed form DS-71 (affidavit of identifying witness). Note that the form is available only at passport offices and acceptance facilities.

Submit copies of every form of secondary identification. Use one white sheet of standard (8 1/2" x 11") copy paper to copy the front and back of the identification (a credit card is the exception; you do not need to provide a copy of it if you are using it as secondary identification). Your identifying witness must also submit a copy of his or her identification.

Pay the application fee. As of December 2010, the fee for a first-time adult passport applicant is £87.

Submit two passport photos. These photos must be identical, measure 2" x 2", be taken in normal street clothing, recent (within six months of your application), in colour, printed on photo-quality paper, and show your full face. Use a white or off-white background and do not wear any kind of headgear or sunglasses. From the bottom of your chin to the top of your head, the measurement should be between one inch and one and three-eighths of an inch. Do not staple the photos to your Form DS-11.


Plan your visit to the passport office ahead of time with all required documentation and copies. Choose a day when you (and your identifying witness) have plenty of time to devote to the application process. If you are applying for a passport for an upcoming trip, make sure you apply as far in advance as possible to allow time for processing.


It is a felony offence to falsify information or submit false identification when applying for a U.S. passport.

Things You'll Need

  • Social Security card
  • Credit card
  • Employee ID
  • Library card
  • All other available forms of non-photo identification
  • Copies of all available forms of non-photo identification
  • Identifying witness
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.