How To Get, Change, or Renew a US Passport

Our site does not focus only on international travel, but we certainly encourage it. If you don’t have a U.S. passport or you’ve never thought of getting one for your children, read on. We want you to join us on our international trips, so start your application now!

Below we have posted official U.S. government links to walk you through the process.

First, make sure you have the right documents:

Click here for special information for children under 16, particularly if parents share custody.

Second, make sure you fill out the right form.

Use D-11 for:

Use DS-82 to renew an adult passport.

Use DS-5504 for

  • Changing a name within a year
  • Correcting a passport error
  • Replacing a Limited Validity passport within one or two years


Third, make sure you follow instructions for the passport photo. 

No selfies allowed! You need one 2″ by 2″ color passport photo. Many drug stores and post offices will take photos that meet the standard.

Fourth, get ready to pay. The fees depend on what kind of passport you need, whether you need it expedited and other factors. Click here for a list of fees.

Fifth, submit your application. 

Form How do you submit?
DS-11 In person at an acceptance facility or a passport agency*
DS-82 and DS-5504 By mail or in person at a passport agency*

Finally, you wait. Expect to wait 4-6 weeks unless you pay for an expedited passport and can show proof of upcoming travel. An expedited passport takes 2-3 weeks.

The government gives you step-by-step instructions in this passport wizard. Happy travels!

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