How long is a passport valid and when should I renew my passport?
If you were over age 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.
If you were age 15 or younger when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.
The Issue Date of your passport can be found on the data page of your Passport Book or on the
front of your Passport Card.
If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires.
Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip.
Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.
If you passport has already expired, you may still be able to renew your passport by mail.
See How to Renew Your U.S. Passport
I'm renewing my passport. Do I get the old one back?
Yes, we return the old, cancelled passport to you
although it may be sent separately from your new
passport. It is a good idea to keep it in a safe
place as it is considered proof of your U.S.
3. I was recently married/divorced. How do I change my name on my passport?
I was recently married/divorced. How do I change
my name on my passport??
You will need to complete
Form DS-5504: Application for a U.S. Passport: Name
Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book
Replacement, within one year of the issuance
date of your current valid passport and submit along
with the following:
- The same data visually displayed on the
data page of the passport;
- The passport to be replaced
- Certified documentation of your name change
(e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree
with your new name); and
- Two recent passport photos.
After one year of the issuance date you must
Form DS-82: Application for Passport by Mail,
your current passport, certified documentation
of your name change, two recent passport photos,
and pay all applicable fees.
How to Change Your Name in Your Valid Passport.
4. Do I have to provide my Social Security Number?
Failure to provide your Social Security Number
may result in significant processing delays and/or
the denial of your application.
Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code (26
U.S.C. 6039E) requires you to provide your
Social Security Number (SSN), if you have one,
when you apply for a U.S. passport or renewal of
a U.S. passport. If you have not been issued a
SSN, enter zeros in box #5 of the passport
application form you are completing. Contact the
Social Security Administration to request a
Number. If you are residing abroad, you must
also provide the name of the foreign country in
which you are residing. The U.S. Department of
State must provide your SSN and foreign
residence information to the Department of
Treasury. If you fail to provide the
information, you are subject to a $500 penalty
enforced by the IRS. All questions on this
matter should be directed to the nearest IRS
Passport - Birth Documentation & Copies of Passport Records
How do I get a certified copy of my U.S. birth
Vital Statistics office in the state where you
What do I do if there is no birth record for me
on file anywhere?
If you were born in the U.S. and there is no
birth record on file, you will need several
different documents to substantiate your
citizenship. You will need:
- A letter of no record issued from the Vital
Statistics office of the state of your birth
with your name and what years were searched
for your birth record.
- Early public records to prove your birth in
If you were born outside the U.S. and your U.S.
parent(s) did not register your birth at the
U.S. embassy or consulate, you may apply for a
U.S. passport. You will need:
I was born abroad. How do I get one or more
copies of my birth record?
The Department of State will not issue multiple
copies of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
(FS-240). However, the Certification of Report of
Birth (DS-1350) contains the same information found
on the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, can be
issued in multiple copies and is acceptable proof of
U.S. citizenship for all legal purposes.
- Your foreign birth certificate showing both
of your parents' names
- Evidence of your parent(s) U.S. citizenship
- Your parents' marriage certificate
If you were born in the
Panama Canal Zone, learn how to request
multiple copies of your PCZ Birth Certificate.
Certification of Report of Birth or learn
birth records for U.S. citizens born abroad.
How do I replace my lost or damaged Consular
Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)?
If your Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)
is lost or damaged, learn how to
Request a Replacement.
How do I amend my Consular Report of Birth Abroad
To change a name or update your Consular Report
of Birth Abroad (FS-240), learn how to
Request an Amendment.
I was married overseas. How do I get one or more
copies of my marriage certificate?
Request one or more copies of your
Certificate of Witness to Marriage (Abroad).
I lost a loved one overseas. How do I get one or
more copies of the death certificate?
Request one or more copies of a
Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad.
How do I obtain copies of a previous passport
For information on how to obtain copies of your
passport records see
Obtain Copies of Passport Records.
What is an E-Passport?
An Electronic Passport is the same as a traditional passport with the addition of a small
integrated circuit (or chip) embedded in the back cover. The chip stores: The same data
visually displayed on the data page of the passport; A biometric identifier in the
form of a digital image of the passport photograph, which will facilitate the use
of face recognition technology at ports-of-entry; The unique chip identification number;
and a digital signature to protect the stored data from alteration.
For more information see the U.S. Electronic Passport.
Where are the instructions for filling out the passport forms?
Form instructions can be found on each form or
the following Form pages:
Help! My passport has already been issued and mailed to me, but I have not received it. What do I do?
National Passport Information Center. A Customer
Service Representative will confirm the date your
passport mailed to you, the address to which it was
mailed and, if necessary, help you to report the
non-receipt of your passport.
You have 90 days from the date your
passport was issued to report that you have not
yet received it in the mail. If you do
not report the non-receipt of your passport
within 90 days of the issue date, you will be
required to reapply and submit the full passport
I am preparing for official
travel. How do I obtain my diplomatic, official or regular no-fee
The Special Issuance Agency, located in
Washington, D.C., issues no-fee passports to
citizens traveling abroad for the U.S. Government,
their dependents (if permitted to accompany them),
and certain others who are exempt by law from
payment of the passport fee.
For information see
Diplomatic, Official, and Regular No-Fee
How many blank
visa pages do I need to travel?
Some countries require your passport have two (2)
to four (4) blank visa/stamp pages. Some airlines
will not allow you to board if this requirement in
Add Extra Pages for how to request more visa
11. Who should maintain a valid U.S. passport?
Passport Services recommends that the following
U.S. citizens maintain valid U.S. passports. Those:
- with family living or traveling abroad
- thinking about a vacation abroad, or
- with a job that could require international
In the event of an emergency involving a family
member abroad, a short-notice airfare bargain,
or an unexpected business trip, already having a
valid U.S. passport will save time, money and
I am traveling very soon. How do I get a passport in a hurry
How to Get Your Passport in a Hurry.
How long does it take to get a passport?
Processing times can vary depending on workload
and occasional unforeseen circumstances such as
natural disasters. During busier times, such as the
summer travel season, we encourage customers to
expedite their applications if traveling in less
than 10 weeks.
Application Processing Times for more