U.S. Passport - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What documents will I need to complete my new passport application?
- Completed DS-11 Application
- Proof of Citizenship
- Proof of Identity
- Check or Money Order (Payable to US Dept. of State)
2. What are the fees and how must the check or money order be made out?
Minors (Under 16 years of age)
3. What documents are acceptable for Proof of Citizenship?
A US Birth Certificate is the most commonly accepted proof of citizenship. Birth certificates MUST include both parent’s names as well as a raised seal. You may also submit a previously issued US passport or passport card, even if the document is expired. Additional accepted documents include a Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, and Consular Report of Birth Abroad. For additional information please refer to Passport form DS-11.
4. What is acceptable to use as Proof of Identity?
A government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or military ID will be accepted. Temporary IDs, learner permits, and non-driver IDs will not be accepted on their own and will need additional proof of identification submitted such as a college ID, work ID or medical record. Expired ID’s will not be acceptable.
5. What is the difference between the Passport Book and the Passport Card?
The Passport Book is good for travel by air, land, or sea to any international destination. The Passport Card is a lower cost option that allows for land travel to Canada and Mexico as well as sea travel to the Caribbean and Bermuda. If you will be traveling to a foreign nation by airplane you must have a Passport Book. If you will be traveling to the Caribbean, the US Department of State suggests that you contact the countries you will be visiting regarding the acceptance of the Passport Card as a valid document for entry into their boarders.
6. Are there any special requirements for applying for a Minor’s passport?
The process is generally the same, but there are a few additional requirements including that both parents must be present. Please refer to the How to Apply for a Minor Passport handout for more information on the process.
7. How do I Renew my Passport?
If your passport was issued after your 16th birthday, and less than 15 years ago, then you may choose to Renew your passport. When renewing, you will use form DS-82 and will mail the application directly to Passport Services. You will not be required to pay the $35 acceptance fee. On the first page of form DS-82 there is a series of questions. If you can answer Yes to each of these questions then you qualify to use the form and renew your passport on your own. If not, then you will need to apply for a new passport at an acceptance facility and pay the acceptance fee.
8. When will I receive my Passport?
Expect to have your new passport arrive within 4-6 weeks of the date the application was submitted.
9. What if I need my Passport sooner than 4-6 weeks?
Applicants may elect to have their passport expedited. A $60.00 fee is required for this service and cuts processing time to 2-3 weeks. If choosing this service, we also recommend that you supply a prepaid U.S. Post Office Express Mail Envelope to speed up mail delivery time to Passport Services and pay the $15.89 fee for Overnight Return Delivery service. Passport Cards are not eligible for overnight return delivery. If you need your passport sooner than 14 days you will need to call and arrange an in-person appointment at one of the regional passport agencies (Buffalo, NYC, Boston, Stamford, CT). Please call 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment. Proof of immediate travel will need to be presented at your appointment.
10. How can I check the status of my application?
You can view application status at travel.state.gov. Or you may call 1-877-487-2778.
11. Where can I get my pictures taken?
Passport photos can be taken at many different locations such as post offices and pharmacies. Please make that whoever is providing the service is familiar with the requirements for a passport photo. The Chenango County Clerk’s Office can take your official passport photos for $12 without an appointment at the same time you submit your passport application.
12. Will my birth certificate, old passport, naturalization, etc. be returned to me?
Yes. These documents will generally be returned to the applicant and may arrive in a separate mailing from your passport. If you wish to ensure that your old passport is returned it is advised to place a post-it note on the passport with the wording “Please Return”.
13. How long is my Passport good for?
Adult passports are valid for 10 years. Minor passports are valid for 5 years.
14. Where can I get a money order?
Money orders can be obtained from banks, the US Post Office, or some convenience stores.
15. How can I get a copy of my birth certificate?
Birth Certificates can be obtained at the Town or City Clerk’s office in the location where the birth took place. If you have trouble finding your birth certificate at the local level a copy can also be obtained from the New York State Department of Health. For births in New York State outside of the City of New York call (518) 474-3075. If you were born in the City of New York call (212) 788-4520.
16. What role does the Chenango County Clerk’s Office play in the Passport process?
The Chenango County Clerk’s Office is an Acceptance Facility that works closely with the U.S. Department of State to accept passport applications and their associated documents for transmittal to Passport Services. For first time applicants, and in many other situations an applicant is required to submit their documents through an Acceptance Facility. In addition we provide passport forms for free and can produce proper passport photos in just a few minutes.
17. Where can I find more information?
Additional resources for international travelers including a passport application wizard which can help you prepare your application can be found at travel.state.gov. For more information on how to complete Passport forms, please refer to instructions pages on each form. You may also contact the Chenango County Clerk’s Office at (607) 337-1450.