What Documents Do I Need For a Passport?
Obtaining a passport is a simple process, but there are some things you need to know. Also, prepare a checklist of the documents you must bring when you apply for your passport.
First-time passport applications are accepted at various Post Offices throughout the U.S. Most locations can also take your passport photo.
A certified birth certificate is a copy of your original birth record with the registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicoloured seal and the registrar’s signature. It must also have the date you were born and the place you were born.
As of April 1st, 2011, the US Department of State modified its requirements for birth certificates used as proof of citizenship in obtaining a passport. All birth certificates submitted with passport applications must now have both parents’ full names.
Instead of a birth certificate, you can submit a combination of early public records as proof of citizenship (detailed below). If your delayed US birth certificate does not include these items, it must be submitted with these early records.
All documents must be in the same language as on your birth certificate. You must include a certified translation if they were issued in a different language. A certified copy of your original birth certificate can be ordered online through VitalChek, the only vendor authorised by the New York City Health Department to process birth certificate orders.
If you’re getting married, you need a marriage certificate to apply for a passport. This certificate is an official record stating you are married and showing your full name.
You may need a certified translation if the certificate is issued in a different language. Alternatively, you can request an official copy of the certificate from the vital records office in the state or territory where your marriage occurred.
The certificate will show the date and time of your wedding, full name, age, and where you were married. It may also include a list of witnesses and the registrar’s name and date of registration.
In most countries, marriage certificates are issued by the local registrar or city clerk. You can find a registrar in your area by looking online. Usually, they charge an administrative fee for their services. However, this fee is only sometimes included in the cost of the certificate.
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To apply for a passport, you must provide a certified birth certificate from the country or state where you were born. This must have a raised, embossed, impressed or multi-coloured seal and list both parents (hospital certificates and photocopies are unacceptable).
You may also need to provide a naturalisation paper if you have never been a citizen. This paper will include your USCIS registration number, date of birth, height, marital status, former country of nationality, place of residence and a photo.
You can apply for your passport by visiting the office of the County Clerk in New York City or at most Post Offices. You must submit a photocopy of your birth certificate and naturalisation papers and pay a fee. You will take a short oath to ensure the information you have provided is accurate. The application process can take up to six weeks, so plan and arrive early!
A passport photo is the most essential part of a valid passport. It must be clear, front view, and show the applicant’s full face in everyday street attire, with a plain white or off-white background.
Passport photos must include a neutral facial expression or a natural smile with both eyes open. A comprehensive, “toothy” smile is not acceptable.
Applicants must stand straight and face the camera directly; a slightly rotated body or head is unacceptable.
The photo must also be two inches square (or 51 x 51 mm) and be taken within six months of your current appearance, with your entire face in front of a plain white or off-white background.
Eyeglasses or sunglasses are prohibited unless you have a medical certificate indicating they are necessary for your health. Exceptions can be made for work uniforms or daily articles for religious purposes.
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