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How To Get A Passport In Washington, D.C.


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rosalia Foust



Welcome to the bustling capital city of the United States – Washington, D.C. If you’re planning to embark on an exciting international journey, you’ll need a passport to make it happen. Obtaining a passport may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of getting a passport in Washington, D.C., making it a breeze for you to start exploring the world.


Having a passport is not only essential for international travel but also serves as an identification document. Whether you’re planning a tropical getaway, a European adventure, or a backpacking trip across Asia, a passport is your key to unlocking a world of new experiences.


In this guide, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step process to help you navigate the passport application procedure in Washington, D.C. From gathering the required documents to scheduling an appointment, paying the fees, and finally receiving your passport, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s dive in and get you one step closer to your dream vacation!


Step 1: Gather the Required Documents

Before you start the passport application process, it’s important to gather all the necessary documents. This ensures a smooth and efficient application experience. Here’s a checklist of the documents you’ll need:

  1. Proof of U.S. Citizenship: You must provide proof of your U.S. citizenship. This can be in the form of a certified birth certificate, a previous U.S. passport, a certificate of citizenship, or a naturalization certificate.
  2. Proof of Identity: A current and valid government-issued identification document is required. This can be a driver’s license, a state-issued identification card, or a military ID card.
  3. Passport Application Form: The DS-11 application form is required for first-time applicants, minors, and those whose previous passport was issued more than 15 years ago.
  4. Passport Photo: You’ll need to provide a recent passport-sized photo that meets the specific requirements set by the U.S. Department of State. The photo should be taken against a plain white or off-white background.
  5. Proof of Name Change (If applicable): If your name has changed since your previous passport was issued, you’ll need to provide legal documentation such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.
  6. Parental Consent (For Minors): If you’re applying for a passport for a child under the age of 16, both parents or legal guardians must provide consent. This can be done by completing the appropriate section of the application form or through a notarized statement.
  7. Payment of Fees: Lastly, be prepared to pay the passport application fee. The fee varies depending on the type of passport and services required.

It’s important to note that these are the general requirements. Depending on your individual circumstances, such as dual citizenship, special situations, or emergency travel, additional documents may be necessary. It’s always a good idea to double-check the requirements on the official website of the U.S. Department of State or consult with a passport acceptance facility.


Once you have gathered all the required documents, you’re ready to move on to the next step in the passport application process – completing the application form.


Step 2: Complete the Application Form

Now that you have all your required documents in order, it’s time to complete the passport application form. In Washington, D.C., you can fill out the DS-11 application form online or by using a printed copy.


To complete the DS-11 form online, visit the official website of the U.S. Department of State and follow the instructions provided. Alternatively, you can download and print the DS-11 form and complete it by hand.


When completing the application form, be sure to:

  1. Fill in all the required fields accurately and legibly. This includes personal information such as your full name, date of birth, and contact details.
  2. Provide the necessary details about your parents, including their full names, places of birth, and dates of birth. This information is required for all applicants, regardless of age.
  3. Indicate your preferred mailing address where you want your passport to be sent.
  4. Sign and date the application form.

If you’re completing the form by hand, use black ink and write legibly. Any mistakes or scribbles on the form may cause delays or rejections.


Once you have completed the form, double-check all the information for accuracy. Mistakes or typos can lead to complications during the application process.


Remember, if you’re applying for a passport for a minor under the age of 16, both parents or legal guardians must be present and provide their consent on the application form. In cases where one parent is unavailable, additional documentation may be required.


After completing the application form, you’re now ready to move on to the next step – scheduling an appointment at a passport acceptance facility.


Step 3: Schedule an Appointment

Once you have filled out your passport application form, the next step is to schedule an appointment at a passport acceptance facility in Washington, D.C. An appointment is required to submit your application and supporting documents.


To schedule an appointment, you can either do it online or by calling the National Passport Information Center. Here’s how:

  1. Online: Visit the U.S. Department of State’s official website and navigate to the passport appointment scheduling page. Follow the prompts and select a convenient date and time for your appointment. Keep in mind that appointment availability may vary, so it’s best to schedule as early as possible.
  2. Phone: Alternatively, you can call the National Passport Information Center at their toll-free number (1-877-487-2778) to schedule your appointment. The agents will assist you in finding the nearest available passport acceptance facility and book your appointment over the phone.

During the appointment scheduling process, you’ll need to provide some basic information such as your name, contact details, and the purpose of your travel. It’s crucial to have your documents and application form ready when scheduling the appointment, as you may be asked for specific details.


It’s important to note that some passport acceptance facilities require appointments to be made several weeks in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. It’s advisable to plan accordingly and book your appointment well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush or delays.


Once you have scheduled your appointment, take note of the date, time, and location. It’s a good idea to arrive early and ensure that you have all your documents and application form with you. Missing or incomplete paperwork may result in rescheduling your appointment.


Now that you have successfully scheduled your appointment, you’re one step closer to obtaining your passport. The next step is to visit the passport acceptance facility in Washington, D.C., to submit your application and complete the necessary procedures.


Step 4: Visit the Passport Acceptance Facility

Congratulations on scheduling your appointment! Now it’s time to visit the passport acceptance facility in Washington, D.C. This is where you will submit your application, supporting documents, and complete the necessary procedures. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful visit:

  1. Arrive on Time: It’s important to arrive at the passport acceptance facility on time or a few minutes early. This shows respect for the staff’s time and helps keep the process running smoothly.
  2. Bring Your Documents: Make sure to bring all the required documents from Step 1, including proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity, completed application form, passport photo, proof of name change (if applicable), and parental consent (for minors).
  3. Additional Required Items: In addition to the documents, bring any additional items specified by the passport acceptance facility. This may include a photocopy of each document, payment for fees (check with the specific facility for accepted forms of payment), and any other items requested during the appointment scheduling process.
  4. Verification and Swearing-in: When you arrive, a staff member will verify your documents and application form. They may ask you questions to confirm the information provided. You will also be required to take an oath regarding the truthfulness of the information provided.
  5. Payment of Fees: Once your documents are verified, you will be asked to pay the applicable passport fees. The fees vary depending on the type of passport and services requested. Acceptable methods of payment will be provided by the facility.
  6. Passport Photo: If you haven’t already submitted your passport photo with the application, you will be required to provide it at the facility. Make sure to follow the specific photo requirements set by the U.S. Department of State.
  7. Oath Documentation: As part of the application process, you may be required to sign an oath statement or provide additional documentation for certain situations. This could include statements of special circumstances or emergency travel plans.

Throughout the visit, it’s essential to follow all instructions provided by the staff and maintain a respectful and cooperative attitude. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.


After you have completed the necessary procedures at the passport acceptance facility, you’re one step closer to obtaining your passport. The next step is to pay the required fees, which will be covered in Step 5.


Step 5: Pay the Fees

Now that you have submitted your application and completed the necessary procedures at the passport acceptance facility, it’s time to pay the applicable fees. Payment of fees is an essential step in the passport application process. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Fee Amount: The exact fee amount will depend on various factors, such as the type of passport you’re applying for (e.g., adult, minor, renewal, expedited service), the processing options chosen, and any additional services requested.
  2. Accepted Payment Methods: Passport acceptance facilities typically accept payments in the form of checks, money orders, or credit/debit cards. However, it’s essential to check with the specific facility regarding their accepted payment methods. Cash payments are generally discouraged.
  3. Fee Breakdown: To determine the specific fees for your application, visit the official website of the U.S. Department of State or consult the passport acceptance facility. The fee breakdown will include the application fee, execution fee (for first-time applicants), and any additional service fees, such as expedited processing or extra pages.
  4. Payment Timing: Depending on the facility, you may be required to pay the fees at the time of submitting your application or after the processing is complete. Clarify with the staff to ensure you follow the correct payment procedure.
  5. Keep Proof of Payment: It’s important to keep the proof of payment for your records. This can include a receipt, confirmation number, or any other documentation provided by the facility. This documentation may be necessary if you have any inquiries or need to track the status of your application.

Remember, the passport fees are non-refundable, so it’s important to ensure that you have completed all necessary steps and provided accurate information before making the payment.


Once you have paid the fees, the passport acceptance facility will process your application and send it to the appropriate authorities for further review and issuance of your passport. The time it takes to receive your passport will vary depending on the processing option chosen and any additional services requested.


With the fees paid, it’s time to move on to the next step – patiently awaiting the processing of your passport application.


Step 6: Await Passport Processing

After you have completed the payment of fees, it’s time to patiently await the processing of your passport application. The processing time can vary depending on several factors, such as the current workload at the passport agency, the type of passport service chosen, and any additional services requested. Here’s what you need to know during this waiting period:

  1. Processing Times: The U.S. Department of State provides estimated processing times on their official website. These times can give you a general idea of how long it might take to receive your passport. It’s important to note that these are approximate times and can vary.
  2. Check Application Status: You can check the status of your passport application using the Online Passport Status System. This system allows you to track the progress of your application by entering your last name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.
  3. Expedited Processing: If you have urgent travel plans and need your passport sooner, you can request expedited processing. This service requires an additional fee but can expedite the processing time. Please note that expedited processing does not guarantee immediate issuance and is subject to availability.
  4. Lost or Stolen Passports: If your passport is lost or stolen during this waiting period, report it immediately to the U.S. Department of State and follow their instructions for obtaining a replacement. Your application may need to be resubmitted with the appropriate documentation.
  5. Be Patient: Passport processing times can vary, so it’s essential to remain patient during this stage. Avoid making any unnecessary travel plans until you have received your passport.

It’s recommended that you wait until your passport is in hand before making any firm travel arrangements. Once your passport has been processed, it will be printed and mailed to you using the mailing address provided during your application submission.


If you have any concerns or questions regarding the processing of your passport application, it’s best to contact the National Passport Information Center for assistance. Their representatives will be able to provide updates and guidance regarding your specific situation.


Now that you have submitted your application and are awaiting its processing, the final step is to collect your passport once it’s ready for pick-up or delivered to your designated mailing address.


Step 7: Collect Your Passport

Congratulations! Your passport is ready for collection. This final step marks the exciting moment when you can finally hold your travel document in your hands. Here’s what you need to know about collecting your passport:

  1. Notification: Once your passport is processed and ready for collection, you will receive a notification via email or mail, depending on the method you selected during your application. The notification will inform you that your passport is ready for pick-up or has been dispatched for delivery.
  2. Collecting in Person: If you opted for pick-up, you will need to visit the designated passport agency or acceptance facility to retrieve your passport. Bring proper identification, such as a government-issued ID, as well as the notification or any other proof provided. Check the specific instructions in your notification for the location and operating hours of the collection center.
  3. Delivery by Mail: If you chose to have your passport delivered, it will be sent to the mailing address you provided during your application submission. Make sure to have someone available to receive the package to prevent any delays or issues.
  4. Verification and Signature: When collecting your passport, you may be required to verify your identity and sign for the receipt of the document. Follow the instructions provided by the staff at the collection center or delivery service.
  5. Review the Passport: Upon receiving your passport, carefully review it to ensure that all the information is accurate. Check your personal details, photo, and the expiration date. If you notice any errors or discrepancies, contact the passport agency immediately for guidance on how to correct them.
  6. Passport Validity and Renewal: Take note of the expiration date on your passport. It’s crucial to be aware of the validity period and plan ahead for passport renewal well in advance to avoid any travel disruptions in the future.

With your new passport in hand, you are now ready to embark on your travel adventures and explore the world. Remember to keep your passport secure and make multiple copies of it for safekeeping. It’s also wise to register your passport with your embassy or consulate when traveling abroad.


Now that you have successfully collected your passport, it’s time to plan your itinerary, pack your bags, and start making incredible memories as you venture out into the world!



Congratulations! You have successfully completed the process of getting a passport in Washington, D.C. You are now equipped with the essential travel document that will open up a world of adventure and exploration. Obtaining a passport may have seemed like a daunting task initially, but by following the steps outlined in this guide, you navigated the process with ease.


Remember, as you embark on your international journeys, your passport serves not only as your identification but also as a reminder of the freedom and opportunities that travel brings. It is a symbol of your ability to venture beyond borders and experience new cultures, traditions, and landscapes.


Make sure to always keep your passport secure, and keep track of its expiration date to avoid any unexpected travel disruptions. It’s wise to make multiple copies of your passport and store them in separate locations in case of loss or theft. Additionally, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the entry requirements and visa regulations of the countries you plan to visit.


As you collect your passport and prepare for your travels, remember the thrill of exploration and the countless unforgettable memories that await you. Whether you’re planning a relaxing beach vacation, an adventurous trek through the mountains, or an immersive cultural experience, your passport is your gateway to new horizons.


Now, armed with your passport, a sense of adventure, and a desire to explore the unknown, go out and create lifelong memories. Bon voyage!