One of the requirements when applying for a new passport is that an authorized agent witnesses the signing of your application. This is done at a passport application acceptance facility.
There are more than 9,000 passport application acceptance facilities located throughout the United States. Of the thousands of facilities, the majority are located in post offices.
Approximately 90% of the post offices that do passports have handicap access and about 80% of them have on-site passport photo capability.
The documents you need to take with you when you visit the post office include:
- completed but unsigned passport form, click here
- evidence of citizenship,
- proof of identity,
- two passport photos,
- Social Security card.
Form DS-11: Application for a New Passport can either be downloaded online or you can get a copy at the post office.
There are two passport fees if you choose regular processing. The application fee is paid to the U.S. Department of State and is sent with your application and other required documents. The execution fee is paid to the authorized passport application acceptance agent at the post office.
An additional fee must be paid to the State Department if you request expedited services. Expediting your passport can diminish the processing time. Instead of 3 to 4 weeks, you can get your travel document in 2 to 3 weeks. It can take longer when there is a significant increase in application submissions.
Since no postal office actually processes passport applications, it is not the place to request emergency passport expediting in less than two weeks. This must be done either directly through a regional passport agency or a private expediting service.
Regional agencies are located in major cities throughout the United States such as Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles. Unlike submitting a passport application at a post office where you can just show up anytime during commercial hours, it is necessary to make an appointment at the regional passport agency. This is done by calling the automated appointment number: 1-877-487-2778.