If you recently became a US citizen, or are applying for a US passport for the first time,
this video is for you.
I became a US citizen in 2019, and got my passport in 10 days.
I'm going to explain how to apply for a US passport step by step, and share two common
mistakes I see people making that can easily be avoided if you follow all the steps I'm
about to share.
So, let's dive in and get you that passport.
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If this is your first time applying for a US passport you have to apply in person.
There are four steps to applying for a US passport.
The first is filling out form DS-11, the US passport application.
Then, schedule an appointment at the nearest passport facility.
Now, you can schedule this appointment before you fill out your form, just be sure that
your form is completed before your appointment.
Next, gather your supporting documents and payment that you have to submit with your
application in person.
And finally, attend your appointment.
Let's start with step one, filling out form DS-11.
If you recently went through the naturalization process and received a welcome packet at
your oath ceremony, there is usually a passport application form inside.
If you don't have the form, let me show you exactly how to get to it.
Okay, so to get to form DS-11 you will go to the Department of State website, which
is Travel.State.Gov. Any links mentioned in this video, I will share in the description
On this homepage you're going to go to, get a US passport.
Then, you're going to go down a little bit where you will see, I need a passport, and
you'll click on the first option which says, apply in person.
Now, you'll scroll down a little bit and you'll see the first thing here says, fill out form
Now, if you click on the plus sign it'll bring you to options.
The online form filler, which lets you complete the form online and then you can print it
Or, if you prefer to complete the form by hand, click on the one that says PDF, and
it will take you to this blank form that you can print out, and then fill out by pen.
Now, I just want to point out a few things in the actual form itself, so let's take a
look at the form.
At the very top of the form you will see a few different options.
You'll see a passport book, a passport card, or both.
Now, the passport card can only be used for land or sea travel, so unless you live near
the border and are frequently going back and forth, you're not going to be able to use
the passport card for any of the other type of travel.
But, if you'd like an extra form of ID, you can certainly get the passport card.
But for most people, the US passport book is more than sufficient, and it's the only
thing that works for air travel.
Now, the other thing I want to point out is you can choose between a regular book, and
a large book.
The only difference is a large book just has more pages.
It does not cost anything extra to get the large book, so if you travel a lot I would
recommend getting the large book so that you don't run out of pages quickly.
Now, as for the actual form itself, it is pretty straight forward.
It asks for basic information such as your name, your social security number, your address,
and things like that.
I do want to point out that in the middle of the page it says, stop and continue to
And it says, do not sign the application until requested to do so.
So you're not actually going to sign the application until you're actually at the post office,
or wherever you're submitting your application, and the agent tells you it's okay to sign
So now, go onto page two where it's more of the same type of information.
You'll fill out your parental information, emergency contact information, and things
And so, that's really it on the actual form, now let's talk about how to actually schedule
Now, passport acceptance facilities are typically a public library, or a post office.
Most people actually tend to do it at a post office, but if you want to see what your options
are, you're going to go back to the page where we just got the form from, and if you scroll
down a little further you'll see number nine says, submit your completed application.
If you expand that, you'll see an option to click on passport acceptance facility.
So now if you click on this, you can enter your zip code, and I'll enter mine here in
Brooklyn New York.
And as you can see, there are a variety of options, it's a combination of post office,
and public libraries.
So now, if you want to actually schedule your appointment at the post office, you do it
directly on the post office website, so let me show you how you do that.
You simply go to USPS.com/Scheduler, which brings you over to this page.
And here, you'll just choose a service, and in this situation it's a new passport only.
If it's just you, you'll select one.
And then you can search by location.
So similar to before, we can enter your zip code, and it'll then bring up the nearest
locations to you that have appointments.
I'm going to select the location that's the closest to me, and then if I click on the
calendar icon here, it'll bring up a list of available appointments.
As you can see, I can schedule an appointment as soon as tomorrow.
Let's say I click on tomorrow, and select the date.
It then brings up a variety of times, and as you can see there are a ton of appointments
Now, I'm not going to go ahead and actually book it, but you just provide your contact
information, review your appointment, and then go ahead and confirm it, and then you'll
get a confirmation email.
If for some reason you need to change your appointment, you can easily do that online
Okay, so now you've completed your application and scheduled your appointment, so here's
what you need to take with you to your appointment.
The first is proof of US citizenship.
This can be your naturalization certificate, or a US birth certificate if you were born
Now, this is where I see the first mistake people make, you need to take the original
and a photo copy.
I saw a lot of people coming into the post office without photo copies, and they had
to leave, and come back, and that's just a waste of your time.
Be sure to take a photo copy of this.
Next, you need proof of identity.
Now, the easiest thing to do is take your license or state ID.
But remember, it must be an in state ID.
If it's not, then you need another form of identity as well.
If you have an out of state ID you can take something like your valid foreign passport,
or your global entry ID.
You can find a full list of acceptable ID's on the Department of State site, and I will
link to that in the description below.
Again, be sure to take a photo copy of the front and back of your license or state ID.
The next thing you'll need is one colored passport photo.
The easiest thing to do is go to a CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Duane Reade, whatever the closest
facility is near you that does passport photos.
And remember if you wear glasses to take them off, no glasses in passport photos, and that's
it on the photos.
Now, whether you use a birth certificate or a naturalization certificate as citizenship
evidence, the post office is going to keep it.
Now, don't be alarmed, it will be mailed back to you, and don't be alarmed if your new passport
comes to you without it.
It usually comes in two separate mailings.
Mine came a few days apart in two separate mailings, and I was really nervous about giving
up my original, thinking it would get lost.
But, I got it back, no issues, and tons of people do it all the time without any issues.
Now, let's talk money and timelines.
This is where I see the second mistake people make in the process.
As of today the Department of State website states that the standard processing time for
a new passport is six to eight weeks.
If you choose to expedite it and pay extra, it is two to three weeks.
Now, I paid to have mine expedited and got it in 10 days, which is even faster than the
two to three weeks stated on the website.
If you need it even faster than that because you have an emergency, there is a way to do
Just let me know in the comments, and I'll share that process with you.
A passport book currently costs $110, and then the passport facility charges a $35 execution
If you choose not to expedite your passport this is all you pay.
I chose to have my passport expedited because I had travel coming up, and I needed my passport
I'm going to share with you what I paid in total, but I also want to show you where you
can go on the Department of State website, and use their fee calculator to make sure
that the fees you are going to be paying are the most current and up to date.
Okay, so we're going to go back to this page one more time where we got the form, and we're
going to scroll down below to number eight where it says, calculate fees.
You're going to expand that, and at the very bottom you'll see a link for passport fees.
We're going to click on that, and it'll bring us to this page where at the very top you
will see something that says, fee calculator.
We're now going to click on this and follow the prompts.
It asks me where do I reside, United States.
What is your date of birth, I'm going to pick an arbitrary date of birth.
Have you ever had a US passport, no.
Then we're going to click next.
Now, I chose to just get a passport book, which you can see is $110.
Then I chose to expedite it, which is an additional $60.
And then for even speedier delivery, I checked one to two day delivery.
Now you can see exactly what I paid, which was $222.13.
Now again, if you chose not to expedite it you would simply pay the $110, plus the $35
fee, and none of these other costs.
Now I want to talk a little bit about payment methods because it's important, so let's do
Whether you choose to expedite it or not, your payment is broken into two parts, paid
with different methods.
For the $110 passport book, expedited fee, and speedy delivery, you pay by check or money
For the $35 execution fee, you pay directly to the post office, and I was able to pay
it with credit card, but this does vary by location.
So to be safe, I would recommend that you take $35 in cash, as well as your debit and
If you aren't sure of the total amount that needs to go on the check, then just leave
it blank and fill it out at the counter when you're actually at the post office.
I saw people leaving because they had filled out their checks with the wrong amounts, and
they didn't bring their check books, and didn't have any more blank checks.
I would just recommend taking your check book with you, or not filling out the amount at
all, so you just want to avoid having to come back a second time.
If you have any other questions about the passport process, leave me a comment and I'll
be sure to respond.
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