How To Apply For A Passport In The US?

A passport is highly required for all US citizens’ international traveling by air. To apply for a passport in the US, you must be a US citizen by birth or naturalization. To travel outside of the US, you need to have a passport book and card. Both the book and the card can be used while crossing the land borders or sea ports from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. Although a passport card is cheaper than a passport book, it cannot be used while traveling by air. Let us know about “How To Apply For A Passport In The US?”

How To Apply For A Passport In The US?

To Apply For The Passport, Make Sure To Keep These Documents Ready:

Original proof of citizenship, photo ID proof that is acceptable, photocopy of the original documents, a passport photo, and passport fees. Passport book (application fee is $130 and acceptance fee is $35). Passport card (application fee is $130, and the acceptance fee is $35). For both book and card, (the application fee is $160, and the acceptance fee is $35). 

You can go to the passport office to apply for the book and card or either one of them. To get the passport within a week or less, you may have to go with the speed process by paying additional fees and contacting the passport agency. Usually, emergency travel is only applicable if there is a serious issue, death, or illness and have to travel within 72 hours. If you are traveling within two weeks, you may be required to show proof of the purchased tickets for traveling. 

If it is not an urgent trip but you want to use expedited service, you can request the service agency from the nearby passport acceptance facility and pay $60 for the speed service apart from the shipping charges. To complete the process online, you may fill out the application form using the passport application wizard and take a printout to submit it in person as there is no way to apply online. You can also fill out the form in the office and wait for the official to come and instruct you where to sign 

What Happens If A Passport Photo Is Rejected?

If your passport photo is rejected due to some reason, the application process would be paused until the NPIC receives an acceptable image for the application. The passport agency would mail a letter to you regarding the photo rejection and provide you with detailed instructions to mail them back a new photo. As the process is put on hold, they may require a response from your side within 90 days. Once you receive the letter, you can quickly follow the given instructions to provide the agency with a valid photo to process the passport. 

Why Did Your Photo Get Rejected?

Each photo that goes through the entire procedure of NPIC guidelines is accepted. Sometimes, the reason for your photo getting rejected can be as silly as because of the size of the image.

The perfect image according to the guidelines is, 

  • Printing the image in the size of 2×2 inches (51x51mm)
  • The distance between the bottom of your chin and the top of your head must measure 1 to 1 ⅜ inch (22x35mm) or check the total height of the image between 50% and 69% from your chin to the top of your head 
  • The scanned image must come to be 300 pixels/inch or 12 pixels/mm. 
  • The background of the image must only be white and of no other color
  • The image must be recent enough to match your age 
  • Remove any hat or glasses while taking the picture

If you are wearing a hat or covering the head with a cloth, you must make sure to state the reason through a letter (whether it is a medical condition or a tradition). Without the letter with a sign stating why the photo is most likely to be rejected, so make sure to state your reason clearly. 

If you need to submit the photo online,

  • Make sure to have a square photo of 1200×1200 pixels
  • It should be a colored photo with a white background
  • The photo format should be JPEG 
  • The size of the image should come around or within 240 kilobytes (kB)
  • You can also compress the size of your photo to the ratio of 20:1 or less than that

How To Take A Good Passport Photo?

To take a good photo that would quickly be accepted by the NPIC guidelines,

  • Wear a casual and decent dress or a shirt (not any sort of a uniform) 
  • Take a picture from a professional photographer in a drugstore or grocery store
  • Make sure to remove your hat or cloth if it is not important or prescribed 
  • Remove any shiny ornaments, electronic devices, and specs while taking the photo even if nothing is visible (if the doctor advises you to not take them off, have the letter with their sign ready)
  • Brush tiny hair off from your face and sit straight without tilting sideways 
  • Look in the camera without bending your chin down or too upwards
  • Have a correct head position
  • Keep your eyes wide open and try not to blink too often 
  • Give off a slight smile or have a neutral expression without any trivial movements

Once it’s done, make sure to recheck with the photographer to see whether the photo is clear and has no shadows or hair falling on your face. Properly measure the distance and size of the image to avoid any further delays in your process. Once you feel the picture is perfect, approve it to the shopkeeper and request for a colored print with only white background. In case you choose to take a photo by yourself at home, make sure to have the correct background and a clear image without any editing, except for the removal of the red-eye effect.


So as long as you seek a professional to take a good picture for you, you are good to go. It is always safe to read the NPIC guidelines and cross-check with the professional photographer before returning the mail with another image. You must follow every minimal instruction provided to you to avoid getting your passport photo rejected. 

How To Apply For A Passport In The US?

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