Skip to content

Student FAQ - Passport Application Materials

 

      Student FAQ - Passport Ap plication Materials

Q: What requirements are there for the proof of U.S. citizenship?
A: You must submit one of the following as an original hard copy document AND one photocopy of that document. Your evidence must be an original or certified copy. Submitting ONLY photocopies or notarized copies is not acceptable. Electronic copies are not acceptable. Your original evidence will be returned to you via mail.

  • U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
    • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
    • Lists your full name, date of birth, and place of birth
    • Lists your parent(s)' full names
    • Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
    • Has the registrar's signature
    • Has the seal of the issuing authority
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • If you cannot submit one of the above acceptable documents, or for more information, please see Citizenship Evidence

 
Q: How do I get a certified copy of my U.S. birth certificate?
A: Contact the Vital Statistics office in the state where you were born.

Q: Should I provide a photocopy of my proof of citizenship document?
A: YES this is a requirement. A black and white copy is fine, no need for a color photocopy. It is also encouraged (but not required) for you to make a photocopy or scan of your document to keep for your own records while the original is in processing with the State Department.

Q: Where can I find the official first-time passport application form (called a DS-11)?
A: You can find the DS-11 form on the State Department's website . You can either use their website form filler to fill the form out electronically and then print, or download the PDF, print, and fill out the form by hand.

Q: How should I print out the DS-11 application form?
A: Print one-sided and be sure that the edges are not cut off.

Q: I made a mistake on the DS-11 form. Can I cross that out and write next to it? Can I use white-out and write over that?
A: No, the agents will not accept this during your appointment. No smudges, cross-outs, or whiteouts are allowed. Please print out another DS-11 form and start over.

Q: How do I fill out the name field?
A: You should print your full and complete name on the passport application form (DS-11). Some forms of photo ID may show abbreviated middle names. You should NOT abbreviate your name on the DS-11 form.

Q: The name printed on my proof of U.S. citizenship (e.g. birth certificate) does not match the name printed on my proof of identity (e.g. driver’s license, military ID). Will this be a problem?
A: The name printed on your driver's license or other government issued ID (showing your full middle name) should match exactly to the name you print on the passport application form (DS-11). This DS-11 form also includes a space to provide any other names you have previously used (e.g. birth name, maiden name, previous marriage). Applicants must establish their identity to the satisfaction of the official passport agent. The agent may or may not ask you to provide additional evidence to establish your identity. If you prefer, you may choose to bring additional documentation (e.g. marriage certificate, court decree) to prepare for this possibility.

Q: How do I fill out the address fields?
A: Please see below for details of each address field. It is not necessary for you to provide an alternate permanent address, e.g. your parents' or family's home address. Your passport will not have an address printed on it or inside of it.

  • #8 Mailing Address on page 1 of the DS-11: This is the address where your passport and proof of citizenship will be sent approximately 4-6 weeks after the event. These will be sent to you in two separate mailings. Please be sure that this is a good place for you to receive mail at that time.
  • #19 Permanent Address on page 2 of the DS-11: If you live at an address other than what you provided under "#8 Mailing Address" on page 1, then you should provide that here.

 
Q: About the parental information fields: I do not have any information about one or two of my parents. How do I fill out these fields?
A: You should call the National Passport Information Center and speak with a customer service representative who can help you determine the best way to complete your form for your individual situation. You can find their contact information and hours of operation on the State Department's website.

Q: About the parental information fields: I am adopted. Should I list my birth parents in the parental information fields or should I list my adoptive parents?
A: You should call the National Passport Information Center and speak with a customer service representative who can help you determine the best way to complete your form for your individual situation. You can find their contact information and hours of operation on the State Department's website.

Q: How do I fill out the occupation and "employer or school" fields?
A: You can put "Student" and your institution name or if you prefer, you can put an alternate occupation and employer.

Q: How do I fill out the height, hair color, and eye color fields?
A: The answers you provide here should match exactly to what is on your proof of identity (e.g. driver's license). Some IDs do not show hair color; in this case, you should provide your natural hair color on the DS-11 form.

Q: I see that I will need to submit a photo of myself. Can I take this picture myself or have a friend take it?
A: There are specific requirements for acceptable passport photos that must be followed exactly, or passport officials may reject the photo you submit. It is recommend that you use a business that will take responsibility for taking a quality photo that adheres to all of the official photo requirements. Business that provide passport photo services include most US Postal Service, Walmart, Walgreens, FedEx Office stores and many others.

Q: Should I staple my photo to the DS-11 form now?
A: It is recommend that you wait until the event to do this, in case there is an error on your DS-11 form and you need to do it over. Staplers will be at the event.

Q: Should I provide my Social Security card or a photocopy of it?
A: No, this is not necessary.

 

While partially accessible, this software may not meet all accessibility requirements.
The Center for Global Engagement is committed to providing international experiences to all students, and we are happy to provide you the application in a different format. Please email us to request this application in a different format.