Ten Tips for Completing and Submitting U.S. Passport Applications by Mail or Drop Off

  1. Complete your application online using the Passport Wizard:  Fill out your application online and print the 2D barcode.
  2. Sign and date the application:  Unsigned and undated applications cannot be processed and require a new original signature page to be sent by mail/drop box.
  3. Include your correct Social Security number on the form or attach the Social Security declaration if you have never been issued one:  You must provide a Social Security number, if you have been issued one.  If you have never been issued a Social Security number, please submit a statement, signed and dated, which includes the phrase, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct:  I have never been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration.”  For minors, print, fill out, sign, and date this Social Security declaration.  Do not submit the declaration if you have been issued a Social Security number as it will significantly delay the processing of your passport.  If you also have an Israeli or Palestinian Authority ID number, do not write your national ID number on the application in place of the Social Security number.
  4. Submit valid passport photo (without glasses):  Passport photos older than six months or that do not meet passport photo specifications cannot be used.
  5. Include most recent passport:  If you do not have the current passport to submit, you are ineligible to apply for a new passport using the DS-82 or DS-5504, and you must make an in-person appointment.  Your most recent passport and your new passport will be returned to you together.
  6. Include bank check made out for exact amount:  Personal checks and cash cannot be accepted.  Follow the instructions here.
  7. Include correct mailing address, mobile phone number, and email address on your application and courier delivery form (if submitted through drop box):  If you mail in your application, we will prepare a courier delivery form using the address and phone number on your application.  Both Israel Post Courier and Aramex arrange delivery and payment through text message so it is important that the cell phone number is correct and can receive text messages.  If there are any issues with your application, the ACS Unit or the Western Passport Center will attempt to reach you through the email listed on your application.  Several applications remain unprocessed because applicants do not answer their phones or answer their emails to resolve pending issues.
  8. If you list “Jerusalem, Israel” as your place of birth on your application, circle either “Jerusalem” or “Israel” to indicate your place of birth choice for your passport:  If you write “Jerusalem, Israel” as your place of birth on your passport application without circling either Jerusalem or Israel to indicate what you want printed on your passport as your place of birth, we will need to contact you to indicate your choice is consistent with current policy.  For more information, see here.
  9. Include a photocopy of your passport you are renewing:  The image of the biodata page on the photocopy must be the exact same size (neither shrunk nor enlarged)
  10. Submit name change documents with handwritten English translations:  If you are changing your name because of marriage or divorce, you may submit a complete copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree.  If you have an official name change order you must submit the original order and include one copy.  If any of the documents are not in English, please include a handwritten, legible translation in English.  Any original documents submitted will be returned to you with your new passport.