What Are the Best Tips for Applying for a First Passport?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2020
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    Conjecture Corporation
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In order to travel to most international locations, an individual must first apply for and receive a passport. Although the process is pretty straightforward, there are four tips that should prevent complications and take the stress out of the process of getting a first passport. These include verifying and obtaining the needed identification and money, applying ahead of time, paying close attention when filling out the form, and proofreading the application.

Before ever beginning the actual application process for a first passport, it's crucial to first gather the necessary information that's required to apply. This information can differ slightly depending upon which country the individual is in. Common requirements include a birth certificate, if applicable, a naturalization certificate, and a driver's license. In order to be certain, the individual should contact his local passport agency and inquire about all necessary items.

It's also important to find out exactly how much money it will cost in order to apply for a passport. Knowing this and obtaining the funds in an acceptable form should make the application process run smoothly. In addition, a small picture of the passport holder is required for all passports, and can be provided by the individual. Otherwise, a picture can often be taken during the time of application for an extra charge. The applicant should ensure the passport photo submitted meets the issuing agency's requirements in terms of size, quality and composition.


Applying ahead of time is almost always a smart idea when trying to obtain a first passport. While the processing time varies, it often takes a significant period of time to actually receive one's passport. During busy travel times like summer and holidays, it can take especially long. That's why it's best to apply at least three months prior to the anticipated departure date. Doing so should eliminate any unnecessary stress and ensure that the passport arrives before departure.

Another helpful tip when applying for a first passport is to be careful when filling out the form. While passport forms aren't particularly complicated, completing a form in haste is never a good idea and could lead to mistakes. If errors occur, it could slow down the process and possibly result in a rejection. That's why it's so important for the individual to take his time and pay close attention to every detail.

Proofreading the application is an additional tip for obtaining a first passport. The potential for human error is always present, so in order to prevent this it's vital to double and triple check the application form before handing it in. Making sure that all information is accurate and there are no misspellings or other errors should prevent any problems.



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