A passport is usually required when traveling internationally, though it can be useful as a form of identification anywhere. Many people do not have this type of document, though, perhaps because the passport application process often seems complicated. Fortunately, it can be broken down into a few steps, starting with filling out the appropriate forms and paying the fee required of the applicant's local passport agency. The next step of the passport application process is to show the necessary documents, which typically include evidence of citizenship and proper identification. Finally, a clear photo must usually be submitted before a new passport will be provided.
Applicants usually need to appear in-person if they are applying for their first passport and if their old one was lost, damaged or created several years ago. In most countries, the first step of the passport application process is to fill out the appropriate form, which can usually be completed online or filled out by hand before applicants turn it in to their local passport agency. There also is a fee that needs to be submitted before completing the passport application process. Applicants should contact the passport agency near them to determine the amount of the fee, as well as which payment methods are accepted.
Most areas require applicants to show evidence of citizenship of that country, which likely includes a birth certificate. It typically needs to either be the original or a certified copy to be accepted. Photo identification, such as a driver's license or old passport, also is usually required when applying for a passport. If these forms of primary identification are not available, a few forms of secondary identification can often be used together, such as a credit card, library card and employee identification card. Before going to the office, applicants are advised to call their local passport agency to make sure they have the correct forms of identification.
In most cases, the passport application process requires applicants to supply their own photograph. While most people want to use their best picture, there are a few requirements to meet. For example, it must be a certain size, and it should be a professional picture that is printed on photo-quality paper. In most cases, it needs to have been taken recently, such as within six months, and should reflect changes that include major weight gain or loss, facial surgery or numerous new tattoos and piercings. In addition, the applicant should be looking straight at the camera with both eyes open, without a hat or sunglasses, both of which can obscure the face.