Passport Laws




Convicted felons may apply for a United States Passport, but the application is subject to compulsory or discretionary denial based on certain disqualifications. Federal law disqualifies convicted international drug traffickers from obtaining a passport. Felons are further disqualified if they have federal arrest warrants, unpaid loans while in prison abroad, if they are forbidden by court order to leave the country or if they are under a release program for felony drug charges. Applications may also be denied if child support arrears are owed in excess of $5,000 or if the applicant has unpaid loans for assistance with repatriation.

Step 1

Fill out Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport, either by hand or online through the U.S. Department of State website. Fill out the form completely and honestly, but leave the signature field blank.

Step 2
Gather the necessary citizenship document, such as your certified birth certificate, previously issued passport, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship or a consular report of birth abroad. The citizenship document must be submitted with the application and will be returned after the application has been reviewed.
Step 3
Gather the necessary identification, such as a previously issued passport, naturalization certificate, valid state-issued photo identification card or driver’s license, current government ID or current military ID.
Step 4
Make a photocopy of your identification document on 8-1/2-by-11-inch white paper stock. The paper should show the front and back of the identification, preferably on the same side of the paper.
Step 5
Prepare two identical pictures of yourself in front of a white background; the picture should be taken within six months of your application, clearly show your face and be 2-by-2-inches in size. Your local post office or a store with photo processing centers may be able to take the passport pictures for you.
Step 6
Submit Form DS-11, citizenship documents, identification documents, photographs and processing fee in person at an acceptance facility or passport agency. You must apply in person if this is your first passport, your passport was lost, damaged or stolen, or if your current passport was issued more than 15 years ago.