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Form DS-11 for Passport Applications
The United States passport is the strongest among all the passports in the world. It is recognized by most countries. American citizens can get their passport issued in a few simple steps, which starts with the Form DS-11. Just like any other form filling work, it is essential to fill it out properly to avoid delays and rejection. In this article, we’ll explain how to fill out Form DS-11 with proper step-by-step instructions.
What Is Form DS-11?
DS-11 is one of the most widely used application forms in the United States. Also known as US Passport Application Form, DS-11 is the form provided by the United States Department of State for issuing passports to its citizens. The form can be downloaded from the official website and then be used for filing.
Who Needs Form DS-11?
Form DS-11 should only be used by those applying for the US passport for the very first time. This means, if you’re applying for renewing or issuance of a second passport, then you’ll be ineligible to use this form.
Besides that, the form is also used by children under the age of 16. The form is filed by their parents and they receive the passport thereafter.
When To Re-File DS-11?
DS-11 is intended to be used by people applying for a passport for the first time. But there are exceptions to this rule.
As you’d know, the passport issued to a child is valid only for 5 years as opposed to 10 years for adults. Also, you won’t be able to use the renewal option by filing DS-82 if you are still under 16 years of age when your previous passport expired. So anyone whose first US passport was issued before they turned 10 cannot technically file for renewal. They’d have to use the DS-11 again to get a new passport.
If your passport was lost or stolen or damaged, then you’ll not be applying for renewals. You’d be using the DS-11 again to get a new passport.
- You’ll most likely be using the Form DS-11 if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You’re applying for a US passport for the very first time.
- You are under the age of 16 at the time of applying.
- You were under the age of 16 when you first received your first US passport.
- Your latest US passport was issued no later than 15 years from the current date and it is expired.
- You have lost or severely damaged your recent passport or it got stolen.
- You had your name changed since your last passport was issued but you are unable to document the change of your name.
- You are requesting a gender marker change.
If none of the conditions are true and you are applying for renewal instead, then you should use Form DS-82 instead.
Documents Required For Form DS-11
Providing relevant documents is equally important as submitting the form. Along with DS-11, you’ll be asked to submit the following documents:
Documents Proving Your US Citizenship
To get the US passport, you must be an American citizen, either by birth or naturalized. Many documents can prove your American citizenship status, but these will vary depending on whether you were born in the US, born outside of the US (to American parents), became a US citizen through naturalization, or were adopted.
Common documents that can prove your American citizenship are:
- US hospital birth record
- Certificate of naturalization
- Certificate of citizenship
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth
Secondary documents like your parents’ naturalization certificate, FS-240, foreign birth certificate, Letter of No Record, etc. might also be asked for. Submit whichever ones are applicable in your case.
To make it easier, you can submit the Request For a File Search form and submit it along with DS-11.
The next set of documents should provide your identity. These are comparably less daunting and easy to produce. As an ID document, you can produce any US government-issued card that has at least your name, photo, DOB printed on it. But these have to be permanent ID cards and not secondary. Some of the IDs you can submit are:
- State-issued driver’s license
- Permanent resident card
- Certificate of naturalization
- Certificate of citizenship
- Government employee ID card
- Trusted traveler’s ID like SENTRI, Global Entry
- Enhanced tribal cards
If you cannot produce any of the above, click here to learn more about what is accepted.
You will have to submit your recent photograph that meets the requirements. The photos have to be
- 2X2 inches in size
- Identical to each other
- Taken not before 6 months from submitting
- Full face, front view, and plain white background
Click here for complete specifications.
How To Complete Form DS-11
The Form DS-11 must be filed online and submitted in the portal. Then print it out and visit the US passport office or authorized agent (US Embassy, if applying from abroad).
DS-11 is not a tough form to fill out. It is a 6-page form out of which four cover instructions. So you’ll only be filling out two pages. Here’s how to complete form DS-11 step-by-step:
On the very top of the first page, you’ll have to select the right option. Whether you’re applying for a passport card, passport book, or for both.
Then you’ll have to fill out nine fields. Those are:
- Name (First, middle, and last)
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Email Address
- Primary Contact Phone Number
- Mailing Address
- List of all other names you have used legally
Below this section, you’ll have to provide information related to the Identification document you’re submitting. Complete this only if asked to do so. If you’re submitting the driver’s license, then tick the box. Other options are State Issued ID card, passport (existing or expired), Military card, or other (which you have to specify). If the passport is for a child under the age of 16, then the section below pertains to his parents.
On the second page, there are 11 more questions. Those are:
- Parental information
- Name of your spouse, divorce date (if applicable)
- Additional contact phone number
- Employer or school
- Hair Color
- Eye color
- Travel plans (departure and return date, the country planned to visit)
- Permanent address
- Emergency Contact number
- If you’ve applied before, fill this out
Provide your signature at required places and you’ve completed Form DS-11.
Where to Submit Form DS-11
After filling it out online, you need to visit a US State Travel Department designed a qualified center, and submit the form in-person. In case the passport is not urgent, you can apply at a Passport Acceptance Facility.
For applicants applying from abroad, you need to visit the US Embassy in that country.
Form DS-11 Cost
DS-11 is free to download and use. But you need to incur the fees for a passport. For the passport book, the application fee is $110 and the processing fee is $25. For the passport card, it is $30 and $25 for application and processing fees respectively.
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As you can see, DS-11 is the first step towards your US passport process. While everything is explained in-depth here, in case of confusion, we advise you to get in touch with an attorney before proceeding.