A new version of the application for United States passport was recently published. There are a few changes which will be mentioned below in this article that describes the different sections of the application. You will also find some tips and advice on how to complete them.
New Features of Passport Application Form DS-11
At the very top of the application for a United States passport, the applicant is presented with a couple of choices. One, you can choose to apply for a passport book, passport card or both using the one form. The book is required for all travel by air while the card can only be used for land and sea travel to Bermuda, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean region. In the same space, the applicant can select to receive either a 28-page passport or one that has 52 pages in it. The larger book is only needed if you travel frequently.
Another change that has certainly contributed to fewer errors when printing the names of applicants on the passport is the separation of spaces to enter the middle and last names. In the previous application, there was a series of squares in which the applicant was to input both names. Cases in which applicants had more than one middle name or a hyphenated last name often created problems.
A second address line has been included in the new application. This space is reserved for things such as apartment, suite, unit, building, or floor number. If the passport will be mailed to someone other than the applicant, this is the place to add “In Care Of” and the person’s name.
To better identify the area which is to be completed by a passport agent, the entire section has a white background compared to an orange background in the section to be completed by the applicant. The old application confused many who thought they needed to fill out this part of the form.
There are a few other changes that were made that do not seem that significant such as the addition of the date of birth of the applicants current or most recent spouse and the removal of the word “optional” in relation to the request for the applicant’s email address.
How to Complete the Application for a New Passport
Applicants have the option of either completing the application online or printing the form and completing it offline. If filled in offline, use black or blue ink. Write legibly. If the person processing the form has difficulty reading your writing, it could result in errors in your passport.
Respond to as many of the questions as possible. You can leave questions blank if you do not know the answer. It some cases this can result in delays. Nevertheless, never make any false statements. Doing this knowingly and willingly on the application is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.
The data that is requested on the application form includes personal information, travel plans and information about any previously owned passports. Personal information that you are asked includes full name, date and place of birth, sex, mailing address, email address, phone number, other names used, height, hair color, eye color, occupation, employer or school, permanent address and emergency contact.
If you have travel plans already, you need to provide the date of the trip, duration of the trip and a list of the countries you plan to visit. You can leave this part blank if you do not have any plans to travel. It is common for people to apply for a passport without a specific travel date.
The last two questions ask if you have ever applied for or been issued a U.S. passport book or a U.S. passport card. If you have, then you asked to enter the name that was on the passport, the number, date if was issued or that you applied and its status.
It is not really difficult to complete the application for a United States passport. You just need to set aside some time to get it done. The form has an estimated burden of 85 minutes. Few applicants take all that time to complete it.
Remember that the application must be signed in the presence of an authorized agent. Take the completed but unsigned form and all supporting documents to the nearest passport office. The agent will review everything, administer an oath and witness the signing the application. If all goes well, you will receive your new passport in 4 to 6 weeks. You can also request expedited service and get it in up to 3 weeks. For faster processing, you will have to submit the application at a regional agency or go through a qualified expediter.