Applying for your Passport

Illustration of two passports


If you don't already have a valid passport you should apply for one as soon as you decide to study abroad. Due to lack of staffing at U.S. Passport Centers currently, the process can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. It is recommended to send your application via trackable mail and to pay an extra fee for the 1-2 day delivery for the return. 

Step 1: Fill Out the Passport Application Form

Fill out the appropriate application depending on your situation. You may fill the form online or print and fill by hand, but you will need to submit in person or by mail. See the link on Where to Apply.

Stop in our office (SC118) or send an email if you have any questions!

Step 2: Submit Proof of U.S. Citizenship

This is typically a previous U.S. Passport, certified birth certificate (issued by the city, county, or state), certificate of naturalization, or certificate of citizenship. Further examples are included on the application form. 

Step 3: Provide Proof of Identity

Submit an item that contains your signature and photograph, such as a previous U.S. Passport, driver's license (not temporary or learner's permit), military identification, certificate of naturalization, or certificate of citizenship. Further examples are included on the application form.

Step 4: Get Passport Photos

Passport photos are a style of photograph with specifications regarding the size of the photo, what sort of head and facial clothing is permitted, a particular background color, and other specifications. Do not try to take or print passport photos yourself, as the regulations regarding these photos are specific and strict. There are many places where you can get passport photos: Walgreens, CVS, post offices, etc.

Step 5: Pay the Fee

You should anticipate spending around $160 for the passport, photos, and processing fees, and more for expedited processing.

Application Fee and any Additional Services Fees:

  • Checks (personal, certified, cashier's, traveler's) and money orders payable to "U.S. Department of State"
  • Credit and debit cards CANNOT be accepted

$25 Execution Fee Paid Separately:

  • Money orders at all locations, payable as instructed by the facility
  • Personal checks and cash (exact change only) at some locations; Credit cards at U.S. postal facilities and some other locations. Verify acceptable payment methods with the facility ahead of time.


If you have been accepted into an NWTC study abroad program, send a scanned color copy of the passport page that includes your photo and details to Lacy Frewerd via email ( ASAP. The NWTC Library has color scanners that can send the scanned copy via email. Just ask a Librarian if you are unsure how to use the scanners.