Passports are documents that establishes the bearer’s citizenship and biographical information to a foreign country. According to the U.S. Department of State, 21.1 million U.S. passports were issued in 2018, bringing the percentage of Americans with passports to 42 percent of the total population. To put this in perspective, Americans are 20% behind the percentage of Canadians with passports (66%) and 30% behind the percentage of English with passports (76%).
However, the number of Americans holding passports is growing, with at least 21 million new passports issued in 2017 and in 2018, as compared to the numbers hovering between 12 to 19 million per year in the previous decade. Some of this increase may have resulted from the Real ID Act, which requires a heightened level security for the issuance of state IDs. Since some state’s standard did not meet the security requirement, residents of those states had to present a passport even for domestic travel. Additionally, the ease and lower cost of international travel may have influenced the increased American demand for passports in the past few years.
The US Department of State is responsible for issuing passports to its citizens. US citizens are those born one U.S. citizen parent, born in the U.S., or those naturalized citizens. If you fit into any of these categories, you may apply for your passport. Below is the checklist of for your passport application, and for expediting your passport issuance.
In person DS-11 (new passport) or DS-82 (renew)
- passport photo
- Evidence of US citizenship (certificate of birth or naturalization) and a copy
- ID (such as Driver License) and a copy
- Fees (payable in credit card in person)
Submit at the in-person facilities, which you may found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/where-to-apply/passport-agencies.html
- Itinerary showing travel within two weeks
- Any other reason why your application should be expedited
In some instances, you may be able to submit your passport application in the morning of your appointment, and retrieve your new passport in the evening. Whether you get this result depends on the facility’s work load.