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Top 5 Most Common Errors on a US Passport Application

Making a mistake when completing your passport application can lead to long delays, which can be frustrating if you need your passport in a rush. Here are the five most common errors that are made on passport applications, so take extra care with these to ensure that you don’t have to wait longer to receive your new or renewed passport.

1. Signing the Application Form at the Wrong Time

Depending on the type of passport you want to apply for, you will have to sign the application form differently. With the DS-11 form, which is used for a new passport, you are required to sign the form in front of an agent. Whereas with the DS-82 form, which is used for a passport renewal, you should sign the form at the same time that you print it out. Do this wrong or don’t sign the application at all and you will face unnecessary holdups.

2. Inadequate Proof of Citizenship

Providing proof of citizenship is an important part of any passport application process, and unfortunately one that many people get wrong. You are required to submit a genuine birth certificate in order to receive your passport. An official birth certificate will usually have a raised or color seal on it from the issuing authority. A photocopy is not good enough: it has to be the actual copy.

If you were born in Texas or California you will need to submit a long-form birth certificate instead, so make sure that you submit the correct information. You will always get your birth certificate returned, so you don’t have to worry about losing it.

3. Incorrect Check

It is amazing how many applications are delayed because the applicant failed to fill out the check properly. When you fill out your check for the passport fee, make sure that it is signed in the correct place, and that it is for the right amount. This is a really easy way to prevent delays when applying for your passport.

4. Failure to Check Everything Carefully

With something as important as your passport application, make sure that all the details are accurate before sending it in. It is easy to do and a few minutes of checking can save you so much time, which is important if you need your passport in a hurry.

5. Invalid Photographs

Make sure that your photo is admissible before you send in your application. Don’t just send in any photo-make sure that it fits the requirements. There are a number of regulations that you must comply with, including the size, how recently it was taken, and many others. Check the full details on passport photographs on our site to avoid sending in the wrong type of photo.