How to Apply for a Passport Book
A person may apply for a passport book or a passport card at the local County Clerk's office or at a main Post Office.
Applications are available at either location. Please bring the necessary documents with you (scroll down to read all of the information below).
Requirements for a U.S. Passport Book
Adults (Persons 16 years of age and older)
- Birth Certificate with a raised seal or naturalization papers, or old passport (a new passport will be needed if your previous passport is 15 years past the issue date or you were under age 16 when it was issued)
- Two passport photos (2 inches by 2 inches) with a white or off white background. Get them at the photo counter of a drugstore or supermarket. See http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/Photo-Quality-Requirements.pdf for more information.
- Valid driver's license or valid picture ID (not expired)
- A check or money order payable to Department of State for $110.00 and $25.00 in cash
Children (Persons under 16 years of age) Even newborns need a passport!
Please see the new rules for applying for children's passports. For information, please click this link:
See also the special note for 16 and 17 year olds at:
Children also need to present a Birth Certificate with a raised seal (or naturalization papers) and they do need passport photos (see http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/Photo-Quality-Requirements.pdf for more information.) Parents/Guardians must have identification, as explained on the Passports Service website above.
The charge for a first-time Passport Book for a child is $80.00 by check or money order made payable toDepartment of State plus $25.00 in cash.
U.S. Birth Certificate Instructions
A birth certificate is primary evidence of United States citizenship for an applicant born in the United States. To be acceptable, a birth certificate must show the following:
- Name of the child (including given name)
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- File date (should be within one year of the date of birth)
- Authorized seal of the registrar's office (seal may be raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored)
Every state, county or town now issues birth certificates with all of the characteristics listed above. The Passports Service is very strict about this rule.
Unacceptable Evidence of Citizenship
- Hospital Certificates
- Baptismal Certificates
- Notification of Birth
- U.S. Census Records
Applying for a Passport Card
A Passport Card is a more portable form of identification, but the Card cannot be used for international air travel. The card may be a good choice for you if you frequently cross the Canadian border. The required documentation is the same, but the fee for the Card is lower. You can apply for BOTH a Passport Book and a Passport Card at the same time. More information on Passport Cards can be found at http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html
These web pages from the US Department of State offer additional details about passports. If you click on a link below you will leave the Albany County Clerk's web site. Please come back soon.