Applying for a First Time or New Passport may seem like an exciting venture. We have found that having a new passport opens the doors to many different destinations and whole new aspect to travel. However, if you do not have the right materials to start you could be looking at a very frustrating process. To obtain a new passport you must be in possession of certain items and must meet specific criteria. Here are some tips to helping ensure that your new passport application gets off on the right track:
1. Make sure you have a valid birth certificate. Your birth certificate must have your parents names. The date of your birth, the county/city where the birth occurred and cannot say Abstract on it. Be careful of abstract birth certificates. These are birth certificates given by the county but do not show parentage and are not accepted for a new passport. The Passport Office requires a certified long form of the birth certificate which features your parentage. The link below will give you some tips to help with finding out if your birth certificate will be good for passport purposes: :
2. Make sure your birth certificate is in good condition and is not a copy. The link in step #1 will help you to determine if the birth certificate is good or just a copy. Also keep in mind that if it is torn apart to the point where information is missing the passport office may deny it. If it is laminated it may also be rejected because by laminating the birth certificate you have tampered with it making it unacceptable. If your birth certificate is severely damaged or laminated you may order a new one using the same link as above:
For out of state birth certificates try this link: https://www.vitalchek.com/: For travelers born in Orlando, Miami or other parts of Florida try this link: :
3. Make sure your birth certificate does not have any errors. Such errors will be put on the passport and will make it harder to correct later on. You must contact your county where you were born for information on data correction of a birth certificate. Use this link as a guide to correct your passport: :
4. Make sure you have a valid state identification either as a driver’s license or a learner’s permit. Here is a list of acceptable identification: :
5. Your passport photo is extremely important. Please do not overlook this part and take it as seriously as possible. Be sure that you have recent and quality photos. The Passport Agency requires a photo taken less than 6 months ago. We recommend 3 months just to be sure. We do not know how the Passport Agency knows but they know when a passport photo is older than 6 months. Once they know it will cause a delay in your application which could cause you to miss your trip. For more information on that see: :
While having these items helps get the process started it does not mean that the Passport Agency will accept your documentation. Your name and information still have to clear their systems. That said, by following the above steps you can at least get the process started. We can help you with a rush new passport if you have a need. We have offices in Orlando and Miami that would be happy to assist. We can be reached at 888-336-0683.