How to get a Passport
Current passport processing times are significantly delayed and we don't want you to miss out on study abroad because you don't have a valid passport. The current routine processing time is 18 weeks, so please plan accordingly.
In order to study abroad, you must ensure that you have a current passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the end date of your program. If you need help in applying for a passport, please contact our office.
Know the lingo
A Passport Acceptance Facility is a location that takes passport applications, which you will need if it is your first passport or you are renewing a passport that you obtained when you were younger than 16. Passport Acceptance Facilities are widely available, including many post offices, click here to find a location near you.
A Passport Agency is a location where you can obtain a passport if you are traveling within 2 weeks. Proof of immediate travel is needed. (They might also accept applicants who need to apply for a visa in the next two weeks, though this is not stated on the US State Department website.) The passport agencies closest to Ames are located in Chicago and Minneapolis. Appointments are extremely limited.
What do I need?
1. Completed application form
- Use form DS-11 if you’re applying for the first time, or if your previous passport was issued when you were younger than 16.
- Use form DS-82 if you’re renewing and your previous passport was issued when you were older than 16.
2. Certified birth certificate OR naturalization papers
3. Photo ID
- Drivers' license, or
- Previous passport, or
- Military ID
4. 2" x 2" color photograph
- $110 application fee, paid via check or money order
- $35 execution fee (if using form DS-11), paid via cash, credit, or money order
How do I apply?
Passport application forms can be found online at travel.state.gov. Complete the application fully and attach your 2” x 2” photo. Make sure you are applying for a passport book, not a passport card, which is not valid for international air travel.
Processing and mailing time can vary, so be sure to apply well ahead of any international travel. If you’re in a pinch, expedited service is available for an extra $60 fee.
What if I'm renewing my passport?
If you are renewing using form DS-82, you will be able to apply via mail. Mail all supporting documents, plus your previous passport, to the National Passport Processing Center. If you are renewing a juvenile passport (issued when you were younger than 16), you will need to apply in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility.
What if this is my first passport?
Applicants using form DS-11 will need to appear in person at a local passport acceptance facility. These are usually post offices or civic buildings; locations can be found online at travel.state.gov. Schedule a passport application appointment here. Do not sign the application until instructed to do so by your agent.