How To Get A Passport

STEP 1: Fill out an application

Application forms are available online. You must submit a hard copy with your supporting documents.

STEP 2: Gather supporting documents

The materials you need to submit will depend on your specific situation. We’ve put together a guide to some of the more common situations below.

If none of the above links describes your situation, consult the State Department website for guidance.

STEP 3: Get your passport photo taken

You can have passport photos taken at many local pharmacies, retail stores and shipping centers for a small fee. During Duke’s annual Passport Drive, local FedEx photographers will be available to take passport photos on campus at no cost.

Before you go, you may want to review the “Picture Perfect Passport” guidelines for acceptable passport photos.

STEP 4: Determine fees

For adults, first-time applications will cost $165, and a renewal application is $130. For children under 16 years old, the application will cost $165. Visit the State Department website if you have questions about how much your passport will cost.

Passport fees can only be paid by personal check or money order. If you are applying in person, we recommend that you bring your checkbook with you in case there are mistakes or last-minute changes.

STEP 5: Submit your materials

If you are renewing a passport that was issued when you were 16 or older, you can do so by sending your application, supporting documents and photos to the U.S. State Department by mail.

If you are applying for the first time as an adult, or if you are under 16, you’ll need to apply in person at a passport acceptance facility. You can locate the passport facility nearest to you by entering your zip code online. Please be aware that most facilities will require you to call ahead to make an appointment. 

The most up-to-date processing times are available at the State Department website at this link. Mailing times may add additional time to this estimate.

The State Department offers priority shipping for the return of your passport. Pay $19.53 for 1-2 day delivery. This means you will receive your passport 1-2 days after processing is complete. Include the fee with your passport fee in your check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State for fastest return shipping (as of February 2023).

STEP 6: Travel the world!

Feel free to share your travel photos with us on Instagram using the hashtag #DukeIsEverywhere!


If you are a Duke faculty or staff member who needs assistance getting a passport or visa, contact the Office of Global Administrative and Travel Support.