Applying for your first passport can be daunting. Even when it comes time to renew your passport, it can be daunting. In reality, applying for a US passport is incredibly simple. Having a passport is essential. Not only can passport holders travel the world, but a passport is a surefire means of identification. It’s also critical to make sure your passport isn’t close to running out, as the renewal process can be long. That, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard on your next vacation.

1. Proof of Citizenship

The first thing you’ll need to go about applying for your passport is proof of citizenship. You can use several things as proof. The most common, if you’re US-born, is your birth certificate. You’ll also have to acquire a copy from your state of birth. In a similar fashion, if you were born abroad, you can use a consular report of birth abroad or naturalization certificate. However, if you’re renewing your passport, you can also use the expired one for this part of the process. Most importantly, you’ll also need your social security number.

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