Can I Fold My Passport Application?

Can I Fold My Passport Application?

Whether you’re applying for a passport card, passport book, or passport renewal, you need to submit a paper application form in each case – you cannot apply for a passport online. Alongside all the usual passport-related questions, you may have also wondered: Can I fold my passport application

Across the web, there seems to be lots of convincing information about this topic, all claiming that, absolutely under no circumstance, are you allowed to fold your passport form. However, what is the correct answer to this question? Let’s dive in and dispel all your doubts regarding folding passport applications once and for all!

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What does the US Department of State say about folding application forms?

After having dug deeper into this topic, we found out that the US Department of State actually mentions nothing about folding application forms. Therefore, ultimately, the decision is left to our discretion.

Interestingly, while there is no mention of folding the DS-82 or DS-11, the US Department of State does make one thing clear: you cannot bend the photo. And clearly, folding the application could potentially result in bending and thus, damaging, your passport photo.

So even if the US State Department doesn’t specify whether we can or cannot fold our applications, it should be a no-brainer. For example, why fold your passport renewal application and be nervous about it not being processed if you can just get a bigger envelope and avoid the stress altogether?

Or better yet, if you’re applying for a new passport at one of the US passport acceptance facilities (for example, a post office) or at a passport agency, why not hand in a neat application without any folds or creases?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why it’s better not to fold your application:

  • your photo will stay intact;
  • you won’t risk ink smearing;
  • it’ll make you look professional and respectful;
  • the information you put in won’t be illegible due to creasing;
  • your application will have a lower chance of getting rejected.

So, while it isn’t clearly defined by the US Department of State, it’s only logical that applications along with any supporting documents (for example, an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, marriage certificate, or a legal name change document) should not be folded, especially because they will be traveling in the same envelope.

Looking for more tips for your passport application? Look no further:

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Can I fold a passport application: FAQ

As an overview of this post, in this section, we will provide the most commonly asked questions regarding folding a passport application.

Is it okay to fold a passport application?

While the US Department of State doesn’t mention that passport applications should not be folded, it does say that you cannot bend the photo. And while a folded application may result in a bent or creased photo, we recommend not folding it.

What happens if you fold your passport application?

Probably nothing; your application is still likely to be processed unless it sustained significant harm from the folding (e.g., creased passport photo or illegible information). However, passport applicants are encouraged to avoid folding their applications.

Can I fold a passport application?

Folding the application form is not recommended since it may damage the application, and most importantly, the photo attached to it, thus delaying passport processing.

Can a passport renewal application be folded?

The US government doesn’t mention anything about not folding your passport renewal form. However, to be on the safe side, it’s better to get a mailing envelope large enough to fit the application without folding and make your passport renewal process go as smoothly as possible.

Will a folded passport application be rejected?

Not necessarily. Even if you folded your application and everything is intact including your passport photo, chances are that your application will get processed.

However, we recommend staying on the safe side and putting your application, along with any additional documentation, in an envelope that’s large enough to keep the documents smooth and unfolded.

Can I fold my passport application when mailing?

Though there is no official rule against folding your application when applying for a passport by mail, it’s better to get a large enough envelope to make sure there aren’t any folds or creases on your form DS-82.


Regardless of whether applying to renew your passport or to obtain a new passport book or card, we recommend getting a large envelope in which the application form and all of its supporting documents could be placed unfolded. This way you will ensure that your passport photo remains intact, which seems to be the most important reason for not folding your application.

And if you want to make sure your new photo is better than the one in your previous passport, try Passport Photo Online where you decide which picture goes into your new passport book.


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