Applicants for a U.S. passport have at least 3 different passport forms to choose from. Depending on your circumstances and the goal you want to achieve, you must pick the relevant one. Here we would like to walk future U.S. passport holders through the DS-11 form.
What is it used for? When should we choose it? What documents must support a DS-11 form? Look no further. Discover the answers to these and other questions and see how to complete the DS-11 form correctly. Also, learn how to prepare your passport photo at home in just 3 seconds!
DS-11 form: what is it used for?
Among the most common passport forms, U.S. citizens can distinguish DS-11, DS-82, and DS-5504 forms. The second one is used for adult passport renewals, and the last one serves as a form to change your passport personal information. What about the DS-11 form?
Applicants must use the DS-11 passport form in the following situations:
- It is their first-time passport application;
- They are parents applying for their child’s passport;
- Their U.S. passport was issued more than 15 (fifteen) years ago and/or when the holder was younger than 16 (sixteen);
- Their U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged.
Each of these circumstances requires applicants to submit the DS-11 form in person. The DS-11 passport form cannot be submitted online or sent via mail. It comes with 6 (six) pages, 4 (four) of which contain instructions on completing the application. Applicants should print only pages 5-6, each on a single sheet of paper.
In short, the most common cases to use the DS-11 form is when U.S. citizens apply for their first passport, or they apply for a minor’s passport. It is also used for renewing the child’s passport, which we will mention in the following sections.
Form DS-11: application for a U.S. passport
When applying for their first U.S. passports, applicants must get and complete the DS-11 form. Every application must be filled out correctly to avoid possible delays during the passport appointment. Worry not; we will walk you through the essentials of completing the DS-11 form later.
Remember that every applicant with a DS-11 form must submit it in person. It is possible thanks to a wide range of passport acceptance facilities available in the United States. Find the nearest one and schedule your visit. Find out more on how to prepare for your passport appointment.
Applying for a U.S. child’s passport is conducted similarly to the adult passport procedure. Children must also be present during the passport appointment, and at least one parent* must accompany them.
*See what U.S. citizens must prepare for their children’s passports if one parent is absent.
Applicants must bring the documents needed for passport applications in original and photocopied (certified) versions. We will mention them in more detail later on.
Find out more about passports from these articles:
- Examples of Rejected Passport Photos 
- First Time Passport Application
- Can I Mail More Than One Passport Application in the Same Envelope?
- Can I Fold My Passport Application?
- Do Both Parents Need to Be Present for a Child Passport Application in the U.S.?
- OCI Application Photo Resize
- Does a Child Need to Be Present for a Passport Application – Quick Answer
Passport renewal form: DS-11
U.S. citizens are not always eligible to renew their passports using the DS-82 form. If your passport was issued more than 15 (fifteen) years ago or when you were 16 (sixteen) or younger, you must use the DS-11 form to get a new passport. The same goes for lost, stolen, or damaged passports, although in this case, applicants are requesting a replacement, not a renewal.
Children’s passports, however, technically cannot be renewed. These documents are valid for 5 (five) years, and if they near their expiration date, a new passport must be issued. That is why only the DS-11 form is acceptable for U.S. passports for minors. Again, children must be present during the passport appointment. Here is the complete list of documents for a child’s passport that parents or legal guardians must provide.
How to fill out a DS-11 form?
The starting point is that, fortunately, U.S. passport applicants have 2 ways of completing the DS-11 form:
- using the online passport application wizard provided by the U.S. Department of State;
- filling it out by hand.
At this moment, applicants can use the government platform only to fill out the DS-11 passport form—it cannot be submitted online. Later, applicants must still print it out single-sided and bring it with all the supporting documents to their passport appointment. While there are no specific requirements for completing the form online, we will proceed in our guide with examples of hand-written DS-11 forms.
When completing a DS-11 passport form by hand, applicants must remember the following regulations:
- Use only black ink to complete the application.
- Do not sign the form before your passport appointment. Applicants must sign their applications in the presence of a passport agent.
- Applicants cannot make any corrections to the form. If they make a mistake, they must prepare a new form.
The first 4 (four) pages of the document include the instructions and lists of necessary documents; applicants do not have to print them. However, pages 5-6 must be printed one-sided in good quality.
U.S. citizens will notice that the pages consist of orange and blue parts. Applicants must complete only the orange parts and leave the blue ones out, as indicated.
Here is an example of a completed DS-11 form used for the application for a first U.S. adult passport.
Note: The data presented is 100% fictitious. The purpose of the images below is to show U.S. applicants how to complete the DS-11 form properly.
- U.S. citizens can apply for a larger passport book (52 pages) without any additional costs.
- Section 9. List all other names you have used. This is addressed particularly to married people, or someone who has legally changed their name.
- Section 11. Have you ever been married? This one applies to U.S. citizens with any kind of marriage history. It is important to complete this section carefully; guessing your date of marriage may be risky here.
- Section 19. Permanent Address. Is your place of residence different from the one you stated as a Mailing Address in sections 8 and 9? Then this section is for you.
- If this is not your first adult passport application, or you have been issued a U.S. passport card before, complete Section 21 at the end.
Most importantly: do not complete the sections below the blue lines and do not sign the application before attending your passport appointment!
DS-11 form: passport checklist
While supporting documents depend on the applicant’s situation, there is some essential documentation that every U.S. citizen must prepare for their passport appointment. The must-have documents, along with a completed DS-11 form, are:
- proof of citizenship (e.g., a passport card or birth certificate);
- proof of identity (e.g., a driver’s license or state ID);
- one color passport photo (2×2 inches);
- check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State with calculated passport fees.
Have a look at the complete list of documents needed for an adult passport; also, discover more about the required documents for children’s passports.
At-home passport photo for your DS-11 form
A biometric passport photograph is one of the essentials during any passport appointment. Remember that it cannot be older than 6 (six) months and must reflect your current appearance. Therefore, it is best to take a passport photo right before your appointment. Want to save time, energy, and money? Let us introduce you to Passport Photo Online—an innovative photo tool with over a million trusted users worldwide.
Just like you can complete your DS-11 form at home, the same applies to passport photos. All you need is a digital camera or smartphone and good lighting. With the help of Passport Photo Online, your passport pictures will come out in a matter of seconds, 100% compliant with the official requirements!
Prepare your own passport photo or take pictures of your child or other family members! Passport Photo Online is suitable for everyone, and thanks to its intuitive interface, it’s super easy to use. Download our passport photo app on Android or iOS and try it out today!
Having discussed the details, let’s take a look at the essential aspects of the DS-11 passport form.
What is the DS-11 passport form?
The DS-11 passport form is one of the passport application forms provided by the U.S. Department of State. It is used for first-time adult and child passports and renewing passports of U.S. citizens under 16 (sixteen). You can also use the DS-11 form if your passport was stolen, lost, or damaged.
Where can I get a DS-11 passport form?
A DS-11 form is available on the official government site. U.S. citizens can also get a paper form from any post office.
How do I fill out a DS-11 passport form?
Applicants can fill out the DS-11 form by hand or online. It is important to stick to the instructions provided on the document’s first 4 (four) pages. For more tips, take a look at our exemplary DS-11 form filled out.
Can you fill out DS-11 online?
Yes, you can. The U.S. Department of State enables applicants to use the passport application wizard to complete their forms online. However, they still have to print them out and bring them to the appointment.
Can I fill out Form DS-11 by hand?
Yes, you can. However, applicants must follow certain rules while completing a DS-11 form by hand. For more information, take a look at our DS-11 passport form instructions.
How to download the DS-11 passport form?
Open a DS-11 form PDF file, and click on the arrow icon. Then, simply save the file on your computer.
Can I print my own DS-11 form?
Yes, you can. Applicants can print DS-11 forms through a PDF file on the government website. While printing, make sure that the copy is high quality.
When to use the DS-11 passport form?
The DS-11 passport form is used for first-time adult and child passport applications. Moreover, U.S. citizens can use it to renew a minor’s passport, or replace their lost, stolen, or damaged passport books.
Passport forms have specific purposes and can be used only in certain situations. Before planning your passport procedures, make sure you choose the right application form.
U.S. citizens are eligible to use a DS-11 passport form only if:
- they are applying for their first adult passport;
- they are under 16 (sixteen);
- their passport was issued when they were 16 (sixteen) or younger;
- their passport was issued more than 15 (fifteen) years ago.
Applicants can fill out the form by hand or online. Either way, it must be submitted in person, printed single-sided, and supported by all the necessary documents.
One such document is an up-to-date biometric passport photo. Make sure you create the best picture possible and choose Passport Photo Online for your utmost satisfaction and unrivaled service!
Karolina’s passion for law, technology and photography led her to PhotoAiD S.A., where for the past 3 years she has been an expert in the implementation of passport photo compliance procedures in +80 countries around the world.