Issuing Authority Of A Passport: A Full Guide

Issuing Authority Of A Passport: A Full Guide
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And there we are, filling out a Schengen visa application or Form I-9, when all of a sudden, it requires us to indicate precise information about our passport.

We are talking about the issuing authority of a passport. What is this information? How to look for it? Considering the number of pages a US passport has and how unfamiliar nationals are with most of the information, it would be great if someone gave a hand.

Learn what the issuing authority of a passport is and where to find it in your passport book. Here you’ll also learn how Passport Photo Online, an app praised by National Geographic or Forbes, can help you get the perfect biometric photo for any application process.

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What is the issuing authority in a passport?

The issuing authority in a passport refers to the country issuing such a document; meaning it is whatever agency, authority, or government department in a country that has the legal right to:

  • issue a passport document
  • print the passport book or card
  • verify the applicant’s identity and
  • access their private data (address, ID photos, parents’ names, etc.).

Only passport booklets issued by accredited issuing authorities will be accepted when traveling internationally or using a passport as identification means abroad.

Issuing authority of a US passport book

There are widespread misconceptions about the issuing authority of a US passport. Some believe it is the name of the same agency that performed the passport processing or even the embassy that requested its issuance from abroad. Others instead think it is the official who processed the application at the passport facility.

The US passport issuing authority is always the US Department of State, according to the government’s official website. This is shown in every single passport document, regardless of the State or passport facility that accepted the passport application, whether this was a passport agency, a passport center, the National Passport Information Center, or any of the thousands public offices available across the country. 

It is the US Department of State that issues passport books to traveling US citizens under the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as it’s the only issuing authority for passport cards or even immigrant visas.

Passport’s issuing authority: where to find it

US passport holders usually need help finding the issuing authority in a passport. Considering that a standard passport book is 32 pages, it makes sense.

Every passport holder can find the passport issuing authority indicated in the passport’s lower right part of the photo page. 

Take a look at the following picture for a better understanding:

a passport book shows where to find the issuing authority of a passport, in the lower right part of the photo page.


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Passport Photo Online: ID photos for official applications

After indicating the issuing authority of a passport, petitioners will most likely be asked to submit an ID photo in order to complete the application, whether digital or printed.

Thanks to Passport Photo Online, an app with +1 million downloads and a 4.5-star review on Trustpilot, you can get it now, regardless of the format, in the quickest way possible.

This app lets users:

  • get a 100% ID photo regulations-compliant picture or a 200% refund guarantee;
  • take the perfect photo calmly, with no time limit;
  • try different outfits, makeup, or hairstyles;
  • save effort – the app edits the background, crops the dimensions, and removes any unwanted elements… all done automatically!;
  • generate a free ID photo template and print the passport photos for less than $1 or;
  • receive the printed images at your doorbell in only 2-3 working days. 
  • make the task easy for seniors and kids, as users can take their photo from the comfort of their own home.
A positive review from a Passport Photo Online customer.


Here readers can find questions regarding the issuing authority of a passport.

What is meant by passport authority?

A passport authority is basically the country that issued the document, whether it is an agency, an office, a government department, or whoever has that official capacity in the country of issuance of the passport.

What is the authority that issued the passport?

The authority that issued the passport will depend on the passport itself and, more particularly, the country that issued the document. For example, the US passport issuing authority is the US Department of State.

Where does it show the issuing authority on a passport?

The place where the issuing authority on a passport is shown varies depending on the country, but most passports worldwide show this data on the photo page. For example, a US passport indicates such information in the lower right part of the photo page.

What should I write under “issuing authority”?

There, you must write the official authority issuing the passport, such as the US Department of State in the case of US passports.

What is the issuing authority for a passport on an I-9?

When filling out Form I-9, applicants must provide the issuing authority of a passport, which they can find on the lower right side of the passport photo page.

How to check the issuing authority of a passport?

Open your US passport and go to the photo page. You’ll find your passport issuing authority on the lower right side.

Issuing authority of a passport: summary

When speaking about a passport’s issuing authority, this is the official body issuing passports in a given country. In the case of a US passport, the issuing authority is specifically the US Department Of State. 

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