Passport Acceptance Agents
Acceptance agents are government employees authorized to accept
passport applications on behalf of the US State Department. Many
post offices have acceptance agents, as well as some court houses,
libraries, and various state and local government offices. Acceptance
agents and post offices do not actually issue the passports, but
can verify applicants’ identities and submit their application
documents to the State Department for processing. They can also
answer questions about the application and many acceptance agents
also offer passport photo services, especially those at post offices.
To find an acceptance agent near you, click
Post Office Passports
If you are applying for a new adult passport, a child’s passport,
or replacing a damaged or lost/stolen passport, you are required
to appear in person before an acceptance agent as part of the application
process. The purpose of this step is to verify your identity, which
would be impossible for the State Department with just your mailed
application. Even if you are having your passport expedited through
a service like It’s Easy, you must first go to an acceptance
agent for this step; they will put your application in a sealed
envelope that we will then submit to the passport agency.
When you go to the post office or other acceptance agent for identity
verification, you should bring all of the required documents with
you, including a state-issued ID such as a driver’s license.
The acceptance agent will not take your ID, but will check it to
ensure it is valid and your information matches your other documents.
For a complete list of passport application requirements, click
Post Office Passport Requirements
One important detail is that this ID must be issued at least six
months before you apply for your passport. If you do not have any
state-issued ID, or your ID is less than six months old, the acceptance
agent will ask you to provide a number of other kinds of documentation
of your identity. If this is the case, please see It’s Easy’s
list of acceptable documents. There is no set number of documents
the acceptance agent may require, and sometimes they will make specific
requests. A good idea is to speak with your post office or acceptance
agent about their requirements before you apply for your passport.
Post office passports, like regular mail-in applications, take
the State Department 3-12 weeks to process with their regular processing
service. If you have the State Department expedite your passport
(for an extra fee), your passport will be issued in 2-4 weeks. The
fastest possible service is only available through an authorized
third-party expediting service (like It’s Easy) or by making
an appointment to appear at a passport agency in person.