Did you know that Town and Country Public Library is now a Passport Agency?

We will accept passport applications with appropriate documents by appointment.  Bring an official passport photo. Call 630-365-2244 for specific times and more information.

All United States citizens, including newborns, must have a passport when traveling internationally by air. U.S. adults, and some children must also have one when traveling internationally by land or by sea. If you plan on traveling in the near future, then it’s important to understand the protocol for getting a U.S. Passport.

1. Have the necessary documentation.

The major necessary documentation are Proof of Citizenship and Proof of Identity. There are a number of different documents that can be used, depending on if this is the first time apply or if the passport is for a minor.

  • Proof of citizenship includes a previous US passport or a birth certificate for those born inside the US. For those born outside the US, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Naturalization Certificate, or Certificate of Citizenship will be necessary.
  • Proof of identity includes items like a previous US passport, driver’s license, current government or military ID, or a Naturalization Certificate. These items should have your photo and your signature.
  • If you do not have one of those forms of ID, you will need two forms of what are called “secondary ID”. These include items like a social security card, credit card or library card. You can also appear with an identifying witness, who will need their own sufficient forms of ID.

2. Get a passport photo.

You will need a passport photo. This is not just a normal photo: it must be a very particular size and you must be clearly visible. The easiest way to get this photo is to go to a place which takes these photos. Many large chain grocery and drug stores will do this if they have a photo lab.

Already have a Photo? Use this free photo tool by the U.S. Department of State to upload your photo and prepare it for your application. FREE PASSPORT PHOTO TOOL

3. Fill out the appropriate form.

This is form DS-11 in almost all cases. This can be filled in by hand at the place where you submit the form, or online (after which you will need to print it out). This form asks for your details (where you live, where you were born, your Social Security Number, etc) as well as information like your height and eye color. Filling in your SSN is absolutely required.

View and print a passport registration or renewal application. Click here.

4. Submit form and documentation in person.

Unless you are renewing an adult passport, you will usually have to submit your application in-person. This can be done at your local passport authority, or at designated locations (often major post offices). You will also need to apply in person if you changed your name since your previous passport, if it has been more than 15 years since your last passport was issued, or if your previous passport was stolen, lost, or damaged.

  • Acceptance Facility. You may locate the Acceptance Facility nearest you, but visiting the Passport Acceptance Facility search page at http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/. Acceptance facilities may include post offices, clerks of court, public libraries or other state, county, township, and municipal government offices.
  • Passport Agency or Center. You must have an appointment in order to apply at a Passport Agency or Center, and an Expedited Fee is required for each application submitted in person at any agency or center. A list of Agencies is located on the Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply/agencies.html.
  • If expediting the process or requesting an emergency passport, some Passport Agencies and Centers require proof of international travel within two weeks, or proof of need to obtain a foreign visa within four weeks, so be sure to contact the center in advance in order to ensure that you have all the necessary information.
  • Passport renewal for previously issued adult passports can be done by mail, though this method is much less secure.

5. Have money for the fee.

You will have to pay for your passport and it is relatively expensive, so be prepared. The fee for a basic, first-time adult passport totals $135. It is less if you are renewing or if you are getting a passport for a minor. This fee can be paid checks, credit cards, money orders, and sometimes personal checks, depending on the facility where you submit your application.

  • If you only want to travel between the US and Canada or the US and Mexico (and you plan to drive, not fly), then you can get a passport card instead of a passport book. This will be cheaper.