Passport 101

So, are ready to travel out of the United States?

If your answer is YES, then you will need to obtain a U.S. Passport.

Is there a place where I can read about the process?

You'll find everything you need to know about the process on the U.S. State Department website, but it may be hard to find everything, so we had made this Passport 101.

 How do you get your first passport?

How do you get your first passport?

To get your first passport, you will have to show up in person. Make an appointment at an acceptance facility or passport agency. You likely live near a facility where you can get a passport. Many post offices and even some public libraries can accept passport applications. Please note that your nearest passport agency to Tougaloo College is the North Station; Post Office; Jackson, MS; (601) 362-5499 open until 4:30 pm, call to find out times for passport applications.

You will need the following with you during your Passport appointment:

• Your DS-11 application form, completely filled out.
• Evidence of U.S. citizenship—your evidence must be an original or certified copy.  Photocopies and notarized copies are not acceptable. You are allowed to submit one of the following:

  • Fully-valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
  • U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship

• Valid identification—you must present one of the following identification documents (IDs) to the acceptance agent. The ID must readily identify you.

  • Fully-valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
  • Fully-valid U.S. driver's license
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Government employee ID (city, county, state or federal)
  • U.S. military ID or military dependent ID
  • Valid foreign passport
  • Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular Identification, commonly used by the parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant)

If you cannot present one of the IDs above, or for more information, please see Identification.

 Please note:

If you present an out-of-state ID, you must present an additional ID.

If you have undergone or are going through gender transition, please see these additional requirements:

• A photocopy of the front and back of the identification you're bringing on clean, white 8½" x 11" paper.
• For a first-time adult passport, the total fee is $135.
• Passport photos. Most major drug stores, will sell appropriately sized passport photos that comply with government standards.

What is the approved size of passport photo?

Size of photo

2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)

Head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 - 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.

View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.

Recent, taken in the last 6 months to reflect current appearance

Matte or glossy photo quality paper

Plain white or off-white background

Head must face the camera directly with full face in view

Taken with a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open

In color

Taken in clothing normally worn on a daily basis

No glasses (If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with application).

No hats or head coverings (Unless worn daily for religious or medical purposes. Submit a signed statement that verifies that the hat or head covering is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously in public or a signed doctor's statement verifying the item is used daily for medical purposes. Your full face must be visible and your hat or head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.)

No headphones or wireless hands-free devices.

Are you in a hurry to get your passport?  You can EXPEDITE a passport

You can get your passport expedited in roughly two to three weeks (door-to-door) via the State Department when you pay an extra $60 plus $12.85 for overnight delivery in addition to the standard processing fees.

Need it even sooner?

Schedule an appointment to show up in person at a regional passport agency office, which is New Orleans, La. for the Tougaloo College community, if you require a passport for travel within two weeks.

We do not recommend using passport expediting services, which sometimes charge hundreds of dollars to secure passports in as little as 24 hours.