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Post Office

Division of Business and Finance

Passport FAQ
ETSU Post Office U.S. Department of State Contact Us

  1. How much does a passport cost?
    Click here for current Passport Fees. ETSU Passport Services offers passport photo service for $8.00 (tax included).
  2. Where is the ETSU Passport Facility located?
    First floor of the D P Culp Center at 400 J L Seehorn Rd, Johnson City TN 37614.
  3. What are your hours of operation?
    Applications are accepted Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., by appointment. Walk-in applicants are welcome as the appointment schedule allows. We are closed on weekends, and whenever the ETSU campus is closed due to a university holiday or inclement weather.
  4. Why do I need to make an appointment?
    We strongly encourage appointments for both passport applications and photos, scheduling an appointment sets aside that period of time for you to apply without standing in line or feeling rushed. Make an appointment through the online ETSU appointment link.
  5. What forms of payment can be used?
    All fees payable to the U.S. Department of State MUST be paid by check or money order. 
    All fees payable to ETSU (execution fees and photo fees) may be paid by check, money order, credit/debit, or cash.
  6. Where can I obtain a certified copy of my Birth Certificate?
    If you need to order a certified copy of your Birth Certificate, you can visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.
  7. Do I need the passport book or the passport card?
    If your travel includes flying internationally, the passport book is required. If you're taking a cruise, check with your cruise line to see what sort of documentation will be needed at the various ports of call for your specific cruise. If you still have questions, please call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or ETSU Passport Services at 423-439-7277.
  8. Can I apply for the passport card and passport book at the same time using the same application?
    Yes, simply check the appropriate box at the top of the form to indicate that you would like to apply for both products.
    If you already have a passport book and are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for your new passport card by mail using Form DS-82. You may renew your passport book at the same time using the same form.
  9. How long is a passport valid? 
    If you were age 16 or older when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.
    If you were under 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.
  10. Do I have to provide my Social Security number on my passport application?
    Yes. 22 U.S.C. 2714a and 22 C.F.R 51.60(f) requires you to provide your Social Security number, if you have one, when you apply for a U.S. passport or renewal of a U.S. passport.
    If you fail to provide the information, you will encounter a delay in processing and/or denial of your passport application. You will also be subject to a $500 penalty.
  11. Can I wear eyeglasses in the photo?
    Eyeglasses cannot be worn in passport photos after 11/01/2016.
  12. Can I wear a hat for the photo?
    You may only wear a hat or head covering if you wear it daily for religious purposes. Your full face must be visible and your head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
  13. Can I wear a uniform in my photo?
    Uniforms, clothing that looks like a uniform, and camouflage attire cannot be worn in the photo except in the case of religious attire that is worn daily.
  14. How many photos must I submit with my passport application?
    You must submit one photo with your passport application.
  15. What type of paper should I print my photos on?
    Photos must be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.
  16. Does my photo have to be in color?
    Yes, your photo must be in color. A black and white photo will not be accepted.
  17. How recent must my photo have been taken?
    Your photo must have been taken within 6 months of submitting your application and reflect your current appearance.
  18. What size must my photo be?
    The photo must be exactly 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm).
  19. What pose should I be in for my photo?
    You must directly face the camera. Profile shots will not be accepted. Your expression should be neutral with both eyes open and directly facing the camera. Photos with exaggerated expressions and squinting will not be accepted.
  20. Does a minor under 16 need to have parental or legal guardian consent when applying for a passport?
    Yes. For a complete explanation of Parental Consent for a Minor's passport application go to Children Under 16.
  21. How do I renew my child's passport?
    The passport application process for minors, under age 16, is the same whether or not the minor has had a passport in the past or not. The application must be submitted in person at a passport agency or authorized passport application acceptance facility. It cannot be renewed by mail. For more information go to Children Under 16.
  22. What if I am applying for a passport for my child who does not have a Social Security number yet?
    You will need to submit a signed declaration for your child which includes the phrase, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: (Child's full name) has never been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration.”
  23. How large should my head be in the photo?
    Your head should be between 1 inch and 1-3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of your chin to the top of your hair. If you are submitting a digital image, then your head should be between 50% and 69% of the image's total height from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin.
  24. Can a parent or guardian appear in the photo of a child?
    No, the child must be the only person in the photo. Nothing used to support the child should be in the camera's frame, including the arms or hands of a parent holding the child.
  25. Is it acceptable for my child's eyes to be closed in his/her photo?
    It is acceptable if an infant's eyes, particularly a newborn's, are not, or are not entirely, open. All other children must have their eyes open and looking straight ahead towards the camera.
  26. What do I do if there is no birth record for me on file anywhere?
    1. If you were born in the U.S. and there is no birth record on file, you will need several different documents to substantiate your citizenship. You will need:
      1. A letter of no record issued from the Vital Statistics office of the state of your birth with your name and what years were searched for your birth record.
      2. Early public records to prove your birth in the U.S.
    2. If you were born outside the U.S. and your U.S. parent(s) did not register your birth at the U.S. embassy or consulate, you may apply for a U.S. passport. You will need:
      1. Your foreign birth certificate showing both of your parents' names
      2. Evidence of your parent(s) U.S. citizenship and
      3. Your parents' marriage certificate
  27. What is the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)?
    It is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. To access the STEP program, go to https://step.state.gov/step/.
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