A US passport opens the world up to those with US citizenship, as the document allows travelers to move freely about most of the globe. However, applying for one for the first time can be a bit intimidating so knowing something about the process will likely help alleviate anxiety.
In certain situations, a person may be required to apply for their US passport in person. Those who will have to do this are those who have never previously held a US passport, those who are younger than 16, those whose previous US passport was issued when they were younger than 16, those who have lost their passport or had it stolen and those who previously received their passport more than 15 years ago.
The first step towards getting the travel document is filling out Form DS-11: Application For A U.S. Passport. However, one should not sign the document until instructed to do so by an Acceptance Agent.
After Form DS-11 is filled out, one will have to submit the form in person along with proof of US Citizenship (a previously issued passport, birth certificate), present identification (driver's license, military ID) and submit a photocopy of identification documents.
Finally, one will have to pay the application fee and submit one passport photo.