The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs handles all U.S. passport application in Illinois. Passports are important because they allow the government to keep track of who is exiting and entering the country.

Residents may obtain a passport card and/or book to travel internationally and prove their U.S. citizenship across borders. The process of obtaining a passport is fairly simple, requiring that residents visit their local acceptance facility or regional passport agency with the appropriate documentation.

However, the supporting documents you need to bring and the cost of fees vary depending on whether a resident is getting a new passport for the first time, renewing a previous passport, or updating his or her passport with new information. Furthermore, a resident can request an expedited passport at an additional cost if they are in a hurry to travel. Residents should be aware of the differences between a passport book and card before applying for their U.S. passport.

Where to Get a Passport in Illinois

If you are looking to submit an IL passport application in person, you can complete the process at a nearby passport acceptance facility or the regional passport agency located in Chicago, IL. Passport acceptance facilities may include post offices, circuit clerk offices, public libraries and other government offices.

These US passport locations provide both regular and expedited services if you are looking to receive your passport card and/or book in less than four to six weeks. You can find your nearest acceptance facility online through the U.S. Department of State website. While some facilities require an appointment, others allow walk-ins.

Make sure to call before making a trip to your nearest facility to inquire about hours, appointments and acceptable forms of payment. If you have immediate plans to travel abroad in less than two to three weeks, your best option would be to obtain an expedited passport through the Chicago passport agency. In order to receive this service, you must make an appointment and provide proof of upcoming travel.

Note: To make an appointment, request a date and time online or call the National Passport Information Center.

Illinois Passport Books vs. Cards

If you have upcoming travel plans, you may be wondering “What is a passport book and passport card”? Furthermore, you may be wondering which one you need depending on where you are traveling.

A passport book is an identification and travel document in the form of a booklet, containing 28 pages, 17 of which are blank pages meant for travel visas and country entry and exit stamps. It can be used to travel internationally by air, land and sea.

On the other hand, a passport card is a form of a U.S. passport that can be used for identification purposes and proof of citizenship, as well as to travel by land or sea to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean. It takes on the form of an ID card or credit card and is small enough to fit into a standard wallet. Additionally, a passport card cost is much cheaper than the cost of a passport book.

Many residents buy both to have additional proof of identification and citizenship in the event of a lost passport. Unlike passport books, passport cards cannot be used for international air travel.

How to Get a Passport in Illinois

To get a passport, you must submit the appropriate IL passport application. If you are applying for a passport card and/or book for the first time, you must submit the application in person.

When getting a new passport, you must bring an original certified copy of proof of citizenship along with a photocopy. Furthermore, you must present a valid ID along with a photocopy. If you are applying on behalf of your child who is younger than 16 years of age, you must provide proof of parental relationship and parental consent.

Additionally, you will need to submit a photo that meets all passport photo requirements. Some passport facilities will provide photo services for an additional fee.

Once you submit all of the supporting documents, you will need to pay the appropriate fee to obtain your passport. The fee may vary depending on whether you are requesting a passport.

U.S. Passport Renewals in Illinois

If you are looking to renew your US passport in Illinois, you must mail-in your most recent passport with your passport application. To do this, your expired passport must meet the following criteria:

  • It was issued when you were 16 years of age or older
  • It is in good condition other than minor wear and tear
  • It was issued within the past 15 years
  • It was issued in your current name

If you do not meet the above qualifications, you must apply for a new passport in person. Additionally, the US passport renewal process in Illinois requires that you submit a qualifying photo, the appropriate US passport fees and a name change document, if applicable.

If you are receiving regular service, you must mail your application with your supporting documents to the National Passport Processing Center located in Irving, TX. To receive expedited service, you must mail your application and documents in an envelope labeled “Expedited” to Philadelphia, PA. Your old passport will be returned to you separately by mail once the process has been completed.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in Illinois

Before replacing a lost or stolen passport in Illinois, you must file a report with the U.S. Department of State to prevent identity theft. This can be done online, by mail or phone depending on your preference. If you file a report by mail, you may send a standard application for a U.S. passport replacement along with the lost passport form.

If you would like to wait to replace your lost passport, you can complete the process in person at your nearest acceptance facility or the Chicago passport agency. Furthermore, you may replace a passport that is damaged if it has undergone water damage, a significant tear, has missing visa pages or has any unofficial markings on the data page.

Simply provide a qualifying passport photo, the appropriate replacement fee and proof of U.S. citizenship and identity.  Keep in mind that if you lose other documents, like your driver’s license, you will have to go through a separate process to replace them.

How to Complete a Passport Update in Illinois

There are several reasons why you may need to complete a passport update in Illinois, including a name change, a misprint on your passport or a change of gender. If you are changing your name on your passport, the application you will be eligible to submit will depend on the following.

  • You are requesting an update in less than one year after it was issued
  • You are requesting an updated passport more than a year after it was issued
  • You are using a new name but cannot provide proof of the name change with a court order, marriage certificate or divorce decree

Once you have the appropriate form, you will be ready to renew your passport with its updated information. You may be wondering “how much does it cost to renew your passport?” There is no cost to renew your passport if you are applying for an updated passport through regular service less than a year after your passport was issued.

However, there will be a fee if you are requesting an expedited passport. Additionally, you will be charged if you are requesting an updated passport more than a year after it was originally issued.

If your passport was issued with a data or printing area, such as a missing date of birth, you may receive a new passport at no cost. Simply submit a correction form, a qualifying passport photo and evidence of the error by mail. Additionally, you may receive an updated passport if you have changed gender.

If you have completed the appropriate clinical treatment, you will need to provide the following documentation to obtain a passport replacement:

  • Proof of legal name change, if applicable
  • Photo ID that reflects your current appearance
  • Passport photo that reflects your current appearance
  • A medical certification that verifies you have undergone or are receiving clinical treatment for sex change

Illinois Expedited Passport Service

If you are in a hurry to receive your passport card or book, you may pay an additional fee to expedite your passport. You can request an expedited passport at an acceptance facility or the Chicago passport agency depending on how soon you need your passport.

  • Within 72 hours: To make this request, you must have a life-or-death emergency. This includes a serious injury, illness or death in your immediate family. You must called the U.S. Department of State and provide proof, such as a death certificate or signed medical statement.
  • Less than two to three weeks: You must complete this request at the Chicago passport agency and show proof of urgent travel plans.
  • Less than four to six weeks: To receive an expedited passport within this time frame, there is no reason needed. You may complete this request at an acceptance facility or when submitting a renewal form by mail.

Additionally, you can request a one to two-day delivery service for an additional service fee.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.