The first step to traveling abroad is submitting a passport application to obtain a U.S. passport. You will not be able to exit and reenter the country without one. Additionally, your passport allows other countries to verify your U.S. citizenship and identity.

A passport contains valuable information such as your name, date of birth, photograph and signature. You can maintain a passport card and/or book for up to 10 years until it is time to renew it. If you undergo any changes within those 10 years, you must complete the appropriate steps to update your passport.

Furthermore, it is very important that you do not lose your passport. In the event of a stolen or lost passport, you must take the proper steps to ensure your identity is protected. Read the following sections below to learn more about the passport processes and how you can get an expedited passport for your upcoming travels.

Where to Get a Passport in Kentucky

In Kentucky, you can get a passport card and/or book at any acceptance facility or regional passport agency nearby. A passport acceptance facility is an office designated by the U.S. Department of State to accept passport applications and verify the identity and signatures of applicants. There are 99 different facilities located in Kentucky with the majority in Louisville and Lexington.

You can submit your passport application in Kentucky at a local post office, public library or county clerk office. Many of these US passport locations have limited operating hours and require that you call to make an appointment. If you are looking to obtain a passport in less than two to three weeks, you must commute to a nearby regional passport agency.

Note: The nearest regional passport agency is located in Chicago, IL.

Kentucky Passport Books vs. Cards

A passport card and book are both official travel documents that can be used for domestic travel, as proof of identity and evidence of U.S. citizenship. While they are both valid for 10 years, a passport book is less restrictive than a passport card.

What is a passport book? It is a booklet-style document that is valid for all kinds of travel, including international travel by air, land and sea.

On the other hand, a passport card is small and convenient in size but can only be used to travel by land and sea to Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean. A passport card cost is less expensive than a passport book because a book can be used for greater things. A passport book contains a multitude of pages designated for each country’s unique visa stamp.

How to Get a Passport in Kentucky

To submit a passport application in Kentucky at a local acceptance facility, you must be a first time applicant or minor. You can fill out the application online or print it and fill it out by hand.

Additionally, you will need to gather the appropriate documentation before visiting the passport office. This includes a 2” by 2” passport photo, evidence of citizenship and your photo ID, along with photocopies. This may include a driver’s license or military ID card.

If you are a minor 16 or 17 years of age, you must bring a parent along with you to apply or you must provide proof of parental awareness. Special conditions also apply if you are obtaining a passport for your child who is younger than 16 years of age. In this case, you must show parental relationship and provide parental consent.

Once you have paid the appropriate US passport fees, you will receive your passport card and/or book within four to six weeks in the mail. If you would like to receive it sooner, you must apply for an expedited passport.

U.S. Passport Renewals in Kentucky

You must renew your US passport in KY once it expires to travel abroad. Some countries even require that your passport be valid for six months prior to your visit. This means you may want to renew your passport months before it expires.

To renew a US passport, you must submit a passport renewal application along with the appropriate supporting documents by mail. If you are not eligible to complete the process by mail, you will have to apply for a new U.S. passport in person at your nearest acceptance facility. You will be eligible to apply by mail if your passport is in good condition, was issued within the last 15 years and when you were 16 years of age or older.

If you meet these qualifications, you may move forward with gathering the proper documentation to renew your passport card and/or book. This includes:

  • Your recent U.S. passport
  • A passport photo
  • The proper passport application fee
  • A name change document, if applicable

Once you have gathered the above documentation, you can mail your application to the National Passport Processing Center. For expedited service, you must label the envelope “EXPEDITE” to receive a passport replacement in less than four to six weeks.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in Kentucky

If your passport was lost, stolen or damaged, you may receive a passport replacement. A lost or stolen passport can be very dangerous and can lead to someone stealing your identity. It is very important that you fill out a lost passport form with the U.S. Department of State to put a void on your passport.

Once you have done this, you can move on to replacing your passport. The process is very similar to applying for a passport for the first time. You must submit a standard passport application along with evidence of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity, a passport photo and fees.

Note: If your passport is mutilated or damaged to the point it cannot be accepted for travel, you may obtain a replacement by returning the damaged passport with a signed statement explaining its poor condition.

How to Complete a Passport Update in Kentucky

The U.S. Department of State requires that your passport card and/or book always remains up-to-date, which is why residents are required to renew their passports after 10 years. However, there are instances where residents must obtain a passport update before their passport’s expiration date. For example, residents must update their names on their passports if they recently got married or divorced and have undergone a name change.

Furthermore, residents may receive an updated passport if they are completing a gender transition or have significantly damaged their passport. Residents must provide specific information depending on which update they are obtaining when getting a new passport.

  • Name change: If your passport was issued to you within the past year, you must complete a new passport application by mail with the appropriate documents. On the other hand, you must renew your passport if you have had it for over a year. How much does it cost to renew your passport? You must pay a fee for renewal and additional fee for expedited service. Either way, you will have to submit a passport photo, your current U.S. passport and evidence of legal name change.
  • Passport misprint: You may have waited the routine four to six weeks only to find out there was an extra letter added to your name. If there was a misprint on your passport card and/ or book, you may receive a new passport at no cost. Simply mail a completed passport correction form, a passport photo, your misprinted passport and evidence of error to obtain the correct passport.
  • Sex marker change: You may receive a 10-year passport after changing your gender. If you are still in the process of clinical treatment, you may receive a limited-validity passport for up to two years. Simply apply in person at your nearest acceptance facility with a passport photo and ID that resembles your current appearance, your medical certification and a name change document, if applicable.

Kentucky Expedited Passport Service

If you are worried about not receiving your passport card and/or book in time for a trip, you may request expedited service to obtain your passport in less than four to six weeks. To obtain an expedited passport quicker, visit your nearest regional passport agency in person.

If you have a life-or-death emergency, there is no need to wait for a regular passport. You may obtain an emergency passport by calling the U.S. Department of State and explaining your situation.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.