Getting a passport starts with a Washington passport application as it is essential for international travel. This can usually be accomplished at a post office or a U.S. Department of State office.

Passport books and cards are the two forms offered to U.S. citizens. While they both serve as official U.S. IDs, they offer different benefits.

There are different passport applications for different situations like renewals, replacements and updates. Thankfully, there is only one government agency that processes all of these which helps simplify the procedure.

Applying for a passport is easy and there are clear guidelines to do so. Keep reading this guide to learn about the passport application process in Washington and how you can obtain one.

Where to Get a Passport in Washington

Passports can be acquired at several US passport locations. These places are categorized into passport offices and agencies. Continue reading to find out where to get a passport in WA.


The U.S. Department of State is referred to as a passport agency. These are the official collectors, processors and distributors of U.S. Passports.

Eligible citizens can apply at these locations to receive an expedited passport. These applicants can only apply with an appointment, however. The Department of State does not accommodate walk-ins unless they are for passport errors.


Passport offices, also known as passport acceptance facilities, accept passport applications and sometimes offer photo services. Post offices, public libraries, some authorized private business and county clerk’s offices often offer passport services. These US passport locations offer walk-in hours as well as appointment options.

Washington Passport Books vs. Cards

Passports are available as books or cards. Read about the distinctions between passport books vs. cards below to figure out which one might be better for you.

Passport Books

What is a passport book? A passport book is small, pocket-sized booklet that allows U.S. citizens to travel domestically and overseas.

In it is the holder’s personal information like name and birthdate along with their U.S. citizenship status. The other blank pages in the book are for stamps received in other countries when traveling.

Passport Cards

A passport card differs in travel benefits from the passport book. The card allows for domestic air travel and land or sea border crossing with Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

Cards do not allow for international air travel. The passport card cost is much lower than the passport book cost.

How to Get a Passport in Washington

First and foremost, all those submitting a passport application must be a U.S. citizen. All new passport applicants must appear in person, both adults and minors. A new passport form is available online. It must printed out and brought to a passport acceptance facility or agency. The following documents are required with the application:

All applicants must submit payment for US passport fees in the form of a money order, cashiers or personal check or by debit or credit card when they turn in their application.

Many parents wonder how to get a passport in WA for their children. Minors are expected to submit the same passport application documents and materials as adults. The U.S. governments requires applicants younger than 16 years of age to be accompanied by two parents or guardians to the acceptance facility.

Minors between ages 16 and 17 are allowed with only one adult. Children whose parent or guardian cannot accompany them must fill out a form confirming consent to be signed, notarized and submitted with a photocopy of his or her ID.

U.S. Passport Renewals in Washington

All previous passport holders are eligible for U.S. passport renewals. Adult passport holders can renew every 10 years while minors can renew every five years. To renew a US passport, holders must mail in:

  • A completed passport renewal form
  • Their most recent U.S. passport
  • Any name change documents
  • A suitable color photo

These materials must be sent in to a National Passport Processing Center along with the application fee in the form of a check or money order. How much does it cost to renew your passport? Passport renewal is cheaper than getting a new passport because applicants do not have to pay the processing fee.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in Washington

Because life can be unpredictable, especially in new and foreign places, it is important to learn about how to replace a lost passport in Washington.  A lost, stolen or damaged passport is common among travelers. A lost or stolen passport should be reported to the Department of State by completing a lost passport form.

Travelers can follow the directions for new passport applications to receive a passport replacement. A damaged passport, such as those with water damage or holes, must be submitted to a processing facility in addition to a new passport form and corresponding documents. Damaged passports also require a signed and written statement describing the damage.

How to Complete a Passport Update in Washington

A Washington passport update is necessary for any passport holders who need to fix or change information on their passports. Spelling errors, crooked printing and name changes are some updates eligible for reprinting. There is no fee to correct data or printing.

All you need to perform a passport update is submit a correction form, passport photo and documents that support the correction needed. Name changes also do not require payment of fees as long as the request is made within the same year the passport was issued.

Washington Expedited Passport Service

When getting a new passport, you might consider expedition services. You may select to receive your expedited passport in WA in less than three weeks or even in 72 hours. Routine passport processing is typically four to six weeks, but if you pay the expedition fee you can receive your passport much sooner.

Special considerations can be made for those who need to travel within a few days. Washington travelers with immediate family members who are injured, sick or deceased may qualify to receive a passport in 72 hours. They just need to provide documentation of the family member’s condition along with their application information, materials and fees.

Note: The Department of State office in Seattle is able to process these kinds of requests.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.