What does the Passport application locator number mean?

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The passport application locator number is different from the passport number. The passport application locator number is the number allocated to you when you submit a request for the application for your passport.

It can also be allocated to you when you submit a request for the renewal of your passport. The passport application number is used to track the progress of your passport making and its delivery to you.

When you are handed over your new or renewed passport, you would see that the assigned passport application locator number is nowhere to be seen on the passport. You would only find your passport number.

This is because the passport application locator number is of no use at all once the passport is successfully delivered to you. It is only allocated by the official website so that you can locate the progress of your passport while your request is being processed.

How To Apply for a First-Time Passport?

A new passport application must be made in person at the Post Office if you’ve never had a US passport, are under the age of 16, or are not permitted to renew an existing passport by mail.

1. Gather Documents Early

In general, you should apply for a new passport several months before you want to travel abroad as soon as you know you’ll be doing so. Be sure to check the State Department’s service estimates for passport processing timeframes before you leave for your trip.


The Post Office is a convenient place for first-time applicants, minors, and those who require a new passport but cannot renew their current one by mail to submit their paperwork. What you’ll need to bring is described in detail on the website of the U.S. Department of State.

  • Forms of Application (unsigned)
  • A photocopy of the front and back of the identification paper.
  • A photocopy of the front and back of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) document.
  • Fees for obtaining a passport

2. Prepare Your Application Package

To understand how to apply for a passport and what documents you need, visit the US Department of State website.

  • Use the State Department’s website to complete Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport.
  • Make a copy of your application.
  • Make sure you do not sign the application. Your signature must be witnessed by a postal worker.
  • Take a picture of your passport.
  • Make a copy of your government-issued photo identification and your certificate of citizenship.
  • Prepare a budget for your expenses.

3. Schedule an Appointment

You are required to make an appointment in advance to obtain passport services from the Post Office, and you may do so either online through the Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler or at a self-service kiosk located in the foyer of the Post Office.

Scheduling Online

  • Go to the Appointment Scheduling page.
  • Identify the type of passport service you require and the number of individuals and youngsters you expect to have to attend.
  • You have the option of narrowing your search to a specific city or date. Choosing a date and time is required if you search by location first; selecting a date and time comes first when searching by date.
  • The next step is to select your appointment time and place, provide your contact information, and agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  • You can confirm your appointment by clicking the “Review Appointment” button.

Click the Manage Appointments option and input your confirmation number and email address or phone number to make changes or cancel your appointment.

Using a Self-Service Kiosk

  • Visit a Post Office with self-service kiosks in the lobby. Locate a Post Office Near You
  • Select “Other Services” from the self-service kiosk, then “Passport Scheduler” from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter the number of adults and minors that need appointments for passport services.
  • You can search for Post Office locations by ZIP Code or City/State and select a place of business.
  • Select a date and time that works for you, then agree to the terms and conditions of the service you’ve selected.
  • Enter your phone number and select whether or not you want to receive SMS text messages.
  • The final step is to click “Schedule Appointment” after you’ve reviewed and confirmed your information.

Your confirmation number and appointment information can be found on a printed receipt you should bring with you.

4. Pay Passport Acceptance & Processing Fees

The application acceptance fee and the application processing cost are the two fundamental fees for first-time passport applicants. Passport photographs and expenses for expedited processing are not included in the standard processing fee.

Application Acceptance Fees – Postal Service

Pay the acceptance fees at the Post Office in person. A check or money order made out to “Postmaster” is acceptable, as well as debit cards or credit cards.

  • The Post Office’s acceptance charge is $35.00.
  • The Post Office charges $15.00 for a photo (if needed)

Application Processing Fees – Department of State

Your application package includes a payment to the State Department. There are separate costs for the State Department and the US Postal Service.

How To Renew a Passport by Mail?

In order to renew your passport, please fill out Passport Renewal Application Form DS-82 and return it to the State Department for processing (see directions on the form).

Visit the State Department Renew By Mail to see if your passport can be renewed by mail.

1. Check Your Eligibility to Renew by Mail

A minor’s passport cannot be renewed via mail; instead, a new application for a first-time passport must be submitted in person to renew a minor’s passport. If your adult passport fits the criteria, you can renew it via mail.

If you respond “yes” to all five of the following questions, you can renew your adult passport by mail.


The following are the conditions for eligibility of passport renewal:

  • Apart from regular “wear and tear,” it is in perfect condition.
  • It was given to you when you were at least 16 years old.
  • Within the last 15 years, it has been issued.
  • Has been issued in your current name, unless otherwise documented. “Change a Passport” goes into detail about how to go about changing your name.

Renewal applications should not be sent in if your passport doesn’t match all of these criteria. The same requirements apply as if you were applying for a passport for the first time.

2. Prepare Your Application Package

If you’re planning on traveling within the next six months, you’ll want to have your passport renewed as soon as possible.

Your passport will be processed on time if you learn how to correctly prepare your application package and include all of the relevant documents in your packet.

  • On the State Department’s website, fill out the DS-82 Passport Renewal Application Form.
  • Simply sign your name and date your DS-82.
  • Take a picture for your passport. At a Post OfficeTM location, you can make an appointment just for a passport photo.
  • The cost of renewing your passport can be figured out ahead of time.
  • Gather your most recent passport, application, renewal payments, and name change documentation, if necessary.
  • Decide on the type of envelope you want to use.
  • Put your state’s address on the envelope.

3. Mail Your Renewal Application

USPS delivery tracking services are recommended by the Department of State when mailing renewal applications.

4. Follow Your Application Progress

Visit USPS Tracking® if you use a delivery tracking service from the United States Postal Service (USPS).

  • You may track the status of your application by using the tracking number on your receipt.
  • Your application status may be “In Process” for up to four weeks after you submit it. For the duration of the four-week processing period, your application is sent to the mail facility, your money is processed, and your application is scanned and forwarded to the US Department of State. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Passport Status website.
  • On the Department of State website, you can monitor the status of your application within 5-6 weeks after submitting it.

Read More

  1. Can You Leave the U.S. Without a Passport?
  2. What to Put Under Occupation for a Passport?
  3. What is an Issuing Country or Passport Issuing Country?
  4. What is the purpose of the sticker in a British passport?
  5. Does your passport number change when you renew it?
  6. DS 160 – Have you traveled to any countries/regions within the last five years?
  7. Can a U.S. citizen fly to Mexico without a passport?
  8. A 52-page United States passport vs. a Regular passport?
  9. Can you use your passport as an ID?
  10. What should you do with an expired passport?
Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.


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