Applying for a U.S. Passport

The U.S. Department of State provides a step by step guide for first time passport applicants here.

Scroll down the page to find the “Submit a U.S. Passport Application for an Adult in Person.”

Below you will find a link for “Form DS-11: Application for Passport”. Follow the link and print out the form.

*You are applying for the Adult Passport Book.

Please allow at least TWO months for processing to be on the safe side!

Once you have completed the form, you will need to apply IN PERSON (details below). Please bring your Certified Birth Certificate, valid Driver’s License, photocopies of Certified Birth Certificate and valid Driver’s License, 1 Passport Photo and appropriate payment. At this time the fee for an adult passport is a total of $135. Please note this fee is is paid in two installments: one for the application fee, and one for the execution fee. Check the website for acceptable forms of payment.

Applying in Charleston?

You can take your completed application to one of two places.

Coles County Clerk Office on the Square
651 Jackson Avenue #122 Charleston, IL 61920
Phone: 217-348-0501
Open Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30

Charleston Post Office *new location
667 Windsor Road (Carrier Annex)
Charleston, IL 61920
Phone: 217-345-2900
Accepting applications Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Applying at home?

No problem! The U.S. Postal Service provides passport application services, and sometimes, photos. Using the "Find Locations" feature on their website, type in your home zip code and select the office closest to you. Select "See More Results" for a detailed listing. Please note that not every office accepts passport applications. From the "Location Types" drop down menu, select "passports" for a list of those offices accepting applications. Please be aware that application hours may differ from office hours.

Get those photos right the first time!

Did you know that the U.S. State Department requires specific photos? That's a fact! These requirements state: Your photo must be taken within the last 6 months, in clothing normally worn, with glasses (if you wear them). Photos MUST be 2x2 on a white background, and taken by a professional photographer. Please do not take your own photos and crop them, as you run the risk of having them returned to you.

Good news: Several local businesses provide this service.
- CVS Pharmacy, 566 West Lincoln Avenue, Charleston
- Sears, Cross County Mall, 700 Broadway Avenue East, Mattoon
- Walgreens, 411 West Lincoln Avenue, Charleston
- Wal-Mart, 2250 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston or 101 Dettro Drive, Mattoon

Prices range between $7 - $10 for a set of 2 photos.

Got your first passport underage? Here's the scoop.

Maybe you've been traveling for a few years already with your family. Here's what you need to know. At the age of 16 years, you are issued an adult passport book, good for ten years. When you receive a passport at age 15 or under, your passport book is only good for five years.

If you are 17 years old, it's a good idea to bring your parent or guardian with you to the passport agency. The passport agent may ask your parents or guardian to co-sign with you, even if you're carrying your own ID. At the age of 18 you are considered an adult, and will receive an adult passport book as usual.

Renewing Your Passport?

Check your expiration date! Bear in mind that if you travel within 6 months of the expiration date, you may be denied travel at the airport. We suggest that all students renew ahead of their travel avoid this issue. Example: Your passport expires in December. You are traveling in July. Renew your passport! Adult passport books are valid for 10 years. Please refer to this link for questions : http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: March 2013