Whether you’re applying for a passport card, passport book, or passport renewal, you need to submit a paper application form in each case – you cannot apply for a passport online. Alongside all the usual passport-related questions, you may have also wondered: Can I fold my passport application?
Across the web, there seems to be lots of convincing information about this topic, all claiming that, absolutely under no circumstance, are you allowed to fold your passport form. However, what is the correct answer to this question? Let’s dive in and dispel all your doubts regarding folding passport applications once and for all!
What does the U.S. Department of State say about folding application forms?
After having dug deeper into this topic, we found out that the U.S. Department of State actually mentions nothing about folding application forms. Therefore, ultimately, the decision is left to our discretion. Interestingly, while there is no mention of folding the DS-82 or DS-11, the U.S. Department of State does make one thing clear: you cannot bend the photo. And clearly, folding the application could potentially result in bending and thus, damaging, your passport photo.
So even if the U.S. State Department doesn’t specify whether we can or cannot fold our applications, it should be a no-brainer. For example, why fold your passport renewal application and be nervous about it not being processed if you can just get a bigger envelope and avoid the stress altogether? Or better yet, if you’re applying for a new passport at one of the U.S. passport acceptance facilities (for example, a post office) or at a passport agency, why not hand in a neat application without any folds or creases?
Let’s look at some of the reasons why it’s better not to fold your application:
- your photo will stay intact;
- you won’t risk ink smearing;
- it’ll make you look professional and respectful;
- the information you put in won’t be illegible due to creasing;
- your application will have a lower chance of getting rejected.
So, while it isn’t clearly defined by the U.S. Department of State, it’s only logical that applications along with any supporting documents (for example, an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, marriage certificate, or a legal name change document) should not be folded, especially because they will be traveling in the same envelope.
The perfect passport photo for your application
Speaking of the importance of photos in passport applications, did you know that incorrectly taken passport photos are among the top reasons for passport rejections? Even if your entire passport package is impeccable, the wrong photo means that you will have to do it all over again. Why not try Passport Photo Online and get a compliant passport picture with an acceptance guarantee?
The Passport Photo Online app features a precise AI system that scans each image for any imperfections, letting you know about the flaws immediately. All you have to do is take your own photo or upload one that you already have in your camera roll, and the system will run a meticulous verification check to ensure that the picture meets all the necessary criteria set forth by the U.S. government.
You can either order your passport photos in digital format, have printouts shipped to your home, or both. The app has been appreciated by Forbes, National Geographic, Yahoo!, and Glamour, and it boasts a 97% acceptance rate. On top of that, if your passport photos don’t get accepted (which is highly unlikely), you will be issued a double refund. The process is fast, up to 40% cheaper than other passport photo services, and you get unlimited takes. What’s not to love?
Can I fold a passport application: FAQ
As an overview of this post, in this section, we will provide the most commonly asked questions regarding folding a passport application.
Is it okay to fold a passport application?
While the U.S. Department of State doesn’t mention that passport applications should not be folded, it does say that you cannot bend the photo. And while a folded application may result in a bent or creased photo, we recommend not folding it.
What happens if you fold your passport application?
Probably nothing; your application is still likely to be processed unless it sustained significant harm from the folding (e.g., creased passport photo or illegible information). However, passport applicants are encouraged to avoid folding their applications.
Can I fold a passport application?
Folding the application form is not recommended since it may damage the application, and most importantly, the photo attached to it, thus delaying passport processing.
Can a passport renewal application be folded?
The U.S. government doesn’t mention anything about not folding your passport renewal form. However, to be on the safe side, it’s better to get a mailing envelope large enough to fit the application without folding and make your passport renewal process go as smoothly as possible.
Will a folded passport application be rejected?
Not necessarily. Even if you folded your application and everything is intact including your passport photo, chances are that your application will get processed. However, we recommend staying on the safe side and putting your application, along with any additional documentation, in an envelope that’s large enough to keep the documents smooth and unfolded.
Can I fold my passport application when mailing?
Though there is no official rule against folding your application when applying for a passport by mail, it’s better to get a large enough envelope to make sure there aren’t any folds or creases on your form DS-82.
Regardless of whether applying to renew your passport or to obtain a new passport book or card, we recommend getting a large envelope in which the application form and all of its supporting documents could be placed unfolded. This way you will ensure that your passport photo remains intact, which seems to be the most important reason for not folding your application.
And if you want to make sure your new photo is better than the one in your previous passport, try Passport Photo Online where you decide which picture goes into your new passport book.