US Passport Issuing Authority: Agencies & Departments

January 12, 2024

2 min. read


which agency issues passports

Here you are, enjoying your everyday routine. All of a sudden, you need to know the list of docs to submit for your passport application, decide between a passport card and passport book, and find the issuing authority that will be dealing with your application. That’s a lot!

When in the process of applying for a new passport or renewing, there are only so many things you can remember from your previous experience. It’s a good idea to get informed and stay up-to-date.

Let’s learn all about issuing authority for the US passport to make the passport application process mostly pleasant and stress-free.

In Focus

What is the US passport issuing authority?

From the very beginning, it’s necessary to say that the US issuing authority for a passport is not the same as the passport acceptance facility. If it’s been years since you applied last, here is what you need to know.

A passport agency or center is a facility that processes passport applications, and as the issuing authority, it issues US passports to US citizens and noncitizen nationals.

Passport agencies are operated by the US Department of State. There are fewer of them around the country than the number of offices that just accept passport applications.

Passport acceptance facilities are locations where you can only submit your passport application and documents and receive your passport and documents back.

They are also called passport offices and can provide all the necessary information you need and answer all your questions. You can find one at a local post office, library, or local government office.

Where is the issuing authority for US passports located?

who issues united states passports

If you renew your passport and qualify to do it by mail, you can skip going to any facility at all. The other way to do it is to go to a local passport office and lodge your paperwork there.

However, sometimes applicants need to visit the US passport issuing authority in person. This is usually the case with the issuance of an emergency passport.

There are twenty-six passport agencies and centers around the US. You can find the addresses for agencies and centers at the official website of the US Department of State:

Customers can schedule an appointment with the passport agency service if they have an urgent travel abroad within 14 calendar days or need a foreign visa within 28 calendar days.

In the case of urgent applications and life-or-death emergencies, you need to follow the procedure and make an appointment with the passport agency. You can find all about making an appointment here:

If you need a location for your nearest passport office, here is the search page for passport acceptance facilities that will help you find your nearest passport office

Find the authority department issuing your passport

what agency issues passports

When you apply for your passport, the issuing authority for your US passport will provide a nine-digit passport application locator number of the department that is processing your documents.

The first two digits of this number will let you find the location that is working with your application.

You can learn your application locator number and match it to the right location in the provided table using the link