Respond to a Letter or Email

If you got a letter or email from us, we need more information from you.

  • Respond as soon as possible so we continue processing your application.
  • Your application may be delayed until you respond.
  • Learn how to respond from the sample letter on this page.

Information Request Letter Sample

Application Status Updates for Letters and Emails

Sign up for email updates about the status of your passport application. Email updates will help you know when we need more information from you.

If you get a letter or email, you will get one of two status updates from us:

Additional Information Needed: This update is available on the date we send you a letter and/or email. Follow the instructions in the letter and this page. You must respond within 90 days. 

Information Received, In Process Again: We received the information you sent us and will continue processing your application. 


Common reasons we may have contacted you:

We cannot accept your photo

Bad photos are the number one reason why we put passport applications on hold. Follow these steps to respond to the letter asking for a new photo:

  • Make sure to include a copy of the letter you received from us, so that we can match your new photo to your pending application.
  • Respond by the deadline on the letter.
  • Don’t write anything on the front or back of the photo.
  • Review our photo requirements before sending us a new photo.




You did not appear in person to apply for your child’s passport.

If only one (or neither) parent or guardian applied in person for the child’s passport, you will need to provide more information:

If... Please submit...
One parent can't go in person to apply for the child’s passport (but both of you have custody) 

Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent” if you are the parent or guardian who did not go in person.

  • Sign and date the form in front of a notary public
  • The date the parent signs the form must be the same date as when the notary signed the form 
  • Give us a photocopy of the front and back of the photo ID that you showed the notary
You have sole legal custody, or you are the only parent One of these documents:
  • Court or custody order giving you sole legal custody of the child
  • Court order that says you can apply for your child’s passport 
  • A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption decree listing you as the only parent 
  • A judicial declaration that the parent who cannot appear in person is incompetent
  • A certified copy of the death certificate of the other parent
You cannot find the other parent (but
both of you have custody)

Form DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances"

We may ask you to submit more documents such as a custody order, incarceration order, or restraining order to protect against international parental child abduction.

A person who is not the parent or guardian applied in person for the child’s passport (for example, a grandparent)

A notarized statement from both parents and guardians giving the person permission to apply for the child. Include a photocopy of the front and back of the photo IDs for both parents or guardians.

If the statement is from only one parent or guardian, you must also show proof that that parent or guardian has sole custody of the child.

Important: Submit Form DS-3053 and other notarized statements within three months of signing them.


The document(s) you submitted with your child’s application does not show that you are the parent or legal guardian.

To show parental relationship with your child, submit one of these documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce or custody decree

If your name has changed since your child’s birth, submit one document showing your name change:

  • Court-ordered name change
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree

You need to submit a new U.S. birth certificate.

You must submit both the original (or certified) birth certificate and a photocopy. Your U.S. birth certificate must meet these requirements:

  • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
  • Lists applicant’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth
  • Lists parent(s)’ full names
  • Has the signature of the city, county, or state registrar
  • Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
  • Has the seal or stamp of the city, county, or state which issued it

Contact the vital records office in the state or territory where you were born if you need a new birth certificate.

If there is no birth certificate on file in the state or territory where you were born, you must submit a Letter of No Record and early public records. See our Citizenship Evidence page for more information.

Sample U.S. Birth Certificate
An image of the sample features of a U.S. birth certificate

You mailed your Form DS-82 to renew your passport, but something was missing.

When you renew by mail, an intake facility reviews your application and supporting documents before processing starts at a passport agency or center.

If you did not complete the application or provide all supporting documents, the intake facility will send you a letter. The letter may include a QR code with a link to our Renew by Mail page. Common reasons for getting this letter include:

  • No signature or date on your form
  • Bad or missing photo
  • Pages of your form are missing
  • Wrong or missing fees
  • Most recent passport is missing
  • Most recent passport issued over 15 years ago
  • You are not eligible to renew and must apply in person

Follow the instructions in the letter. You must include the letter we sent you when you send the new application. 

Sign up to get email updates about your passport application status.

"Not Available" means that your application is being reviewed by our intake facility and has not arrived at a passport agency or center.  

"In Process" means a passport agency or center is processing your new application. 



You need to give us a new photo ID

When you applied in person, you had to show the acceptance agent a photo ID. If you received a letter or email asking for more identification, send us several photo IDs and include photocopies of the front and back of each one. 


You became a U.S. citizen when your parents were naturalized and need to provide more documents to show it.

If you were born outside the United States and got U.S. citizenship through the naturalization of your parent(s), submit:

  • Your foreign birth certificate listing your parent(s)
  • Evidence of your parent’s U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), or naturalization certificate
  • Evidence of your permanent residence status. Examples include:
    • Permanent Resident Card/Green Card
    • Foreign passport with the original I-551 visa entry stamp
  • Your parents' marriage certificate (if your parents were married when you legally entered the U.S. and before your 18th birthday) 
  • Documentation of legal custody when you entered the United States, if your parents were not married at that time. If your parents divorced after you entered the United States, provide documentation of legal custody at the time of your parent’s naturalization 
  • Evidence that you resided in the United States in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent 
  • Evidence of your legitimation (if your parents were not married at the time of your birth). Legitimation means a father – whose child was born when he was not married – establishes a full legal relationship to his child. Establishing this relationship gives the father the same rights and obligations as if his child had been born while married to the child’s mother.
  • Examples of legitimation include:
    • Your parents' marriage certificate dated after your birth
    • Certified court order of legitimation 

Please see U.S. Citizenship Laws & Policy for more information.

U.S. Citizenship through Adoption

If you were born outside the United States and got your citizenship after you were adopted, please see our Child Citizenship Act webpage for more information.


There is an issue with your most recent passport.



Please submit…

Your valid passport is lost or stolen. Form DS-64 to report your valid passport lost or stolen.
You reported your valid passport lost or stolen, but did not sign your form. A new, signed Form DS-64 to report your valid passport lost or stolen.
You submitted a limited validity passport. Evidence of U.S. citizenship
Your most recent passport is damaged. A signed and dated statement explaining why your passport is damaged. We will keep your damaged passport.
Your most recent passport is damaged and cannot be used as evidence of U.S. citizenship. A signed and dated statement explaining why your passport is damaged, and evidence of U.S. citizenship. We will keep your damaged passport.

You changed your name and did not give us enough information.



Please submit…

You legally changed your name A certified copy of the court order, marriage certificate, or divorce decree.
You have not legally changed your name

At least three certified or original public records, showing use of this name for at least five years.

  • These records must include your date and place of birth, or your social security number.
  • In place of one public record, you can submit notarized affidavits completed by two people who have known you by both names.

I have to fill out Form DS-5513 or DS-5520 and provide more citizenship evidence or identification.

Form DS-5513, Supplemental Questionnaire to Determine Entitlement for a Passport is a special form we may ask you to complete if we need more information about your U.S. citizenship.

Form DS-5520, Supplemental Questionnaire to Determine Identity is a special form we may ask you to complete if we need more information about your identity.  

  • We will send you a letter or email with instructions on how to complete these forms.
  • We recommend you complete the fillable PDF form on your desktop computer, print it out, and return it by mail to us. 
  • You may also complete the form in black ink. 
  • Visit our Citizenship Evidence page for more information on getting evidence of U.S. citizenship, and our Photo ID page for more information on evidence of identity. 
Last Updated: March 13, 2024