• Subscribe to Stay Updated!

    Get our latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

    * indicates required
  • Clear for Takeoff: How to Avoid Delays in Your Passport Application


    – Passport application mistakes can cause delays and cost applicants money.

    – Being aware of common passport application mistakes can help people avoid making these costly errors themselves.

    – Ask questions if you aren’t sure about a section of your passport application.



    For many people, the thought of filling out a passport application can seem like a daunting task. Between answering questions and gathering important documents, it can be a little overwhelming. But we’re here to tell you that filling out your passport application is quite simple as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into.

    The Swift team has helped thousands of people get passports quickly for their travels over the years, and we’ve noticed that there are some common mistakes applicants make over and over. Fortunately, these mistakes can be easily avoided as long as you know what to look out for, which, in turn, can save you a lot of time and money.

    Ready to learn more? From applying for the wrong type of passport to forgetting to send in all the necessary documents and more, here are some of the most common mistakes people make when filling out their passport applications.

    5 Common Passport Application Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

    1. Not Signing or Dating Your Passport Application

    One of the most common mistakes that we see people make is not signing or dating their passport applications. This is an easy mistake to avoid, but unfortunately, it is one we see people make often. Many times, applicants go through the entire process, including filling out their application, paying all the required fees, and sending in the proper documents. Then, we find out that they forgot to sign and date their application, which can cause significant delays.

    To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, always sign and date your passport application as soon as it’s complete. Another important thing to note is that you should only sign your application if you plan on sending it in within the next few days. If you sign and date your application but send it weeks or months later, this could cause issues and potentially delay your passport application.

    2. Applying For the Wrong Type of Passport

    It’s important to know what type of passport you need to apply for, as this can make the difference between receiving your passport in time for your international trip and missing your trip altogether. For example, a lot of times, we see people trying to renew their passports when they need to apply for a new passport. New passports require additional steps, such as making an appointment with a Passport Acceptance Agent. If you apply for the wrong passport, it’s only going to cause you delays and frustration, so please check to see which type of passport you need before applying. 

    Learn more about the different types of passports by visiting the US Passport Guide section of our website.  This is an incredible resource that we created to help our customers get through the passport with ease (and while staying sane)!

    3. Not Paying the All Required Fees

    Some passport applications require that you make an appointment with a Passport Acceptance Agent. If you find that this is the case for you, you will need to pay a fee to the US Department of State in order to get your passport. And although many people will submit payment, it often isn’t for the correct amount, or the payment is short of the full amount that is required.

    If you’re working with our team, once you have completed the passport application, we will tell you the exact amount the payment needs to be made for, and it’s very important that you pay that amount in full. Payments for any other amount than what’s required could end up causing delays in your passport application. Double-check that you are paying the correct amount before submitting payment to ensure that everything is good to go.

    4. Submitting Photos That Do Not Follow Passport Photo Guidelines

    One of the most important parts of submitting your passport application is providing a photo that fits within the Passport Photo Guidelines. Ensuring that your photo meets the requirements stated in these guidelines is crucial, as the US Passport Agency has become really strict in recent years when it comes to passport photos. If you submit a photo that doesn’t fit the guidelines, your application will likely be rejected.

    Although there are many reasons why a passport photo gets rejected, there are some common mistakes that we frequently see people make, including:

    • Wearing Glasses
    • Submitting Professional Headshots
    • Using a Photograph of an Already Printed Photo
    • Taking a Selfie and Sending it in
    • Wearing Narrow Tank Tops
    • Submitting Side Profile Pictures

    Another important thing to note is that you will need to ensure that the photo you submit was taken within the last 6 months. The Passport Agency can detect if a photo is older than 6 months, and they will likely reject your photo if it wasn’t recently taken. You can learn more about image requirements, along with examples of what to do and what not to do, by visiting the Passport Photo Guidelines section of our website. 

    5. Forgetting to Send in All of the Necessary Documents 

    One of the most common mistakes that we see people make is forgetting to send in all of the necessary documents. This can be avoided when you work with the Swift team.  Once you have filled out your passport application and completed the checkout process, we will send you a complete list of all the documents that you will need to send in. You’ll just need to read through the entire list of required documents and check off each item one at a time to ensure that you have everything you need. Forgetting to send in any of these documents could cause significant delays in your passport application. 

    If you have any questions about the documents you need to apply for a passport and you’re working with our team, we’re always available to provide one-on-one guidance you need to ensure every item is checked off your list.  Many people do not know that when it comes to getting a passport, it can take hours of your personal time.  So, it is often advantageous to work with the passport experts at Swift because they can move the process forward. 

    How to Obtain Your Passport With Swift

    Obtaining your passport with Swift Passport and Visa Services is a quick and easy process. Our team will work with you to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and as long as you do your best to try and avoid the common mistakes listed above, you should have no problem with delays or extra fees.

    Are you in need of a passport?  Let Swift make the process super easy for you. You can start applying for your passport on our website, knowing you will be supported by a team that has literally processed thousands of passports.  

    Wherever your travels may take you – we’ll get you there!

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Scroll to Top