Applying for a Passport for the First Time

The following is basic information you will need when applying for a passport for the first time.  More detailed information is available on the U.S. Department of State’s travel web site listed to the right.  If you have questions after reviewing this information, please feel free to contact the City Clerk’s Office at 720-898-7550.

Everyone applying for a passport MUST appear in person, including infants and children.

1.  All first time applicants need to complete the Application for a U.S. Passport (Form DS-11).  You can use the “Application Wizard” (see Related Links to the right) to create your form online, to download the form, or you may pick one up at the City Clerk’s Office.  DO NOT SIGN the application until asked to do so by the Acceptance Agent.

2.  Bring proof of U.S. citizenship.  This can be a certified birth certificate, a previously issued U.S. Passport, or U.S. Naturalization Certificate.  The original document will be sent in with your application, but it will be returned to you when your passport is issued.  Most people will submit the certified birth certificate, which must include the following items:

  • A file date, or the date the certificate was filed in the registrar’s office, within one year of the birth;
  • Child’s full name;
  • Parents’ names;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Registrar’s signature; and
  • A raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal of the registrar’s office.

We cannot accept a photocopy, a notarized copy, hospital certificate or baptismal certificate as proof of U.S. citizenship.  There are several ways to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate.  You may contact the county or state in which you were born or use an internet service such as  If you were born in Colorado, you can go to any Vital Records Office in Colorado.  There is one located in Golden at 800 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 1300 (Dakota Building).  There will be a fee for the certified copy.

3.  Bring proof of identity.  A valid driver’s license (not temporary or learner’s permit), U.S. Naturalization Certificate, government issued I.D. w/photo and signature, or military I.D. w/photo and signature.

4.  You will need two passport photos.  The City Clerk’s Office can take your photo for a fee of $10 or you may bring your own photos.  There are specific requirements for acceptable photos, please see the link on the page for Passport Photo Requirements.

5.   Payments.  There will be two separate payments.  The first is payable to the U.S. Department of State and MUST be paid with a check or money order.  The second payment is to the City of Arvada and may be paid with cash, check, money order, Master Card or Visa.  The fee schedule is listed in the link to Passport Fees.  We encourage you to bring your blank checks with you and you can fill in the amounts after we have reviewed your particular situation.