Individuals can apply for their passports by mail unless they are applying for the first time. If a previous passport was issued more than 15 years ago or when a person was under the age of 16, the individual will also need to apply in person; likewise if the person’s name has changed or if the old passport was lost, stolen, or damaged. Minors under the age of 14 do not need to appear as a matter of course, but passport officials have the right to ask the child to appear.
There are 13 Regional Passport Agency offices across the country; they are located in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Norwalk (Connecticut), Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. These offices are open to the public by appointment only, and appointments are usually only granted to people who need urgent action on a passport application (for example, if they need a passport in less than two weeks). For routine passport applications, there are 4,500 designated passport application acceptance facilities across the United States.