How to Apply for/Renew a Passport

A valid US passport is required to enter and leave foreign countries making it a necessary part of your departure plans.

Apply in person at an approved passport facility:

  • The Decatur Main Post Office, 214 N Franklin St., Decatur, IL
  • Decatur Memorial Station, 1601 East Mound Rd., Decatur IL

Steps to Apply:

1. Fill Out the Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport. Please note:

  • Once you print off the completed application DO NOT sign.
  • You must provide your Social Security Number.

2. Submit completed form and supporting materials to the passport application acceptance facility, where you will then sign the form in the presence of a witness.

3. Submit evidence of U.S. citizenship (One of the following, copies and notarized copies are not acceptable):

  • Certified Birth Certificate issued by the city, county, or state.  A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office.
  • Previously issued US passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as evidence of US citizenship)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth (more info)
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship

4. Present Identification (One of the following):

  • Previous US passport (mutilated, altered, or damaged passports are not acceptable as evidence of identity)
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Current, valid driver’s license, government ID, or military ID

5. Submit a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document presented

  • Must be on plain white paper, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper stock
  • Must contain images on only one-side of each page submitted and should be free of other images or markings.

6. Provide a passport photo—you may get approved passport photos at Walgreen’s, Kinko's, or the post office.(NOTE: You will likely need to submit additional photos with your study abroad application and for a visa application if an entry visa is required for study abroad in your host country, so you may want to have additional photos taken at the same time.)

7. Pay applicable fee which is currently $140 ($110, if you are renewing) and $25 execution fee.  We recommend that you pay the $60 fee to expedite your application and for overnight delivery service if you plan to travel soon to ensure speedy delivery once it's been issued.

If you have already submitted your application and would like to check the status, visit here.


Some countries require that U.S. citizens apply for and receive an entrance visa.  A visa is an official document giving permission to enter a country and is granted by the government of the country you wish to enter.  The visa may be in the form of a stamp imprinted on a page in your passport or an official document which includes a photograph.

If you are planning to study abroad in a country for an extended period of time, you may need a student visa or residency permit.  For students participating in programs that travel through a number of countries, you may need to apply for multiple visas.

Note: If your host country requires that you obtain a visa in order to study abroad there, you must do so -- this is non-negotiable.

Visa requirements vary from country to country. Information relating to all visas may be obtained from the nearest embassy or consulate of the country or countries in which you will study and/or travel.  (Many countries have consulates in Chicago, which is convenient for MU students.)  You can learn about visa requirements for your destination(s) by visiting the U.S. State Department Web site.

When you receive notification of acceptance to your study abroad program, the program provider should inform you of visa requirements, necessary supporting documentation, and any other details of the application process.