The primary identification method is the most common way to provide proof of identity. Submitting primary proof means you only have to submit that document with your application and do not need any additional sources of identification proof. Some examples of primary proof of identification are: previously issued and undamaged U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, valid U.S. driver’s license, current government or military ID. In addition, there is one instance that you might need to provide additional proof of identity. If you are applying at a passport acceptance facility and you use an out-of-state ID, then you may be required to submit another source of identification.
Secondary proof of identification does require a bit more documentation to establish proof of identity when applying for a passport. Each application using the secondary measure are usually handle on a case-by-case basis, so you may be required to provide more information with you documentation. Some examples of secondary identification sources are: Social Security Card, credit card, school records, health insurance card, or an employee ID. In addition you will need a witness who can swear to your identity at the time of submission of the application. To be eligible to be a qualifying witness, they must have known you for at least two years, be a U.S. citizen, have a valid photo ID, and fill out the Form DS-71. The DS-71 form is a sworn Affidavit of Identifying Witness in the presence of a Passport Agent.
If possible, obtaining a primary source of identification is the easiest way to get your passport application processed. If you do not have a primary source, then going with the secondary sources will accomplish the same results. You will just have to do a little more work and show a little patience as the process will take a bit longer. Once you satisfy the identification requirements then you will be on your way in obtaining your passport.