Public sector offices known as passport acceptance facilities that have been authorized by the U.S. Department of State to accept and verify the documents, applicant signatures and identity for passport applications; place all of the documents and required photos into a specially sealed, tamperproof envelope that may only be opened by State Department officials; and forward them for processing. This is required for ALL passport applicants for a new adult passport, child (minor) passport, or lost, stolen or damaged passport applications. Most passport acceptance facilities are found in local post offices, county clerk's offices and some library locations. Passports are official documents which identify citizens, serve as written authorization from government authorities for citizens to travel abroad and, in effect, request foreign powers to allow bearers to enter and pass freely and safely. U.S. passports can be renewed by mail provided that the old passport was issued within the last 15 years, that the individual was age 16 or older at the time, and that, if applicable, proof of name change is provided. The old valid passport, a color passport photo, a completed DS-82 form and a check or money order for the fee must be submitted.