When was the last time you checked the expiration date on your passport? If it’s expired, you’ll have to get it renewed before you can take your next domestic or international trip. When planning a trip abroad, there’s a lot to think about. People get so caught up in planning what they are going to do in their destination, packing the right clothes, getting the best accommodation deal, etc that sometimes ensuring their passport is up-to-date can be overlooked.
In this article, we share all you need to know about the renewal of passport in America.
Ways to Renew an Expired Passport in the U.S:
There are two ways to renew your passport. The option available to you for renewal of passport depends on the criteria you are able to satisfy. If you’re renewing your passport by mail, you must complete form DS-82. If you need to apply in person to renew your passport, you’ll need to form DS-11. Both of these forms can be downloaded from the website of the U.S. State Department.
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Option One (Renewal of passport by mail)
You can renew your U.S. passport by mail using form DS-82 and submitting a new 2×2 inch photograph if your recent passport meets these six requirements:
1. You are able to submit your most recent and valid passport with your application.
2. Your passport was issued within the last 15 years
3. You were issued your passport when you were age 16 or older
4. You live in the U.S.
5. Your passport is undamaged other than normal wear and tear.
6. Your passport is in your most current name. If your name is different from the name on your passport, you’ll have to supply documentation of the name change. This can be done with an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court-ordered name change document.
Option Two (Renewal of passport in person)
If your passport doesn’t meet the requirements in option one, you’ll have to renew by applying in person using form DS-11.
If you’re filling out form DS-11 to apply in person, do not sign it until you get to the Regional Passport Agency.
What do you need to renew your Passport?
• Form DS-82 from https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/forms.html or from your local post office. You have the option of filling the form out online and printing it off or downloading a PDF to print and fill out by hand.
• Current passport
• One passport photo
• Application fee ($110 for a passport book, $30 for a passport card and $140 for both).
• If your name has changed, you are required to submit a certified copy of your marriage certificate or a court order of your name change
• An envelope large enough to fit the application without folding (The U.S. Department of State prefers larger envelopes as opposed to letter-size envelopes)
• Money to pay them for delivery tracking services of your renewal package (This is advised as you will be sending your current passport)
How long does it take to renew a U.S Passport?
In the U.S. renewal of passport by mail can take between six to eight weeks but for anything faster, it’s necessary to apply for an expedited passport.
An expedited passport directly from the government takes from two to three weeks to process. Applicants have to pay a $60 expedite fee for the processing which can be done via mail or at a nearby acceptance facility. This fee is valid at the time of publication and may change at the discretion of the U.S. State Department. It’s also possible to pay more for overnight shipping (about $15.45) to receive the passport even faster.
The recent estimates for processing times are available at travel.state.gov. Processing times change seasonally, and it may take longer depending on when you plan to submit your application. Checking travel.state.gov is recommended as a peak period influence processing time.
Need your passport faster?
If travelers are leaving within two to three weeks, it’s possible to make an appointment at a passport agency or center and apply for an expedited passport. To make an appointment in person, call the National Passport Information Center. You will need to show proof of your immediate travel such as airline confirmation. You’ll also need your most recent passport, a completed passport application form, passport photos, and passport fees and additional fees if applicable.
If your trip is planned three weeks ahead or more, it’s advised to send your application by mail.
There are also a few private expediters who can quickly process a passport application if you are short on time but have a flexible budget. RushMyPassport.com can help with passport renewals in as little as 24 hours.
For someone who needs a renewal of passport or visa immediately, the State Department offers a “Life or Death Emergencies” option. The only situations that will get you a passport within three days for such emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that requires you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours.
Your passport doesn’t have to be expired for you to renew it. Nowadays, some countries want travelers to have a passport that’s valid for six months from the date of their travel. As a result, the biggest mistake US international travelers can make is waiting until the last minute for the renewal of their passport.