Do you have a passport that is about to expire? If this is the case, you must renew it before leaving the United States. You’ll need a current US passport whether you’re driving across the border, taking a cruise ship, or flying. In many circumstances, you may complete the full renewal procedure online and avoid having to visit an acceptance facility in person.
Your paperwork and money must still be mailed to a processing facility.
The procedure of renewing your passport is simple. However, it might take up to 6 weeks to get your new one. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your trip dates in some countries. Even if your passport is still valid, you may renew it before flying by following the same processes.
Passports will be valid for up to ten years if you are 16 or older. Child passports (for those aged 15 and under) expire every five years. The inner front cover of your passport has the expiration date.
What You Need
You’ll need your most recent passport, as well as emergency contact information. You will need to install Adobe Acrobat on your computer (to complete the printable PDF forms) and a printer since you will need to print and mail the application form with your expired passport. You may already have it installed depending on your browser.
Complete Form DS-82
If your adult passport expired within the last five years and you now reside in the United States or Canada, you can renew it by mail. If this is the case, go to the US Department of State’s website and complete Form DS-82. On the State Department’s website, this is the “Renewal Application” form.
You may either use the Form Filler or the PDF button on the website. The Form Filler is interactive, ensuring that you fill out the right form the first time. You will fill out your personal and passport details and then print the completed form.
If you are renewing from outside the United States or Canada, you must go to a nearby US embassy or consulate.
Please keep in mind that minors under the age of 16 cannot use this form to renew their passport. They will need to fill out Form DS-11, which is the same form you used to submit your first application.
Take Passport Photos
Following the printing of your DS-82 Form, the next step is to prepare to mail your application and passport through snail mail. You must provide one updated passport photo with your application. You may use the Passport Booth app to take your own images and print them at a local store for as low as $0.50 a piece.
You can also go to a local company or government agency, but you may have to pay extra.
For example, you might spend $14 for the identical shot to be taken by a CVS or Walgreens employee. Check the passport photo standards to ensure you don’t need to resend a valid photo.
Pay Passport Renewal Fees
In addition, you need to send payment with your application. A personal cheque or money order made payable to the “US State Department” would suffice.
The cost of your exaction application is determined by the type of passport documents you order:
- Passport Book: $110
- Passport Card: $30
- Book and Card: $140
For example, if you currently have a passport book and want a passport card, you must fill out Form DS-82 and pay $30 for standard processing.
Additional Service Fees
The standard shipment is free, and your new passport will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks. Once your replacement passport arrives, you’ll have to pay an additional fee ($16.48) for 1-2 day expedited delivery.
If there’s no way for you to wait a month for your passport to be renewed, you should choose the expedited procedure. It’ll set you back an extra $60. Within 8 working days, your passport can be delivered to a local agency or shipped to you in 2 or 3 weeks.
Only within the United States are expedited processing and delivery options available. If you’re renewing outside of the United States, you’ll need to select the normal service.
Mail Expired Passport
Sending your papers to the processing facility is the final step. When you print your DS-82 Form, you’ll find instructions for mailing it.
In the US, there are two separate processing facilities. The first is in Irving, Texas, while the second is in Philadelphia, PA. For normal processing, the center to which you mail your application is determined by where you live. You will submit your papers to the Philadelphia location if you live in Canada or want expedited processing.
Because your papers will be mailed to a P.O. Box, you will need to send them by US mail. If you’re renewing your passport in Canada, use Canada Post.
Send the following items to the National Passport Processing Center:
- A current passport book from the United States
- One recent passport photo
- Form DS-82 (the form you printed out)
- Passport fees
Receive Your New US Passport
Your new passport, together with your old passport and any supporting papers, will be mailed separately. The new passport is usually the first to arrive. After receiving your new passport, you will be able to travel abroad for the following ten years before having to renew it again.
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When You Can’t Renew Your Passport Through the Mail
For the following circumstances, you will not be able to renew your passport by mail:
- Your passport has been stolen, lost, or destroyed for at least 5 years
- You are currently residing outside of the United States or Canada
- You have a child’s passport while being beyond the age of 16
- Are still under the age of 16
You must complete Form DS-11 and apply in person if you fall into one of the four categories listed above. In addition to the regular application, processing, and shipment fees, this option may require you to pay a $35 execution (acceptance) charge.
Also worth noting, if you owe at least $2,500 in child support, you won’t be allowed to renew your passport.
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