How To Renew Passport – Passport is the most recognized and widely accepted document around the world. This is reason enough to keep updated. The US Department of State (the administrative agency that issues US passports) recommends renewing your travel document at least 6 (six) months before the expiration date. By doing so, US passport holders can continue their studies without interruption.
If you’re a US citizen living in the country and want to renew your passport, look no further. In this comprehensive post, applicants will get all the information about the renewal process, its requirements, possible ways to renew their US passport and valuable tips and hints. Follow this guide to renew your passport and plan your next trip abroad!
How To Renew Passport
The US Department of State allows US citizens to renew their passports in two ways: by mail or in person. However, there have been recent advances in online updates, which we will cover later in this post.
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Whether applicants are renewing their US passport by mail or in person, they should prepare the necessary documents and passport photos and calculate the appropriate passport fee for their particular situation. Although the steps are the same in both cases, US passport renewal requirements vary from individual to individual. The following conditions apply to adult passport holders (above 18 years) only.
The first option to renew a US passport is by mail. US citizens can fill out the DS-82 form from the comfort of their homes, collect all required documents and send them to the nearest passport center. However, applicants must meet the following 5 (five) criteria to be eligible for US passport renewal by mail:
If all the above conditions are met, the option is open to US citizens to renew their passports by mail. Now how should they do that? The US State Department has laid out specific steps to successfully renew your US passport. There are 7 (seven) key steps to check when renewing a US passport by mail.
US citizens who wish to renew their passports by mail must use Form DS-82. The form is available on the official government website. Applicants can either fill the form manually or use the online form filler provided by the US State Department.
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However, the form should be printed on one side and filled in black ink only. Candidates need not print the first 4 (four) pages of instructions. There are no official restrictions on the use of letters. However, we strongly recommend filling in the application form in capital letters for better readability. This form can renew both the US passport book and the passport card. Also, applicants can extend their standard passport to a 52-page passport book at no additional cost.
Important Note: On Form DS-82, applicants must provide their Social Security Number. If one is not provided, the application must be supported by a signed and dated statement including the following statement: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct under the laws of the United States: I have a Social Security number that has never been issued by the Social Security Administration. ( (U.S. State Department website)
As mentioned earlier, US citizens who wish to renew their passports must keep their current passports. This is necessary as it is absolutely necessary to send the old passport along with the application. The passport cannot be significantly damaged. Upon receipt of the new passport, applicants will return their old US passport in a separate package with other documents.
Has your name changed in the last 10 (ten) years since your current passport was issued? To renew a US passport by mail, applicants must provide a certified copy of their legal name change document. After the new passport is issued, the document is returned to the sender by post. Examples of legal name change documents include:
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Passport photos are an important element in any official document application. Applicants must provide 1 (one) color photo of their current appearance that meets the requirements for a US passport photo. Photo application must be stapled – use 4 (four) staples vertically in the corner of the photo.
US passport renewal fees depend on the service selected by applicants. Here are the typical service charges for renewals:
Payment must be made by check or money order payable to the US Department of State. Applicants should mention their full name and date of birth on the front of their cheque. Online payment and cash are not accepted when renewing a US passport by mail.
After gathering all the necessary documents, including a current US passport, passport photo, money order, and supporting documents (if applicable), it’s time to send everything together to the appropriate passport office. When mailing their applications, US citizens must use the United States Postal Service (USPS); If you use the services of other delivery companies such as FedEx, your application will be returned to the sender.
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Mailing address provided on Form DS-82; Depending on the residence, applicants can send their US passport renewal package to one of the following locations:
*Expedited delivery is only available for US passport book renewals or passport books and cards. National Passport Processing Center only provides 1-2 day delivery for passport cards.
After submitting a renewal application, US citizens can track it through the US Passport Application Status System—an online system that allows applicants to check the status of their passports (available on the US State Department website). By agreeing to receive automatic email updates, you can make US passport renewal application tracking more convenient.
Note: It is normal for the status to appear as “Not Available” within the first 2 (two) weeks of application submission. Passport Kendra takes time to process data and documents, scan them and accept payment. After that, you can expect your application status to change to “In Progress”.
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US citizens must renew their passports in person if they do not answer “yes” to any of the statements required for postal renewal. Therefore, the only way to renew a passport at a passport acceptance facility is to:
In the case of in-person US passport renewals, applicants need to prepare a little more paperwork compared to renewing their passports by mail. Let’s take a look at the 10 (ten) steps to renew your US passport in person.
US citizens renewing their passports in person must use Form DS-11. The rules for filling the said form are same as for passport renewal by post. Applicants must:
Form DS-11 can be used to renew both passport books and passport cards. Applicants can apply for a large passport book (52 pages) without any additional charges. Do not sign the application before visiting the passport facility – it must be approved by the accepting agent first.
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One of the documents that applicants must bring to renew their passports is proof of their US citizenship. This can be provided as an original version or a certified (physical) copy. Applicants must provide one of the following:
Along with the original version or a certified copy of their US citizenship credentials, applicants must also provide photocopies. A copy of proof of US citizenship must meet the following requirements:
When visiting this facility, applicants must prove their identity to a passport agent with a valid, government-issued photo identification document (ID). Documents must be in physical form – digital IDs will not be accepted. US citizens can provide one of the following:
As with US citizenship documents, applicants must also provide a photocopy of their chosen ID. Photocopy requirements are same as mentioned earlier.
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US citizens visiting a passport acceptance facility must notify the passport agent of any conditions or circumstances that may affect their passport renewal process. Such situations include:
Applicants for US passport renewal must attach 1 (one) passport photo that meets all US Department of State requirements. While renewing passport in person, photograph cannot be affixed in the application.
Candidates can pay this fee using credit card or cheque. Payment will be accepted only if the correct amount is paid.
After collecting all the documents, applicants should visit the passport acceptance facility to submit their application. US citizens can find the nearest facility through the online search page provided by the US State Department.
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Note: Visiting schedule is subject to availability. Applicants are advised to contact the selected facility before going in person.
Applicants can track the progress of their new passport by submitting the passport application in person. Tracking is available through the US Passport Application Status System, as is renewal by mail.
Thanks to a government pilot program, US citizens will soon have the opportunity to renew their passports online! Get more information on program details and how to renew a US passport online here.
Next to the completed renewal form and supporting documents, the passport photo is the most important component of the renewal application. The image should reflect the current appearance of the passport holder and should meet all the mandatory requirements