How to Renew Expired Passports

How to Renew Expired Passports
Previous passport holders may renew their passports by mail if the original passport is undamaged and submitted with the renewal application, was issued within the past 15 years after age 16 or older and is in your current name. Those with name changes may still be eligible to renew by mail if they have legal documentation regarding the name change they can submit with the application. The by-mail process is a simple way to renew your passport and will save you the time involved with renewing your passport in person. Average handling time is four to six weeks.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Undamaged copy of current passport Two passport pictures Form DS-82, Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail Check or money order (checks must be in your name) Tyvek padded envelope
  • Undamaged copy of current passport
  • Two passport pictures
  • Form DS-82, Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail
  • Check or money order (checks must be in your name)
  • Tyvek padded envelope
Step 1
Obtain two passport pictures to send in with your renewal application. These may be taken at some local post offices, Walmart or Walgreens stores and a number of professional photo studios. Photos must be 2 inches by 2 inches, identical, taken within the past six months and in full color. Photos should be taken in street clothes without headgear or sunglasses, unless needed for medical reasons. Eyeglasses and hearing aids should be worn if these are regular devices needed for daily living.
Step 2
Locate Form DS-82 online at the link provided in the Resources section. Print form out from computer if you will be filling it out by hand.
Step 3
Print legibly in black ink if filling out by hand. If opting to fill out online, complete the form on the website and print it out, making sure all information is completed before printing. Print single-sided only and in blank ink.
Step 4
Sign and date the form on page 1 of the application and insert in a Tyvek (or similar) padded envelope to the address listed on the form. Include applicable passport fees in the form of a check or money order payable to U.S. Department of State; two passport pictures; your most recent U.S. passport; and either a court order or marriage/divorce certificate showing any name change that has occurred since your last passport application.
Step 5
Mark "Expedite" on the outside of the padded envelope and deliver to post office. Use a confirmable source of mailing such as USPS Priority mail with delivery confirmation, signature confirmation or USPS Express mail.

Tips & Warnings

 
U.S. citizens residing abroad (with the exception of Canada) should renew their passports at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. U.S. citizens in Canada may use Form DS-82 by mail and send to the address listed on the form. Make an appointment at a regional passport agency if you need your passport in less than two weeks for international travel or if you need your passport within four weeks to get a foreign visa.
 
U.S. citizens residing abroad (with the exception of Canada) should renew their passports at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.
 
U.S. citizens in Canada may use Form DS-82 by mail and send to the address listed on the form.
 
Make an appointment at a regional passport agency if you need your passport in less than two weeks for international travel or if you need your passport within four weeks to get a foreign visa.
 
If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport.

Article Written By Abaigeal Quinn

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.

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