How to Renew an Expired Passport

How to Renew an Expired Passport
Hiking the jungles of South America, swimming off the beaches in the Mediterranean or climbing the mountain of the Himalayas: if your dream outdoor destination involves travel to foreign lands, you need a passport that does not expire until at least six months after your date of travel. If your document is already expired, you can renew it easily.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Renew your expired passport by mail only if it meets the following conditions:

Is undamaged and can be sent with your application
Was issued when you were 16 or older
Was issued less than 15 years ago
Uses your current name, or you can document any name change legally

If any of these conditions are not true, you need to apply in person. Go to for more information.
Step 2
Fill out Form DS-82, Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail ( You can do it online and print it after, or print a blank form that you fill in legibly with black ink. You can also obtain this form from an Acceptance Facility listed in In any case, sign the finished form.
Step 3
Insert the form into a padded envelope with your most recent U.S. Passport and the passport fees listed on the website. If your current name is different from the one in your expired passport, you need to document the name change by submitting a marriage certificate or court order.
Step 4
Add two passport pictures, which can be taken at Acceptance Facilities with cameras or at passport photo stores. The 2-inch square photos must be in color and taken within the past 6 months to show your full face on a plain white or off-white background. You can wear ordinary street clothes and any glasses or hearing devices that you wear normally. Any religious attire that you wear daily is also allowed. However, you cannot wear a hat or uniform.
Step 5
Send all materials to the address listed on the form using a traceable delivery method such as Priority Mail with Delivery or Signature Confirmation, or Express Mail. Expect your new passport in about four weeks. If you need it in less than two weeks for international travel or in under four weeks for a foreign visa, you can request expedited processing for an additional fee.

Tips & Warnings

Renewing a passport in person requires that you visit an Acceptance Facility to give proof of citizenship and identification, along with Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport.

Article Written By Aurelio Locsin

Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.

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