How to Renew a US Passport

How to Renew a US Passport
Renewing your passport is less of a hassle than renewing your driver's license, leaving you plenty of time to plan for your upcoming trip. Check your passport at least two months before you plan to depart to verify the expiration date, and renew it immediately if it is expired or will be close to expiration during your trip. If you are already abroad, a visit to the nearest U.S. Embassy is required to process a renewal and may delay your return home or visits to other countries.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Old passport Passport photos Name documentation Fees Mailing envelope
  • Old passport
  • Passport photos
  • Name documentation
  • Fees
  • Mailing envelope
Step 1
Print out Form DS-82, or request a copy from your local passport office. Fill in all the required blanks.
Step 2
Include two 2 inch by 2 inch recent passport photographs. Have the photos taken at a venue that offers official passport photo services so they will meet all requirements. Staple one photo where indicated on the application and place the other one in the envelope.
Step 3
Include your marriage certificate or an official court order of name change if your current name differs from that on your expiring passport. Include original documents; they will be returned to you with your new passport.
Step 4
Check the current fees on the application. Include a check or money order for the exact amount required for your renewal.
Step 5
Place the application, photos, name change documentation, fees and your old passport into a mailing envelope addressed to the location on the application. Use a water-resistant mailer to protect your documents while in transit.
Step 6
Write the word "expedite" boldly on the front of the envelope if you are paying for expedited service. Choose expedite if you will be leaving the country within the next two to four weeks.
Step 7
Mail the application and documents using a traceable shipping method with delivery confirmation. Your new passport will arrive within eight weeks in most cases.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you are already abroad, fill out form DS-82 and bring it along with the required documents to the nearest embassy. Filling it out in advance will speed up your visit. If your passport is lost you will need to first report it as such to the passport office before requesting a new one. Make a photocopy of your new passport once it arrives. Leave it with a trusted individual to speed replacement if your passport is lost or stolen on your trip.
 
If you are already abroad, fill out form DS-82 and bring it along with the required documents to the nearest embassy. Filling it out in advance will speed up your visit.
 
If your passport is lost you will need to first report it as such to the passport office before requesting a new one.
 
Make a photocopy of your new passport once it arrives. Leave it with a trusted individual to speed replacement if your passport is lost or stolen on your trip.
 
Do not bend the photographs when placing into the envelope or you will be required to submit new photos and this will delay your renewal.

Resources

Article Written By Jenny Harrington

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

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