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Renewing Your Passport

It is much easier to renew a passport than it is to get your first passport. There are still certain steps you need to follow and documents to send in as well. Of course, you will have to pay fees for renewing your passport too. The first thing you should do in renewing your passport is to find out all of the information that will tell you what you need for your renewal ahead of time to make the process easier and faster. You will need to know if you can mail everything in or need to reapply in person, how much it will cost you, what documents you will need, and where to send everything.

Renewal process

It is always good to know when you should start the renewal process since it takes time and just in case anything gets held up. It can take four to six weeks, without any problems arising, for the process of renewing your passport. It is a good idea to renew your passport about nine months before it expires. This way you will not have to worry about it possibly expiring in the middle of traveling or right before travel. Be sure to check the date of expiration on your passport because some countries require for passports to remain valid for up to six months after travel and some airlines will not allow you to board if you do not meet this requirement.

Eligibility

In order to be able to renew your passport, you first need to be eligible to do so. Passports issued to children age 15 or younger cannot get a passport renewed, they must get a new passport. If the person was 16 or older they can get their passport renewed unless it has been more than 15 years since they got their last passport. Since you have to submit your current passport, you cannot get a passport renewed if the current passport was lost, stolen, or damaged (except for normal wear and tear). You also are not eligible to renew your passport if you have had a name change and have no legal documentation to prove it. If you are not eligible to renew your passport, you will have to start with a DS-11 form and if you used a form filler, it will generate a new form based on eligibility.

Documentation needed

Although there may not be as many items or documents needed to renew a passport as there are to get a brand new one, there are still things you need to be sure to have when you renew. First, you will need the DS-82 application form. You can print this off and fill it out, or you can fill it out online. Either way, the form cannot be submitted online, it must be mailed in or submitted in person. You will also need a passport photo that is 2x2 inches, full face view, on white background, printed on matte or glossy photo paper, and has to be taken within the last six months. If you are not sure you can meet these requirements, most places that accept passport applications can take the photo for you for an additional fee. You will also need your most recent passport as they will take this along with everything else. If you have had a name change, you will need a legal document to prove it. You will need to provide proof of citizenship as well with things like a birth certificate and social security card. And, of course, you will need to have money for the passport fees.

Fees to expect

The fees for a passport renewal can vary depending on what you need. For an adult passport renewal, a passport card costs $30, a passport book costs $110, and for both it will cost $140. If you need to make corrections or changes, like a name change, the price will vary. If you just need to correct data, it does not cost anything, but if you need to correct a name change, it can cost anywhere from $0 to $165. There are additional fees as well. If you want to have your photo taken at the facility you will need to contact that facility to find out how much they charge. Other additional fees are $60 for expedited services, $15.45 for overnight delivery of a passport book only, and $150 for a file search. Most places will accept checks or money orders and passport agencies will accept credit cards, checks, money orders, cash, and pre-paid credit cards.

How to fill out a renewal application

Although you can start the renewal process online by using a form filler and filling out the forms online, but it cannot be submitted online and you must mail or turn in everything in person. If you are eligible for a passport renewal, you can send everything in by mail. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1-Complete form DS-82

You can do this online with a form filler or offline, but either way it will need to be printed out to turned in. If you are filling this out by hand, be sure to use black ink and write legibly to avoid errors. Also, you cannot sign it yet as this needs to be done with a witness, usually the people processing your application.

Step 2- Gather documents

You will need your most recent passport, a new passport photo, and any other legal documents needed. If your passport is damaged or you do not have one, then you will have to renew in person. You will submit all of this with the renewal form. You will also need to be sure to include any fees that apply. For a passport book and card, it will be $140 total. This does not include any additional fees.

Step 3- Package and send

You will need to put the form and all documents in a protective package such as a Tyvek envelope. You will need to use a check or money order made out to the Department of State and be sure to put full name and birthdate of the applicant on the front of the check or money order. Routine processes usually take about six to eight weeks, but where you send your package will depend on how quickly you want the passport renewed. A request for a fast passport renewal will take about two to three weeks and will cost extra.

-standard service for CA, FL, IL, MN, NY, or TX

                National Passport Processing Center

                P.O. Box 640155

                Irving, TX  75064-0155

-standard service for all other states and Canada

                National Passport Processing Center

                P.O. Box 90155

                Philadelphia, PA  19190-0155

-expedited service

                National Passport Processing Center

                P.O. Box 90955

                Philadelphia, PA  19190-0955

Renewing passport in-person

If you are not eligible to renew your passport or for some reason cannot or do not want to do it by mail, you can do it in person.

Step 1- Follow steps 1 and 2 above

                You will still need to do the same thing and gather the same information.

Step 2- Gather other documents

When renewing in person, you may need other documents like a birth certificate, social security card, or driver’s license. Be sure to make a copy of the front and back of it. You can also call the facility you are planning to visit to find out for sure what exactly you will need.

Step 3- Go to passport facility

You can usually go to your local post office or you can find a different passport facility or agency. You will take all documents, forms, and fees to the facility you have chosen and they will take care of it and tell you anything else you need to know.

How to make changes or correct errors

Everyone is human, so you may have made some mistakes on your renewal form, received a passport with errors, or need to make a name change. If you have made a mistake or if for some reasons you receive a passport with errors and need to make a data change, this will not cost you any extra fees, but you will need to fill out a DS-5504 form. Be sure to do this as soon as possible. If you are submitting passport corrections that are more than ninety days old, you will need to provide a new passport photo as well. Having a name change corrected on your passport is a little more difficult because you will need so have legal documents as proof. For a name change, you will fill out the same DS-5504 form, but you will also need a passport photo that is less than six months old, proof of name changes like marriage license, divorce certificate, or court order, and a possible fee. There is no charge if you have gotten a passport within the last twelve months though.

Renewing passport outside the US

There may be times when it is necessary to renew outside of the United States. If you are a United States citizen living abroad (except those in Canada), then you will have to go to the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. You will not be able to mail anything in and must do everything in person. Although they have different procedures for submitting and processing the final documents, everything else like the fees, needed documents and forms, and finished products are the same. Expedited services are not offered to those living outside of the U.S., but the embassy or consulate can issue limited-validity passports in cases of emergencies. 

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