Stay Ready, Stay Adventurous: The Ultimate Passport Renewal Handbook

Passport Renewal Process

Planning a trip abroad? Renewing your passport is a must. Let’s break down who can renew and how to get it done.

Who Can Renew?

Not everyone can renew their passport. Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Your passport should be in good shape, issued within the last 15 years, and you must have been at least 16 when it was issued.
  2. Your name should match the one on your passport unless it changed due to marriage or a court order. You’ll need to provide documents to prove the change.
  3. Kids under 16 need a new application in person using Form DS-11.

For more details, check out our page on dual citizenship.

How to Renew

There are a few ways to renew your passport, but mailing it in is the main method. Here’s how:

By Mail

Follow these steps to renew by mail:

  1. Fill Out Form DS-82: This form is for those who meet the renewal criteria. You can’t submit it in person; it must be mailed.
  2. Send Your Old Passport: Include your most recent passport with your application. It might take up to 8 weeks to get it back after you receive your new one (Travel.State.Gov).
  3. Include a Photo: Attach a recent passport photo.
  4. Pay the Fee: Include the fee with your application. For details, see our section on passport renewal fees.
  5. Use Trackable Mail: Use a trackable delivery method. Don’t use UPS, FedEx, or DHL since the address is a PO Box.
1Fill Out Form DS-82
2Send Your Old Passport
3Include a Photo
4Pay the Fee
5Use Trackable Mail

Expedited Renewal

Need your passport fast? Expedited processing is available for urgent travel.

  • Expedited Processing: Takes 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Immediate Expedited Processing: For travel within 14 days (Travel.State.Gov).

For more info, visit our section on expedited service charges.

By knowing the criteria and methods, you can renew your passport smoothly. For more on international travel, check out our articles on passport ranking and citizenship by investment.

Timelines and Processing

Knowing the timelines for passport renewal helps you plan better. Here’s what to expect.

Standard Processing

If you’re not in a rush, standard processing is reliable. For applications after December 18, 2023, expect 6 to 8 weeks.

PeriodProcessing Time
After December 18, 20236 to 8 weeks
November 6, 2023 – December 17, 20237 to 10 weeks

Times can vary based on demand. Higher demand is usually from late winter to summer. For less busy times, apply from October to December.

Expedited Options

Need it sooner? Expedited options are available.

PeriodProcessing Time
After December 18, 20232 to 3 weeks
November 6, 2023 – December 17, 20233 to 5 weeks

For travel within 14 days, expedited processing at an agency is available. This requires an appointment.

Expedited service costs an extra $60, and 1-2 day delivery of the passport book costs $19.53. This fast delivery isn’t available for passport cards.

For more on fees, see our section on Passport Renewal Fees.

By knowing these times, you can plan your renewal and stay ready for your next trip. For more passport info, check out our articles on dual citizenshipmost powerful passport, and passport ranking.

Extra Tips

When renewing a passport, keep these tips in mind to avoid travel hiccups.

Travel Requirements

Some countries won’t let you in if your passport expires in less than six months. Renew it 6-9 months before it expires or before your trip.

CountryPassport Validity Requirement
China6 months beyond entry
Brazil6 months beyond entry
MexicoValid for stay
JapanValid for stay

For more on powerful passports and entry requirements, visit our pages on passport ranking and most powerful passport.

Name Changes and Corrections

If your name changed or there are errors on your passport, fix them during renewal. Common reasons include marriage, divorce, or legal name changes. Provide legal documents like a marriage certificate or court order.

Check your renewal status online or by phone if you need to change your name or correct your passport after renewal.

Correction TypeRequired Documentation
Name Change (Marriage)Marriage certificate
Name Change (Divorce)Divorce decree
Legal Name ChangeCourt order
Error CorrectionOriginal passport and documents

For more on dual citizenship or citizenship options, see our articles on dual citizenship and citizenship by investment.

By staying informed, you can avoid travel disruptions and enjoy a smooth trip.

Passport Renewal Fees

Knowing the costs helps you budget for your next adventure. Here’s the fee breakdown.

Fee Structure

Fees vary by service type. Here’s the standard fee breakdown:

Service TypeFee
Routine Passport Book Renewal$110
Routine Passport Card Renewal$30
Routine Passport Book & Card Renewal$140

These fees are for standard processing. For timelines, see our section on standard renewal processing.

Expedited Charges

Need it fast? Expedited services cost extra.

Expedited Service TypeAdditional Fee
Expedited Processing (5-7 weeks)$60
Expedited Delivery (1-2 days)$19.53
Emergency/Urgent Processing (2-9 days)Varies
Weekend or Holiday ServiceUp to $335 (source)

For expedited services, contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY).

For more on international travel and how it affects your renewal, see our section on international travel requirements. For info on multiple citizenships, check out our guide on dual citizenship.

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