How to Renew a Passport
US passports for adults are valid for 10 years. However, plan on renewing your passport at least 9 months before it expires to allow for processing time. Additionally, you cannot travel to some countries unless your passport will remain valid for at least 6 months. You can easily renew your passport through the mail. However, if you need expedited service or have special circumstances, you may need to renew it in person.
Completing Your Renewal Application
Get your old passport.If your passport has expired, you can renew it provided it is undamaged and was issued within the last 15 years. If your current passport is older than that, or damaged beyond normal wear and tear, you'll have to complete a new application.
- You also cannot renew an older passport if it was issued before you were 16 years old.
- If your name is different from the name on your passport, you'll have to supply documentation of the name change. You may want to apply in person rather than submitting these documents through the mail.
Get new passport photos.When you renew your passport, you must submit updated passport photos that have been taken in the last 6 months. You may be able to save some money by doing it yourself, but typically it's easier to get it done by a professional.
- If you decide to take your photo yourself, go to and review the requirements. There is also a link on that page to a tool you can use to crop your photo to the right size.
- You can get your passport photo taken at many pharmacies and discount stores. It usually only costs a few dollars, and you can be assured that your photo will meet the State Department requirements.
Download the correct form.If you're renewing your passport by mail, you must complete form DS-82. If you need to apply in person to renew your passport, you'll need form DS-11. Both of these forms can be downloaded from the website of the U.S. State Department.
- Go to to access the forms. You have the option of filling the form out online and printing it off or downloading a PDF to print and fill out by hand.
- If you're filling out form DS-11 to apply in person, do not sign it until you get to the Regional Passport Agency.
Decide whether you want a passport book, passport card, or both.A passport card is only valid for land or sea travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean. All international air travel requires a passport book.
- If you're not sure which you'll need, go ahead and get the passport book, which is valid for all international travel by air, land, or sea.
Check processing time online.The most recent estimates for processing times are available at travel.state.gov. Processing times change seasonally, and it may take longer depending on when you plan to submit your application.
- Generally, you can expect to receive a new passport within 6 to 8 weeks if you use routine service, and 2 to 3 weeks if you use expedited service.
- If you have travel plans within the next 2 weeks, you can apply in person and get your new passport within 8 days.
Renewing through the Mail
Gather required supporting documents.To renew by mail, you need a completed Form DS-82, your old passport, and a recent passport photo. If your name has changed since your last passport, you'll also need certified copies of documents proving the name change, such as a marriage certificate or court order.
- If you're submitting name change documents, order a new certified copy from the state agency or court that issued the document, if possible. While your documents will be returned, it's a good idea not to send your only copy just in case you need it in the meantime.
Include a check or money order for fees.Payment for passport fees must be included with your application, or your application will not be processed. As of 2019, these fees are 0 for a passport book, for a passport card, or 0 for both.
- Make your check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of State." Print your full name and date of birth on the memo line.
- If you want expedited processing, you must pay an additional fee. This must be a separate check and will be made payable to the acceptance facility where you mail your application.
- Check updated fees on the State Department website at to make sure you have the right amount.
Put your application and documents in a large envelope.The envelope you choose to mail your documents should be large enough that your application and all other documents will fit without having to fold any of them.
- Do not use staples or paperclips to attach any of your documents or application pages together.
Mail your paperwork using USPS.There are 3 different addresses you can use to mail your application, depending on where you live and whether you want expedited service. You must use USPS, which is the only carrier that delivers to post office boxes. Use a trackable delivery method so you know when your documents are delivered.
- If you live in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, or Texas and want routine service, mail your paperwork to National Passport Processing Center, Post Office Box 640155, Irving, TX 75064-0155.
- If you live in any other state or Canada and want routine service, mail your paperwork to National Passport Processing Center, Post Office Box 90155, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155.
- For expedited service, mail your paperwork to National Passport Processing Center, Post Office Box 90955, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155. Write "EXPEDITE" on the outside of the envelope before mailing it.
Check the status of your application online.Wait 7 to 10 days after you mail your application, or until you receive notification that it has been delivered. Then go online to to check the status.
- You will need to enter your last name, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number to bring up your account.
Receive your new passport.If you chose routine service, your new passport should arrive in the mail within 6 to 8 weeks of the date it was received. For expedited service, you'll get your new passport in the mail within 2 to 3 weeks.
- Your old passport book or card will be returned to you. However, it is typically mailed separately from your new passport book or card.
Applying for Renewal in Person
Make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency.Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to make an appointment to apply for renewal in person. This is an automated system that is available 24 hours a day.
- The system will automatically provide you appointment options for the Regional Passport Agency nearest you.
- You can also use the online appointment system for Passport Services by visiting .
Gather the required documents.In-person renewal is only available to those who would not receive their passport through the mail soon enough to travel. For this reason, you'll need proof of immediate travel, such as airline confirmation. You'll also need your most recent passport, a completed passport application form, passport photos, and passport fees.
- If your name has changed since your last passport, you'll need documentation of the name change, such as a certified copy of a marriage certificate or a divorce decree. These documents will be returned to you after they're reviewed.
- If your old passport is lost or damaged, you must also provide proof of US citizenship. Typically you'll bring a US birth certificate, or a Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship.
- You must also provide government-issued ID. This usually will be your old passport, but if you don't have your old passport or if it is damaged, you can use a US driver's license or government-issued ID card, government employee ID, or US military ID.
Make a photocopy of your ID and citizenship evidence.Make a copy of the front and back of your ID and the document you're providing for proof of citizenship, if you don't have your old passport. Your originals will be returned to you, but the photocopy will be kept.
- Your photocopy must be on standard white paper and it cannot be double-sided. You can enlarge document images if you want, but don't decrease the size.
- If you don't want to make a photocopy of your documents, you can also get a second certified copy. This second copy will not be returned.
Get a check or money order for your fees.As of 2019, fees are 0 for a passport book, for a passport card, or 0 for both. In addition, if you are applying in person you also must pay a acceptance fee. These fees must be paid separately. One goes to the U.S. State Department, the other to the Regional Passport Agency.
- If you need your passport within 8 days due to an emergency or scheduled travel within the next 2 weeks, you'll have to pay an additional fee of .
- You may want to contact the Regional Passport Agency and find out what methods of payment are accepted. While all of them accept checks or money orders, some may also accept major credit or debit cards.
Submit your application and evidence at your appointment.At the time of your appointment, go to the Regional Passport Agency with your application, supporting documents, and fee payment. Staff will review your documents to make sure they are in order, and witness your signature on your application.
- Your original documents will be returned to you, and you'll receive a receipt. Keep the receipt for your records.
Return to the Passport Agency to get your new passport.You will receive an email notification when your passport is ready to pick up. You can go to the Passport Agency and get it if you need it immediately, or you can have it mailed to you.
- If you get your passport mailed to you, it may take another 5 to 10 days from the date of your notification for you to receive it.
QuestionHow much does it cost to get a passport?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on what country you are in. Find out who issues your passport, and look up the costs and fees on their website.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the current fee for passport renewal?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on your state/country. Try looking up passport info for your country. It should have the info for a renewal there.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use a passport that will expire a month after my trip?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. A passport must be valid for 3 or 6 months (depending what country you are traveling to) after your return date! You never see this mentioned in the government literature. Speaking from personal experience, you only find out when you're at the airport about to board your plane!Thanks!
QuestionMy passport expired 17 years ago. Can I renew, or do I need a second passport?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou likely need to renew. Information is usually available on your country's embassy's website.Thanks!
QuestionHow much is the additional fee for expedited passport renewal?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis really depends on what country you are in. Check online for the correct information for your particular country.Thanks!
Can I get a passport picture taken at the passport office?
Does the renewal date begin the day the old one expires if the old one is still good for several more months?
Can I use only 1 mailing envelope for me and my spouse? Can I use only 1 check
How do I renew a passport for a minor?
My son was a minor but is now over 18 how do we renew?
To renew your passport, start by visiting www.travel.state.gov and completing form DS-82 that's found on the website. Then, have a new passport photo taken and write a check for 0 to pay the passport renewal fee. Next, mail your form, photo, check, and old passport to one of the National Passport Processing Centers, where your new passport will be processed and mailed out.
- If you're renewing a passport for a child, both parents and the child must be present. Minors' passports are only valid for 5 years from the date of issuance. You must bring proof of your relationship to the child (such as a birth certificate with your name on it as a parent).
- If you're currently outside the US and need to renew your passport, contact the nearest US embassy or consulate for assistance.
Video: Renewing of U.S. Passport at the Post Office
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