Renewing Your U.S. Passport

It is that time! The time to renew my most important travel document, my passport. I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I have renewed my passport. Now, technically doesn’t expiring until October 2017. But I am planning a trip overseas in May 2017 and my passport won’t have the 6 month validity so I figured now would be a good time to renew.

To renew, I will be renewing by mail as it is the easiest and the least time consuming of all the options.

But before you renew by mail, check if you can use the Form DS-82 (Passport renewal form):

  1. I can submit my most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card with this application.
  2. I was at least 16 years old when my most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card was issued.
  3. I was issued my most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card that I am renewing has not been lost, stolen, mutilated, or damaged.
  4. My U.S. passport has not been limited from the normal ten year validity period due to passport damage/mutilation, multiple passport thefts/losses, or non-compliance with 22 C.F.R. 51.41 (Please refer to the back pages of your U.S. passport book for endorsement information.)
  5. I use the same name as on my recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card OR I have have my name changed by marriage or court order and can submit proper documentation to reflect my name change.

If you answered NO to any of the statements above, unfortunately you can’t use the form. You need to apply in person using the form DS-11 at a Passport Acceptance Facility (post office, clerk or court, etc). If you traveling within 2 weeks and forgot that your passport is expired or about to expire, you will need to apply in person at a Department of State Passport Agency. Do note that you will need to pay the expedite fee when applying at a passport agency. The expedited service fee is $60.

If you are renewing in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility or mail, checks (personal, certified, cashier’s, traveler’s) and money orders payable to “U.S. Department of State” are the only accepted forms of payment. But of course the best way to know is the confirm with the acceptance facility ahead of time.

If you are applying at a Passport Agency, you can use your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Debit Cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo); checks (personal, certified, cashier’s, traveler’s) made payable to “U.S Department of State”; money orders payable to “U.S Department of State” and pre-paid credit cards or gift cards displaying Visa or MasterCard logo are accepted.

If you are overseas and need to renew your passport, please visit the U.S. Passports & International Travels’ page for instructions on how to renew.

I am able to use DS-82 form so I filled out all the information online and printed it. Note that applications cannot be submitted online (hence the renewal by mail option). This morning, I headed to my local post office and sent in my application with my current passport, color photograph and a check for $140. The clerk mentioned that all passport applications need to be sent via certified mail so I paid an additional $3.30 for that service, which included a tracking number. I was advised that I would receive my new passport in 4 to 6 weeks since I didn’t expedite my request.

Have you recently renewed your passport? If so, how was the process and how long did it take for you to receive your new passport?

Until next time!

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