Renewing a US Passport

There are many reasons why you may want to renew a passport: it’s expired, you have filled the passport book pages, your appearance has drastically changed or maybe you will be undertaking long-term travel. You don’t have to wait until your passport is expired for renewal and if you travel often it is smart to renew it before you HAVE to. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to renewing your passport while in the USA.

1. Figure out if you can renew via mail or must renew in person. Mail is easier 🙂

You can renew by mail using Form DS-82 if your most recent passport meets the following criteria (ALL FIVE).

  1. The passport can be submitted with your application
  2. The passport is undamaged (can have normal “wear and tear”)
  3. It was issued when you were age 16 or older
  4. It was issued within the last 15 years
  5. It was issued in your current name (or you can document your name change with an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order).

If all five criteria cannot be met, you must renew in person using a DS-11 form.

2. Download, print and complete the DS-82 form.

If you are renewing because you filled your passport pages, you may wish to request a larger passport book with 52 pages this time around. This is at no additional cost. Just check the ’52 page’ box at the top of the DS-82 form.

You must submit your most recent passport with your application and it WILL BE RETURNED to you.

If the name you are currently using is different from the name on your most recent U.S. passport, you must provide a certified copy of the legal name change document.

3. Get a quality passport photo taken.

Pictures must be 2″ x 2″ show your full face with a neutral expression (no smiling) and eyes open and be taken against a white background. Specific US Passport guidelines are here. Attach one photograph to the application by stapling the photo to the application. Use four staples vertically in the corners as close to the outer edges as possible and do not bend the photo.

4. Budget for your passport fee.

The renewal fee is $110 and can be paid with check or money orders payable to “U.S. Department of State” and included in the application packet. Print the full name and date of birth of the applicant on the front of the check or money order. Do not send cash.

5. Mail completed application INCLUDING your most recent passport.

Mail your application packet to one of the addresses below. Only the United States Postal Service (USPS) can deliver to a Post Office Box. I recommend using a trackable option.

If you live in CA, FL, IL, MN, NY, or TX:
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 640155
Irving, TX 75064-0155

If you live in any other state or Canada:
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

Expedited Service (additional fee applies):
Write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the mailing envelope.
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

7. Patiently wait for your passport.

The routine renewal time is 4-6 weeks and expedited process time is 2-3 weeks.


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