No one likes paperwork, especially paperwork that might cause you issues if you make a mistake on it. Passport applications are exactly this kind of paperwork. A single mistake on the application could delay your passport weeks, even for US passport renewals. If you’re not traveling anytime soon, this isn’t an issue, but if you’re applying for an expedited passport renewal, you will want to ensure that the application is perfect.
The application in question is called a DS-82 form and is specific to those applying for a US passport renewal. New passport applications must be submitted using a DS-11, but that’s an entirely different can of worms. Today we’ll be discussing the DS-82 passport application form and what you need to do to fill it out without making a single mistake.
Where to Start
Before you can start filling out the DS-11, you’ll need to get a hold of the application itself. Shocker, we know. You can find the passport application available for download online (LINK HERE)…these are typically PDFs that can be filled out either using a PDF editor or by printing out the application and filling it out by hand. HOWEVER, while this is an option, it is not recommended that individuals applying for an expedited passport renewal fill out the form in this way. We highly recommend using the US Department of State’s online form filler located here.
When you fill out the DS-82 passport application using the online form filler you are granted a variety of benefits. For one, since it’s not filled out by hand or using a PDF editor, you can be safe in assuming that the font meets the legibility standards of the US Department of State. Additionally, the form will catch any general mistakes you may make and won’t allow you to complete the application until these errors are corrected. Let’s take an in-depth look at the online form filler and its’ quirks.
Using the USDS Online Form Filler
To get started select “Submit” where it says “Complete Online and Print.” This will take you to the passport application itself; at this point the form isn’t a DS-82 or DS-11. Once you get to the section titled “Your Most Recent Passport” make sure you select the option that applies to you. If you don’t have a passport, then the form will become a DS-11 application (see you in another guide). If you have a passport book, card, or both and they haven’t been expired for more than five years, the form will become a DS-82. Make sure to enter the issue date of your passport book or card correctly as entering in a random date may alter the form that is generated. The DS-82 is specific to US passport renewal. If you are receiving a DS-11 form instead you may have entered something in wrong so go back and double-check to be sure!
Let it be known that if you have both a book and card but were only interested in renewing one, you still must submit the other. Once you’ve moved past this page, you’ll be prompted as to whether or not your name has changed since your passport was issued. At this point, you should select ‘yes’ if you are doing a name change. You should also go back and check to make sure that the name you entered on the first page is indeed your current name. Select the appropriate reason for name change, then select continue.
After you review your US passport renewal application and correct any mistakes you might spot, hit “Continue” again. Select what services you would like and make sure that you select the right box. If you go past this point having selected the wrong option, you’ll either have to pay for the services selected when you mail in your passport application or fill out the form all over again. Note that this website cannot charge you but is giving you a quote on government fees for the selected service. Select your service and “expedited at agency,” select ‘standard delivery’ and hit next. Typically, those who apply for a US passport renewal will have the passport delivered via USPS. Since you’ll be getting an expedited passport renewal, the delivery will be handled by a third party. Scroll down, click on the checkbox, and print your passport application. That’s it, done with the form filler!
Accessorizing Your Passport Application
Now that you’ve completed the application, you’ll have to sign and date it on the first page. Make sure one last time that all the information printed is correct and that there is a barcode in the upper left hand corner. This barcode is important as it allows USDS agents to quickly scan applications into the computer, rather than manually transcribing the application. US passport renewals being submitted as expedited passport renewals that do not have a barcode may be suspended or delayed. After you’ve signed your name and insured everything on the application is correct, it’s time to accessorize.
Getting a passport photo is kind of like getting a mugshot: no one ever smiles in them, everyone looks tired and well, you get the idea. You’ve had to have taken photos when you originally applied, but if you’ve never processed an expedited passport renewal you’re probably not familiar with stapling the photos to the passport application. For all US passport renewal applications, the applicant must self affix the photo onto the DS-82 application. It’s pretty simple, first you’ll need to take the photos. We recommend getting them done at a local specialist like CVS, Walgreens, or Target, which all offer passport application photos. If you’re working with us, we here at The Passport Office can take the photos for you as well.
If you decide to take the photo yourself, make sure that you take it on a white background, and that you print it out on 2×2 glossy paper. The photo you use must have been taken within the last six months to be used. You cannot use a photo from a previous passport application. Place the photo in the 2×2 box provided and staple vertically along it’s four corners as is indicated by the box.
Check or Money Order
You’ll need a check when applying for your expedited passport renewal. A money order or cashiers check is also sufficient. You cannot pay with cash or card. The check should be made out for either $170 if you are applying for a passport book renewal, $90 for a passport card renewal, or $200 if you are doing both. Make the check or money order payable to “US Department of State.” If you are paying with a check, when you write out the amount make sure the and comes after ‘seventy’ if you are getting just the book.
That means it should be:
One Hundred Seventy and 00
One Hundred and Seventy 00
The US Department of State will not accept checks with the latter written out as they consider everything after the ‘and’ to be cents. You can find an example check below.
This example doesn’t have a name or address, make sure that yours does. The address need not match the address on your application or on your ID, something simply needs to be there. This means starter checks are not acceptable. If you’d like to do this without having to think about it too hard, I’d recommend getting a money order, as they are much more straightforward. Simply pay for one, fill out pay to, sign, date, done.
Letter of Authorization
In this example we’ve been applying for an expedited passport renewal under the assumption that you’re doing this through a private service (kinda like us). As such, you’ll need to attach a letter of authorization to the DS-82 application. If you are applying for a standard US passport renewal, you can skip this step. A letter of authorization is something that private expediters provide to you when you submit a passport application using their service. Below is an example of one of our own letters of authorization.
As you can see in this image, the first two boxes must be checked. Make sure your name is written last, first, middle. Your phone number should match the one on your DS-82 passport application and the date should be the same as the one provided when you dated your DS-82. Courier company name is typically listed at the top of the page, simply copy what is printed their into the space provided. Before signing make sure there are no errors present. If there are errors, acquire another form and fill it out again, you cannot scratch out mistakes to correct them. If the form has any visible marks that hint at alteration, the form will be thrown out and your expedited passport renewal application will be suspended.
If you are doing a name change, you’ll also need to provide an original copy of the document that declares your name change. This can either be a court order or a marriage certificate. The one you provide should match the option you selected on the passport application itself. Keep the document you’ll be submitting for your name change behind the final page of the DS-82 passport application.
Bringing Your Expedited Passport Renewal Together
Once you’ve completed all of the above, place the check or money order face up on the center top of the first page of the application. Open your passport book to the last page and place the inside of the back of the book under the DS-11 passport application with the letter of authorization near center top so that it’s opposite to the check. Once everything is centered, staple the stack of documents so that everything is stapled together. The stack should include all documents related to the expedited passport renewal process. If a document is missing, remove the staples and then reapply them after the document has been added to the stack. With that, you’re done!
You just need to mail in your passport application so that your expedited passport renewal can be processed! When people usually apply for a US passport renewal, you can ship directly to the US Department of State via USPS. Since you’re trying to expedite this, you’ll ship to the private expediter directly so they can process the expedited passport renewal on your behalf.
If you want to apply for an expedited passport renewal but don’t know who to turn to, we’ve got you covered. We at The Passport Office have been helping travelers expedite their passport applications since 1993. Whether you’ve never had a passport before or you’re a frequent flyer, we make the process easy. If you’ve already received your expedited passport renewal and would like to apply for an expedited visa, we can help with that as well. Check us out over at Visa Service Department.