Diffterent forms of identification. pictured are three social security cards on top of a birth certificate covered by two american passports.

There are two main passport applications you should be aware of. The first type of passport application is the First time or New passport. The second type of application is for a passport renewal. How do you know which one to apply for? This blog will help you determine which passport application you should use. We also provide tips and checklists to help you with your application process. 

New Passport applications VS Passport Renewal Applications. What’s the Difference? 

The main difference between a new passport VS a passport renewal application is the verification of your identity. When applying for a New passport, you must apply in person at a passport acceptance facility. A passport acceptance facility is usually a courthouse, Clerk of Court, library, or other municipal and government buildings. 

Why do those applying for a new passport need to apply in person? A  passport agent must verify your identity and supplemental materials in person. Those applying for a passport renewal will usually apply by mail because their identity was previously verified when they received their first passport. 

When Should You Apply for a New Passport?

  • If you are applying for your first U.S. passport
  • You are a Minor under the age of 16
  • Your current U.S. passport was issued when you were under the age of 16
  • There is significant damage to your current U.S. passport.
  • If someone stole, or if you lost your U.S. Passport
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago

If you meet at least one of these requirements, you will apply using a New Passport application, Form DS-11. Remember, you can still apply for a New Passport if you have had a passport. Still, a child’s passport will always use the same Form, DS-11. If you need a passport because you have changed your name but need the supporting documents, you will apply using the New Passport Application. 

When Should You Apply for a Passport Renewal?

To apply for a passport renewal, you must meet the following requirements. If you do not meet them, you will apply for a new passport using form DS-11. Today we will be going over the requirements for passport renewal by mail. If you want to know how to get an online passport renewal, read our blog, How to Renew your Passport Online, for more information.

  • You have your passport and can submit it with your application.
  • Your current passport is undamaged except for regular wear and tear.
  • If your last passport was issued when you were above 16.
  • The passport has not expired for five years or more.
  • Your current passport was issued to you in your current name, or you have name change documents to prove your name change.

If you meet all of the requirements listed above, you will apply using a Passport Renewal Application, Form DS-82.

How to Apply for a New Passport

Now that you know you need to apply for a new passport, there are some documents and items you will need to gather. We have put a checklist together for you. 

Provide the following for a New Passport Application:

  • You must apply in person with all of your documents and required items at a passport acceptance facility
  • Complete and print Form DS-11 ( Do not sign the application until told to do so by a passport agent) .
  • Provide an original, certified copy of your proof of U.S. Citizenship ( old passports, Birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, or citizenship, etc,.) 
  • A photocopy of the U.S. Citizen evidence
  • Present photo ID ( click for a list of all acceptable ID’s )
  • A photocopy of photo ID
  • Provide a passport photo ( read, Tips for a Great Passport Photo, for requirements)
  • Pay the State Department fee of $130, and passport acceptance facility fee of $35 with a check or money order written out to the “US Department of State.”

How to Apply for a Passport Renewal

If you’re applying using  Passport Renewal Application Form DS-82, lucky you. Applying is easy! Remember, you do not have to apply in person if you renew your passport by mail. You will submit all your documents and required items using a USPS post office. You can find a post office near you using the USPS Post Office Locator.  If you are applying for a passport renewal, here is your checklist of what is required of you:

  • Print, complete, and sign Form DS-82
  • Provide your previous or current U.S. Passport
  • Include any name change documents (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order)
  • Staple a new passport photo to your application 
  • Pay the State Department fee of $130 with a check or money order written to the “US Department of State”
  • Find envelope big enough to fit all items securely, without creasing or damaging them
  • Mail your application using the USPS. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Passport?

It typically takes about 6-10 weeks from the day your application was received to get your passport. However, the State Department offers an expedited service for an extra fee. The state department will expedite your passport application for about 3-6 weeks. If you need your passport rushed, apply with a private courier like us, The Passport Office

The Passport Office is a trusted American passport agency. We can get you your new passport in 3 days! How? Companies like the passport office have contracts with the State Department to submit passport applications that need expediting. Our services include New Passport, passport renewal, child passport, name change services, and more!

We have plenty of offices for your convenience. If you need your passport fast, you can book an appointment for a passport in Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Hollywood, or Tampa. You can call, apply online, or walk into one of our locations for expedited passport needs!

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