How to Get a Passport Renewal

Applying for a passport renewal can seem like a daunting task. However, there is nothing to worry about if you follow these steps for the perfect application.

Are You Eligible for a Passport Renewal?

Not everyone may be eligible to apply for a passport renewal. It is essential to know if you qualify because if you don’t, you will have different forms and requirements. 
You must have your passport in your possession to submit your application.

  1.  If you do not have a passport to provide, you must report it damaged, lost, or stolen. You may then apply in person
  2. Your passport must be undamaged, except for regular wear and tear.
    1. For example, some discoloration or lose threads on the cover are fine, but a passport that has been put through a washer or dryer is going to be too damaged to be renewed.
  3. Your passport must have been issued at the age of 16 or older. If you are under the age of 16, you must apply for a new passport. 
    1. This means that if the passport book you possess is a 5-year passport (valid for 5 years from the date it was issued) you are not eligible for a renewal process.

4.The passport must have been issued less than 15 years ago.

A. Another way of putting it would be that you can’t renew a passport once it’s expired for more than 5 years.

5. It was issued in your current name or you can provide documents to affirm the name change.

If you meet all of these requirements, congratulations! You are eligible for a passport renewal.

Applying for a Passport Renewal

Post offices are the only way to renew a passport because you cannot apply for a passport renewal at a courthouse. You should make an appointment either through their website or at a self-help kiosk. Remember that you may not be able to get an appointment right away because post offices receive a high volume of applications. Keep this in mind when planning a time-sensitive trip. 

Fill Out Form DS-82

For a passport renewal, you must apply using Form DS-82. There is an online form filler that can be found on the U.S Department of State’s website.

Once the form is fully filled out, print the form, and sign it. 

Prepare Your Application Documents  

  1. You need to find your old passport, as it will need to be sent in with your application
  2. Include name change documents if needed like a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or legal name change document. 
  3. Calculate your fees. You can calculate your fees here. You must pay with a check or money order. It cannot be a business or third-party check. The check must be written out to the “U.S Department of State”.

Take a Passport Photo 

You must submit a passport photo that meets these requirements:

  • Your photo must have been taken 6 months or less from the time you submit 
  • The dimensions of your passport photo must be in a 2”X2” format
  • Must be printed on glossy or matt paper
  • The photo must be printed in color 
  • You must take your photo in front of a plain, white, or off-white background
  • The photo may not be digitally altered

You should also make sure you avoid obstructing your facial features, like wearing glasses. Lighting and shadows play a big part in this. You can get your passport photo taken at a CVS, Walgreens, post office, or major grocer. 

You should staple the photo to the application by using 4 staples, vertically in the corners. Make sure to try and get the staples as close to the outer edges as possible. 

Sending in your Application

Now that you have all of your documents, you must put them in an envelope that will fill all of the documents without folding or creasing them. You should set the address to the location of your state. 

Applying Online

To apply for an online passport renewal, visit Travel.State.Gov and click on the U.S Passport tab. Find “Already Have a Passport”, which will take you directly to the Pilot Passport page. You must follow the steps on the page to activate our account. 

It takes about four hours for your account to be approved and activated after you have followed the steps. Once your account is approved and therefore activated, the “Renew my Passport option will become available to you.

What are the Requirements?

1. You must have a valid passport that is/has been valid for 10 years

Why: Those who have a five-year passport are not eligible to apply online. Five-year passports are not eligible because they are only issued to children, and children must apply using the DS11, which allows them to receive a new passport, not a passport renewal.

2. You must be 25 years or older to apply

Why: Most passport applicants receive their first adult passport at age sixteen, and the U.S Department of State wants to disincentivize younger applicants, from applying when their passports have not yet come close to expiring.

3. You are not changing your name, date of birth, gender, or place of birth

Why: A change of personal information requires the applicant to mail in supplemental materials such as a marriage license for a name change, court documents, and sometimes doctor’s notes. This defeats the purpose of a fully online process.

4. You are not traveling internationally within six weeks of your application date

Why: The processing time for a passport application can take anywhere from seven to ten weeks. Unless you are applying for an expedited passport, which sits the waiting time at about four to six weeks.

5. You must live in the United States, or a U.S Territory

Why: the U.S department of state only mails domestically. If you live outside of the United States, you can apply for a passport at an Embassy or consulate.

6. You must have your current passport in your possession, it cannot be frayed, damaged, or reported lost or stolen.

Why: In the mail-in process, you are supposed to send in damaged passports for review. From there the U.S Department of State decides whether you are eligible for a ten-year passport, or instead, they will choose to offer you a temporary one-year passport. Because this application is supposed to be fully online, avoiding these applicants are most favorable.

7. You are applying for a regular tourist passport

Why: Diplomatic, Service, or Official passports are not able to be applied for normally, through the U.S Department of State.

8. You can pay using a credit/debit card

Why: mail-in passport renewals require a check or money order to be sent in. This online process of using a credit/debit card avoids having to send money through the mail system. Paying online makes this process quicker, but also relieves the stress of an applicant’s money being lost or stolen.

Applying for an Expedited Passport

Passport processing time can land you in a 6-10 week waiting room. Maybe you are traveling soon and can’t wait months to receive your passport. Consider applying for an expedited passport with a private courier. 

Private couriers, like The Passport Office, can get you an expedited passport in as little as 3 days!

Apply with The Passport Office today and your passport renewal Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Hollywood.

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