Unfortunately, you are only eligible for a passport renewal if you still have your old passport. Losing a passport is no fun to begin with, but just in case you needed an extra incentive to hang on to yours, let’s take a look at how much harder it is to replace a lost passport instead of getting a passport renewal.
Applying in Person
In many cases, you can apply for a passport renewal by mail. However, if you’ve lost your passport, you have to apply for a replacement in person at a passport acceptance facility. Acceptance facilities are often located in post offices, libraries and municipal buildings. To find the one closest to you, you can either call around or just plug your zip code into the Department of State’s website.
Replacing a lost passport also requires more documents than a simple renewal. When you renew, your old passport serves as both proof of identity and proof of citizenship, verifying to the Department of State that you are who you say you are and you are eligible for a US passport. However, when you replace a lost passport, you’ll need to provide proof of identity, like a driver’s license or state ID card, and proof of citizenship, like a certified copy of your birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
To apply for a renewal, you only need to fill out one form, Form DS-82. To get a replacement for a lost passport, however, you’ll need to fill out both new passport application form DS-11 and form DS-64, explaining the circumstances in which your old one was lost or stolen.
Since you have to apply to replace a lost passport in person, you’ll also end up paying more for the privilege.
That’s because when you apply in person, you have to pay an acceptance fee in addition to the application fee. While the application fee goes to the Department of State, the acceptance fee goes to the facility that accepts your application.
One thing that remains the same with both procedures is the length of time it takes to get your new document in the mail. Regular service takes at least 6 weeks, while expedited service takes 3 weeks door-to-door. So, whether you are replacing a lost passport or applying for a US passport renewal, make sure you do so well in advance!
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.