A passport renewal is needed for U.S. passport holders who have passports that will expire within the next 6-7 months or passports that are already expired. For expired passports, an allotted 5 years is given for renewal without them having to go through a new passport application procedure. A new rule is most countries now require at least 6 months of passport validity beyond your intended stay inside the country.
Answers to frequently asked questions with regards to passport renewal such as validity, documents required and a step-by-step guideline can be found below.
Passport Renewal Eligibility
A passport can be renewed for the following reasons:
- A passport is near its expiration or has expired in the last 5 years
- A passport is already running low on blank visa pages
- When the passport holder has changed name legally and has had the passport issued for more than a year
- A passport has obvious and unpleasant signs of usage (curling of pages or torn edges)
- The passport holder has dramatic changes in personal appearance such as weight loss
Passports should always be in personal possession, in good condition and must have been issued when the holder was 16 years of age or older.
Procedure for Renewing a Passport
- Prepare and present all requirements when renewing a US passport:
- Current US passport
- Passport Renewal Application Form (DS-82), completely filled out at https://pptform.state.gov/and printed.
- One passport photo
- Front and back photocopy of driver’s license or any state-issued ID
- Proof of travel plans (for expedite new passport application)
- For those who had their name changed legally since the last issuance of passport, a proof must be presented
- Renewal fee– Check for $110 ($170 if you need expedited passport renewal) made payable to “US Department of State.”
- You can opt to apply for renewal in one of three ways:
- Via Mail – the National Passport Center can process a passport renewal if you send them your passport through mail
- Via Passport Agency – for rush passport renewal, US Passport Agencies can be found throughout the major cities in the US, they can process your application on-site
- Via Passport Expediting Companies – for expedited or rush passport renewal services, these companies can personally process your application in a Passport agency in your behalf as long as you send your documents to a reputable passport expediting company
How Long Does it Take to Renew a Passport?
Just like a new passport application, a regular passport renewal can take up to 8 weeks by mail. For expedited passport renewals by mail, it can take as short as 2-3 weeks with an additional $60 government fee
For faster passport renewal application, you can personally process it at a Passport agency; you can set an appointment by calling National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 and chose among the 26 Passport Agencies nationwide. You can also take advantage of Passport expediting companies and be able to renew your passport conveniently without having to show up and get your passport as fast as 24 hours.
What Happens to My Prior Passport?
Once your passport is in the process of passport renewal. The U.S. Department of State will cancel your prior passport. This is noted by them putting a hole punch through the entire passport book. They will send back the old canceled passport along with the new updated passport. The newly renewed passport will have a new passport number. Should you have any current active visas in your old passport book they will still be valid. When traveling to the country you can bring both passport books with you or you have an option to apply for a new visa and have an entry stamp updated.