Renewing a Passport: What You Need to Know
Passport expiration dates sneak up on us. Just as you’re getting ready to travel internationally, you take a second look at your passport and realize it’s about to expire.
Don’t start rescheduling your flights just yet. Check out this simple guide to renewing a passport.
How to Renew a Passport
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you no longer have to hike down to the post office to renew your passport. Now you have several options:
1. By Mail
If your current passport is undamaged, was issued when you were at least 16 years old, is no older than 15 years old and you have no legal name changes, then you can renew by mail. If you cannot meet all of these requirements, then you will have to apply in person.
To start renewing a passport by mail, you will need to fill out Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail. Once filled out, you will need to mail it along with a copy of your marriage certificate or other name change documents, a passport photo, your passport book and the application fee (check or money order).
2. By App
Wouldn’t it be great to have someone else take care of your application? With the ItsEasy Passport Renewal App, you won’t have to lift a finger. This government-registered app is an approved agent and will handle your document delivery. You can also submit a photo through the app, which means no trips down to the drugstore or post office.
For a fee, you can submit your application along with any other documents and your passport photo. The app’s staffers will go over your documents to ensure everything is filed correctly then see that they’re delivered safely to the U.S. State Department for processing.
Renewing a Child’s Passport
The rules for renewing a child’s passport are a little different, and unfortunately, there’s no easy app for this. All minors have to apply for a passport at a post office or passport agency. When renewing, the child (under the age of 16) must be present, and both parents should be there as well. If you both cannot attend, there are parental consent forms that can be filled out. Minors must fill out the DS-11 application, and you will need to show evidence of their citizenship (usually a birth certificate or social security card). You and your spouse must also establish your relationship to the minor. If only one of you will be present when renewing a child’s passport, then you must fill out the parental consent forms.
Finally, don’t forget the 2”x2” passport photo and application fee, and you’re all set!
Remember, passports issued to minors are only good for five years, rather than 10. When renewing a child’s passport, make sure you look ahead.
In most cases, renewing a passport takes roughly six weeks, although it can be expedited for a fee. When planning a trip abroad, always plan ahead.
What other questions about renewing a passport do you have?