How to Renew a Passport

Do you need to renew a passport? If you’re planning your next trip abroad and your current passport will expire before you leave or while you’re away, you will need to get a new one prior to your departure. Some countries require that your passport be valid for six months before you travel, so it’s always best to renew your passport long before you are scheduled to travel.

If planning in advance isn’t possible, you can always get a professional expediter like “easy service” to renew your passport for you. When you work with a passport expediting service, you can usually get your passport in as little as 24 hours if necessary. Regardless of whether you choose to handle the process yourself or work with a professional expediter to apply on your behalf, here’s what you need to know about U.S. passport renewals.

Are You Eligible to Renew a Passport By Mail?

In many cases, if you have been issued a passport previously, you will be able to renew your passport by mail, rather than having to apply in person like you did when you got your first passport.

You are eligible to renew your passport by mail if:

  • Your current passport is not damaged and you can submit it with your application
  • Your current passport was issued when you were 16 or older
  • You got your current passport less than 15 years ago
  • The name on your passport matches your current name or you can legally document your name change
  • In some circumstances, you will not be permitted to renew a passport by mail. You must renew your passport in person if:

  • Your most recent passport was lost, stolen or damaged
  • Your current passport was issued when you were under the age of 16
  • Your current passport is more than 15 years old
  • Your name has changed since your last passport was issued and you can’t legally document your name change.
  • How to Renew Your Passport By Mail

    If you are a U.S. citizen currently living in the United States or Canada, submit the following items to renew your passport by mail:

  • Completed Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail. Be sure to sign and date it.
  • Your current passport
  • Passport Photo
  • Passport Fees
  • Legal documentation of your name change (if applicable)
  • The U.S. government recommends mailing your application materials using a traceable delivery method to prevent your documents from getting lost when you renew a passport.

    If you are a U.S. citizen living outside of the United States or Canada, you should go to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to renew your passport.

    Renewing Your Passport in Person

    If you are not eligible to renew your passport by mail, you must apply in person at a passport acceptance facility or passport agency. You will be required to provide the following information when you apply: Form DS-11, evidence of U.S. citizenship, a valid form of identification, a photocopy of the front and back of your identification, the applicable fees and a recent color photograph.

    When Will I Get My Passport?

    Regardless of whether you apply by mail or in person to renew a passport, you can expect to receive your renewed passport within four to six weeks of submitting your application if you choose routine processing and two to three weeks if you choose expedited processing through the U.S. government. However, it could take longer to receive your passport if you try to renew it when there is already a high volume of applications that need to be processed. When you renew a passport, your expired passport will be returned to you, either with your new one or in a separate mailing. You should keep your expired passport in a safe place because it can be used to prove you are U.S. citizen.

    Professional Passport Expediting

    If you need to renew a passport in a hurry and can’t afford to wait the two to six weeks it will take if you mail in your application, you can get a passport expediting service like “easy service” to renew your passport on your behalf. Simply overnight your completed Form DS-82, your current passport, a recent photo, the applicable fees and documentation of your name change (if applicable) to the expediter, and they will work with the U.S. Passport Agency to renew a passport on your behalf. When your passport is issued, the expediter will pick it up from the Passport Agency and overnight it to you or you can pick it up from their office. When you work with a passport expediter, you don’t have to worry that you won’t get your passport in time for your trip.

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