What Is Needed to Renew a Passport?

By Rianne Hill Soriano
Renew your passport in person, via mail or through a third-party agency.

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Passport renewal may be done through mail, in person or requested through a third party such as a passport or travel agency or through the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for those who are outside the United States. It is best to renew the passport about six months before its expiration, especially when intending to travel for a couple of months. It is also important to renew the passport ahead of time, ideally a few weeks to two months before intended departure, to give time allowance for processing, possible delays and delivery of the new passport.

Passport Renewal Application Form

The U.S. Passport Renewal Government Application Form, also referred to as DS-82, must be filled out online or in person. This form is also available at many public libraries and local post offices. It should be signed and attached to the rest of the passport renewal requirements, then submitted accordingly based on the mode of submission chosen, whether directly renewing via the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Postal Office or through a third party company’s passport renewal or expediting service.

Most Recent U.S. Passport

You must submit your current passport, whether expired or not, as part of the primary requirements for passport renewal. However, if the said passport has been lost, stolen, mutilated, altered or damaged in any way, if your latest passport was issued before you were 16 years old or was issued beyond the last 15 years, or if you are unable to document your legal change of name, you must submit additional documents as proof of your identity and U.S. citizenship. In such case, you should apply in person and your application is not considered as renewal but as an application for a new passport. Additional documents to submit for new passport application include certified birth certificate, naturalization certificate, consular report of birth abroad or certificate of birth on file and other pertinent documents supporting the claim of U.S. citizenship.

Passport Photos

You need two identical, color and professionally taken passport-size photos (2 inches by 2 inches) for the passport renewal. These photos must be taken within the past six months, and it should clearly show a front view of your full face, taken without hat or dark glasses and shot over a white background. The photos should also be printed on photo paper.

Fees

Prior to passing all documentary requirements, you must pay the passport renewal fees and any additional fee in relation to your request. You may incur additional expenses when requesting for an expedited passport and if you processed your application through a third-party company, which may also charge service fees. Generally, the fees can be paid via personal check (except temporary or starter checks), business check, money order or credit or debit card. The application fee is non-refundable, regardless of issuance or non-issuance of passport. As of April 2011, the renewal of an adult passport book costs $110. An additional $60 is required for expedited service. Overnight delivery request of an expedited passport requires an additional $12.72. Service fees for passport agencies require the following estimated amounts: rush processing for three days to 1 and a half weeks for about $100, rush two-day processing for about $180 and same day/next day processing for about $200. Exact amounts vary per company.

About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.