Michigan has lots of cool features that make it unique among the states. For example, Michigan has some 65,000 inland waterways and ponds, as well as the nation’s longest freshwater coastline. But when it comes to passport renewal, Michigan residents must follow the same federal rules as passport holders in the other 49 states.
The good news is that it is much easier to renew a passport than it is to get the original. The bad news is that it can take longer than one might think, and renewal online is not possible.
When to Renew a Passport
Nothing lasts forever, not even a passport from the United States government. It's a little disappointing, after spending all that time collecting the requisite documents, filling out the application, and paying the required fees to find that the new passport is only valid for a decade. And a child's passport for a minor under the age of 16 lasts only for five years.
When the life of the passport has run out, the document is no longer valid and cannot be used to travel. But it's a good idea for international travelers to act well before their expiration date because many countries require six or more months of validity to accept a visitor with a U.S. passport.
How to Renew a Passport in Michigan
The state of Michigan has no say in the requisite procedure for U.S. passport renewal. The United States Department of State issues American passports, and they set the rules for what is needed and how renewal can be accomplished.
Though one might hope to hop on the State Department website to submit an online passport renewal application, this is not an option. However, unlike the procedure to obtain a first passport, renewals do not necessarily require an in-person visit to the passport office. Rather, mailing in the application is possible in many cases.
Ways to Apply for Renewal
It is possible to renew a U.S. passport by mail in Michigan (and any other state) if all of these things are true:
- The individual has their passport; it has not been lost or stolen.
- The passport is in reasonably good shape with only damage from normal wear and tear.
- The individual was at least 16 years old when they received their passport.
- The passport was issued within the last 15 years.
- The passport was issued in the individual's current name or the passport is issued in a different name, and the individual has legal documentation for the name change.
- The old passport is included in the materials mailed to the Department of State.
If any of these statements are not true, the individual will not be permitted to apply for a passport renewal by mail. Rather, they must make an appointment to visit a passport agency or an acceptance facility to renew in person.
Documents Required for Passport Renewal
Renewing a passport does not require the same type of documentation that the original application required. That is largely because the existence of the prior passport establishes the individual's right to a passport as a U.S. citizen. Some documents are still required however. These include:
- Individual's current U.S. passport.
- Completed application form for renewing a passport by mail or in person.
- If the individual's name has changed, certified court documents providing that their name was legally changed, like a legal name change certificate or a divorce decree.
- Passport photo.
- Payment of application fee for the renewal.
Passport Photo Requirements
Remember all the weird rules that were required for the initial passport application photos? All those same rules apply to the renewal photo. But only one photo is required for renewal and it must be stapled to the application with four staples. That photo must comply with all the U.S. State Department rules, including:
- Photo must be in color.
- It must have been taken in last six months.
- It must be a clear image of the individual's face without filters or shadows.
- It cannot be a selfie.
- The individual must not wear glasses for the photo.
- The photo must have a white or beige background.
- The individual must have a neutral facial expression and not wear any head covering other than for religious or medical purposes.
There are other rules about photos to follow as well, so read the information on the State Department's passport photo page. It is sometimes easiest to have a photo taken by someone familiar with passport photo requirements.
Procedure for Renewing a Passport
To renew a passport by mail in Michigan, fill out U.S. Department of State Form DS-82. Mail this document via the U.S. Postal Service with all of the other requisite materials to the National Passport Processing Center at one of two addresses, depending on where you live:
- Those who live in Michigan (or any state not mentioned below): Mail to P.O. Box 90155, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155.
- Those who live in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York or Texas: Mail to P.O. Box 640155, Irving, TX 75064-0155.
To renew a passport in person in Michigan, bring the requisite documents to either a passport agency or an acceptance facility. It is wise to make an appointment to be sure that the agency will have time to accept the renewal application.
Processing Times for Michigan Adult Passport
The time it takes to receive a renewed passport depends on whether the individual chooses to pay extra processing fees for expediting. Those with a life or death emergency or those leaving on an international trip within five business days can request an expedited renewal from the passport agency if they show proof of the need to travel. These general time periods apply:
- Routine renewal: eight to 11 weeks.
- Expedited renewal by mail or at acceptance facility: five to seven weeks.
- Expedited renewal at agency: As quickly as possible.
Fees to Renew and Expedite Passports
The current base passport fees are:
- $130: to renew U.S. passport book.
- $30: to renew passport card.
- $60: expedited service fee.
- $18.32 additional fee: to receive the passport 1-2 days after it is sent out by the State Department (not available to U.S. residents in Canada).
In addition, someone submitting a renewal application by mail can arrange to send the package by Purchase Priority Mail Express from the United States Postal Service. This will speed the application to the State Department. The price varies depending on the location of the individual sending it.
- Renew your passport several months before it expires or is needed. An expedited passport renewal costs $60 extra.
- If renewing by mail, send the package with delivery confirmation and tracking to ensure it arrives safely.
Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.