U.S. Passport Renewal – How To Renew a U.S. Passport
If you have a passport that is expired or set to expire in the next six to eight months, you are a candidate for passport renewal. You should be aware that once your passport expires, you have five years from the expiration date to have it renewed. After five years, you can not renew your expired passport but must apply as if you are doing so for the first time.
Fortunately, renewing your passport is not difficult. All of the steps on how long does it takes to renew a passport and procedure are listed here on this page, from eligibility to the required documents to step-by-step instructions about how to proceed. While the process normally takes some time, there are expedited services available to allow you to renew your passport in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Eligibility for U.S. Passport Renewal
You may renew your current passport if your situation meets the following criteria:
- The passport is still currently valid or has not been expired for over five years.
- The passport was issued when you were at least 16 years old.
- The passport is in good condition, with no missing pages, rip or loosened binding.
U.S. Passport Renewal Processing Time
US passport renewal time will depend on the choice you use to process your renewal application. The choices available to you are routine, expedited service or regional passport agency. Below is a table outlining the basic information on your renewal and processing time according to each option.
- Regular Passport Processing – With passport offices such as county clerk, court, and post office, it would take 4 to 6 weeks to process.
- Expedited Passport Renewal – To expedite the DS-82 application, you would need to either apply in person at a passport agency, post office, or private expediting company.
- Regional Passport Agency – If you are traveling in less than 14 days or 30 days and a visa is required, it is recommended that you visit a regional passport agency in your area.
- Post Offices – The post office is also available to expedite your US passport application, but then it is not recommended if you are traveling in 14 days. Post offices expedited services take 2 to 3 weeks for processing. If there are additional issues such as incorrect passport photo and missing documents, this could further delay your application.
U.S. Passport Renewal Procedure
Start by gathering the necessary documents and fees for the renewal of your U.S. passport. These includes:
- Your current passport
- A completed Passport Renewal Application Form (DS-82). This can be filled out online and then printed using this link: https://pptform.state.gov/. It can also be filled in and completed offline.
- Driver license photocopy, or photocopy of other state-issued ID. Both front and back should be copied.
- A photo of yourself for your passport.
- Proof of name change, if you’ve legally changed it since previous passport issuance.
- Flight itinerary or travel plans (if an expedited passport renewal is needed.)
- The passport renewal fee as a check for $110 payable to “U.S. Department of State.” (Cost is $170 if expedited passport renewal is required.)
A passport renewal application can be processed in the following three ways:
- Mail – Mail your U.S. passport renewal to the National Passport Center.
- Local Passport Agency – For faster service, a U.S. Passport Agency can process your renewal on site.
- Passport Expediting Service – For even faster passport renewal, send the documents to a reputable, trusted professional passport expediting company.
How Long Does it Take to do a US Passport Renewal?
Passport renewal by mail will require as many as 8 weeks. Expedited mail renewal requires an additional fee of $60 and takes 2 to 3 weeks.
For faster service, an in-person renewal at a Passport Agency or a passport expediting company can speed up the process significantly. There are 26 National Passport Agencies nationwide. Applying in person requires making an appointment with the National Passport Information Center by calling (877) 487-2778 toll-FREE.
The fastest passport renewal service comes from passport expediting companies, which can deliver in as few as 24 to 48 hours with no appointment or in-person appearance required.