Millions of Americans travel abroad each year, and many of them need to renew their passports. The process can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little preparation, you can renew your passport in just a few easy steps. Here’s how to renew a US passport – the full step-by-step process!
A US passport is usually valid for 10 years, so you should renew it every 10 years. If you don’t renew your US passport on time, you will not be able to travel outside of the United States.
In this article…
Step One: Check If You Need to Renew Your Passport
If your passport is set to expire in the next six months, you will need to renew it.
The best way to know if your passport expires soon is to check the expiration date. This can usually be found on the front or back of the passport.
Step Two: Gather the Required Documents
1. A completed passport application
2. Your most recent passport
3. Two passport photos
4. Proof of identity
5. Proof of U.S. citizenship
6. A photocopy of the ID page of your most recent passport
7. Passport fee
The current fee for a US passport renewal is $110.
Step Three: Complete the Online Application
If you are a citizen of the United States, you can renew your passport by mail or in person at a passport acceptance facility. You will need to submit a completed passport application, two passport photos, your most recent passport, and the appropriate fees.
Step Four: Pay the Application Fee
There are different fees for renewing a US passport depending on the type of passport you have and how you renew it. The fees for renewing a US passport book are $110 for adults and $80 for children under 16. The fees for renewing a US passport card are $30 for adults and $15 for children under 16.
Step Five: Mail-in Your Application
To renew your passport by mail, you will need to submit the following:
- A completed passport application (found online here)
- Your most recent passport
- Two passport photos
- A check or money order for the application fee
Once you have gathered all of the required materials, simply mail them to the address listed on the application. Your new passport will arrive in the mail within 6-8 weeks.
Step Six: Track the Status of Your Application
If you are renewing your passport by mail, you can track the status of your application on the US Department of State website. If you applied in person at a passport agency or center, you will need to contact them directly to inquire about the status of your application.
Step Seven: Receive and Activate Your New Passport
After you have applied for your new passport and it has been approved, you will receive it in the mail. Once you have received your new passport, you must activate it by signing the passport and dating it.
Fees & Processing Times for Renewing US Passport
The cost of renewing your U.S. passport depends on the type of passport you have and how you renew it. For example, if you renew your passport by mail, the cost is $110 for a standard passport book or $30 for a passport card.
If you renew your passport in person at a passport acceptance facility or a passport agency, the cost is $140 for a standard passport book or $60 for a passport card. There is also an expedited service fee of $60 if you need your passport sooner than the normal processing time of 4-6 weeks.
How to Complete the U.S. Passport Renewal Application
Passport can be used for a number of purposes. It is used to travel outside of the country or visit restricted areas. So it is important that you should use your passport at the earliest. The U.S. Passport is a valuable piece of document and is used by about 200 countries around the world.
The U.S. Passport is valid for ten years for adults and six years for children below the age of 16. But sometimes, it is required to renew your U.S. Passport. There are times when you need to submit your application well before the expiry date to avoid any hassle.
If you are planning to visit a foreign country soon or want to travel abroad in the future, then you need to apply for a new passport as soon as possible.
- Find a current passport photo that meets the requirements, and attach it to the application form.
- Fill out the form completely, including your Social Security number.
- Include proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or previous passport.
- Show proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or government-issued ID card.
- Pay the renewal fee with a check or money order.
- Mail the completed application, photo, proof of citizenship, and proof of identity to the address listed on the form.
What is the Fastest Way to Renew Your U.S. Passport?
If you need to renew your U.S. passport, the fastest way to do so is to submit your application through the State Department’s online passport renewal system.
How to Renew Your U.S. Passport if You are Outside of the United States
If you need to renew your U.S. passport but are outside of the United States, you will need to follow these steps:
1. Complete a DS-82 form.
This is an application form for a U.S. passport by mail. You can find this form on the U.S. Department of State website.
2. Include two passport photos with your application.
The photos must be 2″ x 2″, in color, and taken within the last six months. They should have a white or off-white background.
3. Include your most recent U.S. passport.
If your passport is damaged or lost, you will need to apply for a new passport instead of renewing it.
4. Include proof of U.S. citizenship.
This can be a birth certificate or a previous U.S. passport.
5. Include a copy of your photo ID.
This can be a driver’s license, government ID, or military ID.
6. Include the application fee.
The fee for a passport renewal is $110 for adults and $80 for children under 16. You will also need to pay an execution fee of $25.
7. Mail your application and payment to the address listed on the form.
If you are outside of the United States and need to renew your passport for the first time, you will need to provide proof of identity and your previous passport will need to be submitted with your application.
What to Do if Your Passport is Lost or Stolen
- Report your passport as stolen to the local police.
- Contact your embassy or consulate to replace your lost passport.
- To replace a stolen passport, contact the National Passport Center.
All the best!