How To Renew Your Passport

How To Renew Your Passport

I got a passport back in 2007 when I went to London. I used it again last year when my mom and I went to Mexico. Passports are good for 10 years, so mine is set to expire in July of this year. I should’ve worked on this earlier as the government suggests you renew your passport 9 months before it expires! Many countries require that your U.S. passport has at least 6 months validity remaining for entry, so go check and see when your passport expires now, I’ll wait.

I figured if I need to renew my passport, I might as well blog about the process to save others some time and money if you need to renew your passport.

What Not To Do

How To Renew Your Passport & What Not To Do

If you google “how to renew your passport”, the first thing you will see are paid ads of services offering to help you renew your passport. Do NOT click those paid ads! They will simply charge you extra money to do what you can do yourself, or they may even be a scam. Under the normal listings, you will eventually find the USA.gov/passport website, but you have to keep scrolling…

Items You Need To Renew Passport

Application Form

You can obtain the DS-82 one of three ways:

  1. Print blank form* and manually fill out
  2. Fill in online and print filled out form*
  3. Pick up DS-82 form from local passport acceptance facility or regional agency (click here to search by zip code). You can NOT renew your passport at these facilities. You MUST mail in your application.

If you do not have any known or anticipated travel blanks (like me), you can leave those blank.

If your name has changed, you must include certified copy of legal name change, such as a marriage certificate or a divorce decree.

*You only need to print out pages 5 & 6 of these, but they need to be on separate pieces of paper (not back-to-back on one sheet). Since I use HP Instant Ink, which is a great way to save on printer ink, but I don’t like to waste ink on pages I don’t need.

Passport Photo

There are requirements for the photo used in the passport that are all listed here, but include:

  • Photo must be 2″ x 2″ in size.
  • Photo must be in color.
  • Photo must have white or off-white background.
  • You cannot wear glasses.
  • You cannot smile.
  • You cannot wear a hat.
  • Full list of requirements.

I decided to just go to Walgreens and have them take my passport photo. Although if I had known it was going to cost over $15, I would’ve researched first for the best price! The lady taking my photo said I also had to put my hair behind my ears, so I think I look like Dumbo in the photo.

Payment

At the time of this writing, the cost to renew my passport book was $110. Expedited service is an extra $60. And overnight delivery is $15.45. Since I have no travel plans, I did not opt for expedited service or overnight delivery (standard service and standard delivery is free).

Make your personal check or get a money order made out to “U.S. Department of State” and print your full name and date of birth on the front of the check or money order. Do NOT send cash.

Current Passport

If you do not have your current passport, you will need to apply for a new passport.

Where To Mail Passport Renewal

Be sure to include all of the following as outlined above:

  1. Form DS-82
  2. Photo
  3. Passport
  4. Payment

Mail all items in an envelope large enough to fit the application without folding with a trackable delivery method. I suggest using a USPS flat rate envelope (cost is $6.65 when you pay/print online).

Passport Renewal Address (If you live in CA, FL, IL, MN, NY, or TX):

National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 640155
Irving, TX 75064-0155

Passport Renewal Address (If you live in any other state or Canada):

National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

Expedited Passport Renewal Address (additional fee applies) plus write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the mailing envelope:

National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

Alright, I have my passport renewal mailed in. How about you?

How To Renew Your Passport

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