Passport Renewal: A Brief Overview

by erin on April 27, 2010

Passport renewal can be done by mail if you have an undamaged passport and if a few simple other rules are complied with. If you were over the age of 15 when you got your last passport, if the passport is not over 15 years old and if you have not had a name change since you got your passport, you are eligible to apply for a passport by mail.

You can apply for a passport card, if it is your first passport card by mail and if you meet all the mail-in qualifications. If you are behind in child support, you will not be able to get your passport. If you are mailing your papers, it is best to mail them in a secure envelope. You will also want to mail them in a traceable manner.

It will be necessary to apply in person if you are renewing a lost, stolen or damaged passport. The first step in the process is the application. You will need to fill this out, but not sign it until asked to do so by the accepting agent. You will also need to provide a valid social security card.

The next step in the application process is to prove your citizenship. You can do this through many different means. One of the easiest is with a previous passport; if this is not available, a certified birth certificate will do. A naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship is also a way of proving your citizenship status.

You will need to provide forms of personal identification. This identification can be a current driver’s license, a current military ID, a government ID, a naturalization certificate or an undamaged passport. When you don’t have a primary form of ID, there are some secondary forms of ID that are acceptable. These require someone with ID to vouch for you.

All forms of identification must be photocopied on white 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper. The ID can be expanded to fit the paper size, but the ID cannot be reduced to a smaller size. Each form must be presented on a separate piece of paper. You cannot use both sides of the paper.

The passport fees must be sent in with the passport renewal application. These fees vary and you need to understand them. In order to purchase additional services related to the receipt of the passport, you will need to add additional fees. Some of the extra services include overnight delivery fees and expedited fees. Checks, credit cards and money orders are accepted forms of payment.

You must also enclose a 2-inch by 2-inch color photo with your passport application forms. It must be a full face with no head gear and must be a frontal view. The background must be either off white or white. The photo cannot be older than six months. When you normally wear glasses, you need to wear glasses in the picture. The same goes for hearing aids, a wig or a hairpiece. You cannot wear tinted glasses unless you have a medical certificate stating that you need them.

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