Passport Renewal – Now Don’t Put Off Until The Last Minute

by garrett on April 2, 2010

United States (U.S.) Passport renewal may be done either via mail or in person. Renewing via mail will save the passport holder some time, but not everyone is eligible to renew this way. Renewing in person will take a bit more time but is still a relatively easy process. United States passport renewal processing times may be shortened by using either a government or independent expediting service.

In order for the passport holder to renew his or her passport via mail, several conditions must be met. The passport holder’s most recent passport must be undamaged and able to be submitted with the renewal application. The passport must have been issued less than 15 years ago in the person’s current name or the person must be able to provide documentation of any name change. The most recent passport must have been issued when the person was at least 16 years old.

To renew the passport by mail, the passport holder must complete an application for U.S. Passport by Mail. This form may be found online and may be completed electronically or printed and hand-written. The applicant must mail the application with his/her most recent U.S. Passport, two identical photos, the passport fee, and documentation substantiating a name change, if applicable.

The standard processing time for passport renewal is four to six weeks. The government offers an expedited delivery service that will process the renewal application within two to three weeks. There are independent expediting service companies that can process the renewal within 24 hours for an additional charge in excess of the government fees. Passport holders who realize that their passport has expired and need to renew it in a hurry will want to take advantage of this service.

If the passport is not eligible to be renewed by mail, the passport holder must re-apply for a passport in person.. The Application for a U.S. Passport must be completed and submitted with evidence of U.S. Citizenship, acceptable additional identification, photocopy of this identification, two identical passport photos, and the passport fee.. The applicant must go to a U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility or Regional Passport Agency in order to get the new passport. The independent expediting service can accommodate these applicants, but applicants must first present the required documentation to the Passport Acceptance Facility or Agency.

Minors wishing to renew their passports have different guidelines. All minors whose initial passport was issued when they were under age 16 must renew their passports in person. The renewal process is similar to those renewing via mail. The minor must complete a passport renewal application, return the expired passport, provide two identical passport photos, and pay a fee. If the minor wishes to have the passport expedited, the options of the government expediting and independent expediting companies are available at an additional charge.

U.S. citizens who reside in Canada may renew their passports by mail. U.S. citizens residing in other countries excluding Canada must renew their passports at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A directory of the locations of these facilities may be found online.

If certain conditions are met, passport renewal may be done via mail. Otherwise, the person must re-apply for a new USA Passport in person. If a passport holder needs to receive the new passport quickly, the government or independent expediting agencies provide this service for an additional fee.

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