Aug 23, 2009

US Passport Renewal - Quick and Easy!

So your U.S. passport is just about ready to expire. It probably doesn't seem like it's been almost 10 years since you first applied for a passport. Now you're starting to remember. What a lot of work! Forms that had to be presented in person, all that trouble digging up your original birth certificate and the cost was really high. But, you'll be happy to learn that a US passport renewal is so much easier than a first time application.

One of the best things about renewing a passport is that you can do it all by mail. The United States Department of Defense has a special form just for you. It's called a DS-82: "Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail". You'll need to either pick up that form at your local passport processing office, such as the U.S. Post Office, or you can download and print it online by visiting the State Department's web page.

A recent photograph is required, as most everyone changes in 10 years. As with the initial application, it must be an authorized passport photo, size 2x2 inches. Check with your local U.S. Post Office to see if they have passport photo services.

Although you no longer have to verify your citizenship status with a Birth Certificate, etc., any name changes will need supporting documentation. If you've married, divorced or changed your name for any other reason, you'll have to send original certified documents which show that change.

Fees for a renewal are currently set at $60.00. You'll need to make out a check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State. They don't take credit cards.

Don't forget to budget for the price of the passport photos as well as mailing envelope and postage.

Once everything is gathered, be sure to sign your application form and don't forget to also include your old passport. Just to be safe, make a copy of everything for yourself before sealing the envelope.

Waiting time for a renewal is 4 to 6 weeks typically. You can go for a rush service, which is a 3 to 4 weeks, but you'll have to pay extra. Take a look at the web site for the United States Department of State to confirm the fee for this service and also check for any updated information as requirements can change.

Soon you'll have your new passport in your hand, good for another 10 years. Keep it somewhere safe and it will be waiting for you when you head off on your next vacation.

C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some. She has also traveled extensively and now writes about travel destinations around the world for Family Vacation Spots and Best Vacation Getaways

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1 comment:

  1. Hi. You can find a blank fillable DS-11 - application for a U.S. passport here.

    You can fill out the form, save it, fax it, and email it. Please feel free to use it.