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Obtaining or Renewing U.S. Passports

Posted June 23, 2011 - 8:14pm by travel and vacations

As a result of enhanced security requirements, more documentation is required today than in the past whether you are traveling by air, land or sea outside of the United States.

If traveling alone, your passport is usually the only document required to prove your identity. If traveling with your family and minor children we recommend the following for each member of your party.

Required and Recommended Forms of Identification:

  • Passport
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Birth Certificates
  • Proof of permission to take children outside the country - if both parents are not traveling

Passport Application and Renewal

Updated information regarding obtaining or renewing your passport is available here: http://travel.state.gov/index.html

Obtaining a new passport

You must apply for a new U.S. Passport in person if:

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport
  • You are under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago
  • Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change

Apply for a new passport

How to Renew Your U.S. Passport by Mail:

Additonal information on renewing your passport is available here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html

From Inside the United States:

To renew your U.S. Passport by mail, you must submit Form DS-82, Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail. Locate Form DS-82 and step-by-step instructions at Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail.

How long will it take to process your passport application?

  • Routine Service: approximately 4-6 weeks
  • Expedited Service: approximately 2-3 weeks

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • If your most recent U.S. passport has been mutilated, altered or damaged, you cannot apply by mail - you must Apply in Person.
  • We strongly encourage you to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method such as UPS, Fedex, USPS Priority Mail with Delivery or Signature Confirmation or USPS Express Mail.
  • In order to protect the contents of your mailing from the elements throughout the delivery process, it is strongly recommended that you mail your passport application and personal documents in an envelope large enough to fit the application without folding. Please do not use a standard letter-size #10 (4 1/8" x 9 1/2") envelope.
  • Passports renewed by mail in the United States may only be mailed to United States and Canadian addresses.
  • If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport (See Child Support).

From Outside the United States:

  • U.S. citizens residing abroad (except those living in Canada) should renew their passports at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.
  • U.S. citizens residing in Canada may submit Form DS-82: Application for U.S. Passport by Mail to the address listed on the form.  

Need a U.S. Passport Immediately?

You should make an appointment to be seen at a Regional Passport Agency only if:

  • The U.S. passport is needed in less than 2 weeks for international travel
  • The U.S. passport is needed within 4 weeks to obtain a foreign visa

Contact the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment or locate a Passport Agency.

 

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