How to Renew Your US Passport, Step by Step Guide

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how to renew a US Passport

How to Renew A US Passport, Step by Step Guide

After recently needing to renew my passport I thought I would create a step by step guide of how to renew a US Passport.  The process is pretty painless and the paperwork can be filled out mostly online.

I will give you step by step instructions of what to do and what you can expect complete with screenshots.  You can only renew your Passport if it has expired within the past 5 years.

How to Renew A US Passport – Getting Started

Paper Form

There are two ways to fill out the paperwork to renew your US Passport.  If you are old school and prefer putting pen to paper you can pick up this form at your local United States Postal Service Office:

how to renew a US Passport

You can also print it off on your computer.  Here is the website link to the PDF file.

Online

But if you are like me and would rather type it out at print it off you can do it online.  This is great especially for people like me with terrible handwriting.  Here are the steps to fill it out online:

Go to the US Passport Forms Page HERE. Once there click on DS-82 U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals (By Mail).  Select Form Filler underneath the title

how to renew a US Passport

After selecting Form Filler it will take you to a disclosure page.  Read everything and then click Submit.

Once you hit submit you will be taken to another page with 3 options.  You want to select the first option: Complete Online & Print.

how to renew a US Passport

Now you will fill out several pages of forms.  They will ask for your name, address, date of birth, social security number etc.  It is essentially filling out the paper form on the government’s website. It will also ask you about your currently expired or expiring passport booklet/passport card.  Be sure to have these handy.

How to Renew A US Passport – Payment and Mailing Info

Once you finish filling out the form you will have 3 selections for your US Passport

  • Passport Book – $110
  • Passport Card – $30
    • The U.S. Passport Card CANNOT be used for international air travel. This travel document can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.
  • Passport Book & Card – $140

Select which one works best for you.  For most people it will be the Passport book.

Then you have to select your service needs.  The choices are as follows:

  • Routine Service – Free (4-8 weeks)
  • Expedited Service – $60 (2-3 weeks)
  • Expedited Agency Service – $60 (days-weeks) List of regional agencies.

Select Routine Service if you are applying outside the United States. Expedited and Expedited at Agency are not available for people outside the US.

Delivery choices are:

  • Standard Delivery – Free
  • 1-2 Day Delivery – $15.89

Depending on your choices it will give you your total owed.

How to Renew A US Passport – Mailing the Form

After everything is completed you can print your forms.  Select Create Form and it will produce a PDF file which you can print and sign.

The site will also give you the mailing address, which is reliant on your location:

how to renew a US Passport

You will mail the following with your paperwork:

  • Check or money order for the amount owed
  • Your old US Passport book
  • Passport photo stapled to the application form

The Passport photo will cost you in the $10-15 range if you go to CVS etc. and have it done and printed on sight.  There are phone apps out there where you can do it yourself and print it off at a photo center for a few dollars. My friend used Passport Photo Booth and said it was fairly painless.  Only cost him a few dollars by going this route.

You will receive your new US Passport within 4-6 few weeks, or quicker if you paid more.  I received mine in about 4 weeks.  Your old Passport will come in a separate shipment a little later with a few hole punches in it.

Conclusion

If you were wondering how to renew a US passport the good news is that it was a pretty seamless process for me.  Hopefully this guide on how to renew a US Passport makes it a little easier when you go to do yours.

Let me know of any questions you have in the comments section.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I just renewed my Passport. Very painless. It took only 18 days for my new Passport to arrive using the standard service.

  2. I wonder how early I should start the renewal process before the expiration date? Do they calculate the next expiration date from the current expiration or the renewal application date? Thanks!

    • You lose whatever time is left on your Passport so I would suggest waiting until it is about to expire or until it expires unless you need it for a trip right around that time. If you know you won’t have a need for it for a while after the expiration date you could even sit on it. It all depends on your personal situation really.

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