If you are planning to renew your US passport because it has expired or is about to expire, kindly note that there is a US passport renewal fee you must pay for your application to be processed. Passport renewal is open to US citizens at home and abroad, and the process is relatively straightforward. However, US citizens abroad who don’t live close to an embassy may have a slightly hard time, which should rob them of the chance to travel when the need arises.
Renewal By Mail
The good news is that you don’t have to go in search of a US consulate or embassy in the country you reside or a neighboring country to renew your passport. The Department of State has created the renewal by mail option for you. From your current location, you can apply for a renewal and mail your application form, old passport, and all required documents to the State Department.
The international renewal portal has been launched to help applicants submit applications for new passports when or after their current passports expire. However, it is important to note that renewal by mail for US citizens abroad will take time. That is why you should consider submitting your application several weeks in advance if you have any travel plans.
US Passport Renewal Fee
An application fee is attached to the application, which also serves as the processing fee. Be prepared to pay between $130 -$200 as a renewal fee. For passbooks, the fee is cheaper, while a Passbook card is slightly under $50. If you want expedited processing because of a deadline, you will be asked to pay an extra $50-$70 as an expedite fee
When paying such fees, here are some major points to note.
Checks/Money Orders: Checks and money orders should be payable to the Department of State in Washington. Only checks linked to US bank accounts are accepted for renewal applications, not checks from foreign banks. Your full name and date of birth should be printed on the front of the check or money order.
Don’t Send Cash: Cash is not accepted as a form of payment for passport renewals.
Routing Number: Checks and money orders must have the 9-digit routing number; otherwise, they will be rejected.
If you use a renewal agency, they may charge an extra fee to help mail your documents to the Department of State, but this fee is separate from the expedite fees.
Reasons For Delays
If you choose to use the mail option to renew your US passport, kindly note that you may have to wait a while because of delays. This is because it may take up to 2 weeks for your package to reach the State Department. To avoid unnecessary delays, you should consider paying for expedited service, which will mean using fast courier service companies like UPS or DHL. Even then, delays may still occur, so make advanced plans. If you can help, apply for the renewal several weeks before you need the new passport.
Passport Renewal Requirements
DS-82 Form: You must correctly fill out the renewal application form with no empty box.
Endeavor to provide only valid information so your application will not be rejected.
Passport: Include two identical passports in your application. They must not be older than 6 months, and both must show your face clearly. Avoid wearing head coverings, glasses, or any adornment that may distort your features.
Proof of Identity: Only selected documents can prove your identity, such as a naturalization or citizenship certificate, a new driver’s license not older than 6 months, or an old passport.
Authorization Letter: The applicant must fill out and sign an authorization letter asking the State Department to renew their passport. This act will invalidate the old passport once the new one is produced.
How To Deal With a Name Change
If you have changed your name since your last passport was issued, you can still renew it and have your new name on the new one by submitting any of these documents
Any of these documents can be used to prove your new name.
Eligibility For US Passport Renewal
At this point, it is important to note that not all US citizens can apply for a passport renewal if they don’t meet the eligibility criteria. You can only renew your passport under the following conditions
The current one was issued 15 years ago, not a day longer
You must have been at most 26 years of age at the time the current passport was issued or older
The required documents must be presented to prove the name change
Mutilated old passports are not accepted
The US passport renewal fee must be paid through a signed check or money order. If you want a professional agency to handle the application process, kindly visit VisaHQ US passport renewal page to order our service.