If you are planning to travel abroad as a US citizen, before you attempt to buy a flight ticket or apply for a visa, the first thing you should check is the validity of your US passport. Although US passports are valid for up to 10 years, they expire at some point, and if your passport is closer to its expiration date by some months, you need to apply for US passport renewal Philadelphia.
Many travelers forget about passport validity only to realize a little too late that they cannot travel with their travel passport. Keep reading to know more about how to renew your old or current passport.
How Long Will It Take To Renew My Passport?
Passports renewal processing time depends on different factors such as the period you submit the application and the application method used. But on average, the processing time will take between 6-9 weeks, but if you apply for expedited processing, you may get it in under five weeks though you will be asked to pay an expedited fee.
Applying for renewal several months before your planned travel date is best to avoid unnecessary delays. Even if you are unsure of when you intend to travel, applying for a renewal if your passport will expire in the next 9 months is the smartest thing to do.
How To Renew Your US Passport?
There are three ways to renew your US passport as follows.
Renewal By Mail: You can renew your passport by mail. All you have to do is fill out and sign a physical copy of the DS-82 application form and attach the old passport to it. You must also attach other necessary documents, including a money order or a signed US bank cheque, and mail it to the US passport agency in Philadelphia or any other State in the Union. You will also bear the course for the courier service too. Applicants inside the US must use the US postal service, but those outside the country can use other companies like FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. Once you’ve mailed the package, you can track your application status online.
Renewal In Person: Another option is to renew your passport in person if you can’t do so by mail. You must book an appointment with the passport Agency of the State Department in Philadelphia for in-person renewals. On the set date, you must bring the signed and filled DS-82 application form, evidence of US citizenship, a photograph, an ID card, and the service fee to the facility. Your data will be captured, and you can come back to get your passport or have it mailed to you, but you will bear extra charges for the courier service.
Renewal by Embassy/Consulates: Citizens who live abroad and can’t apply for a renewal by mail can approach the US embassy or consulate in their country of residence. The officials in the embassy will take them through the steps to apply for a renewed passport.
In the case of emergencies like life or death situations, the State Department has an expedited service for applicants who need to travel within 72 hours. For such emergencies, the applicant can approach the Philadelphia passport agency with proof of why they need to make the urgent trip. There is also an option for those who need to travel within the next two weeks. However, the extra charge for expedited processing is often $60.
Documents Required For US Passport Renewal Philadelphia
Here are the documents you need to renew your passport.
Proof of Citizenship: You must prove your citizenship, like the previous passport or birth certificate. Naturalized citizens may also present their naturalization certificate issued by the Federal government.
Previous Passport: A previous passport that has to be renewed must be attached to the application form; otherwise, it will be rejected.
Completed DS-82 Form: A filled and signed application form containing all the key details of the applicant.
Photograph: A recent passport-sized photograph showing the applicant’s face clearly.
Application Fee: An application fee is required. The fee must be paid with a signed cheque or money order and addressed to the State Department. Extra fees for expedited processing are required.
US Passport Renewal Philadelphia Cost
Renewal fees vary depending on what you need. Passport cards cost less than passport books; while passport cards can only be used for land travels, passport books can be used for both land, air, and sea travel. Passport cards cost $30, while passport books cost $130. This fee does not include the extra $60 fee for expedited processing or courier cost if you are renewing by mail
When To Renew Your Passport?
You should renew your passport at least 9 months before it expires as most countries reject passports that expire in less than 6 months. If you apply for renewal early enough, you will avoid any disruption to your travel plans.
If you want a stress-free US passport renewal in Philadelphia, you can take advantage of VisaHQ’s passport services. Visit the VisaHQ passport service page to learn more.