US Passport Renewal requirements

If you are a US citizen and would like to apply for a new US passport, you need to be aware of the US passport renewal requirements, the rules, and the documents required for a successful application. One of the leading causes of failed applications is invalid documents or wrong information. However, the good news is that the US Department of State has made it easy for applicants to renew their passports wherever they may be, whether inside or outside the US.

Only a few documents are required, and the steps are easy to follow. This page covers the requirements, rules, and documents you will need to renew your current passport book.

Renewing Your Current or Expired Passport

You can renew your passport by a standard mail service by sending your old passport, completed application form, and required documents in a single package to the Department of State. There is also a special expedited service for those who need the new passport urgently if they want to take a trip. This service costs extra processing fees and can be availed by mail or a certified regional agency.

However, those who cannot visit a certified US agency may approach a third-party service to help them submit their application and deliver the new passport once approved. 

Mailing takes time because of unforeseen circumstances like logistic delays, time-wasting, and congestion, to mention a few. This is why it may take 6-10 weeks to get a new passport card, but if you utilize expedited delivery, you may get the passport within 1 week.

Rules For Expedited Delivery

This service is only offered if the applicant can prove that there is a life or death emergency, such as an injury, death, or illness, to self, parent, sibling, or grandparents that require them to take a trip within the next 3 days. Or if the applicant has to take a trip for a non-life-threatening emergency within the next 6 weeks. Under the non-life-threatening category, the applicant must provide plans for the itinerary, including their flight information.

Rules For US Passport Renewal

Before applying for a passport renewal, you must know the rules guiding the passport application process, and we review them below in detail.

The Old Passport Must Not Be Significantly Damaged: The passport office will request your current passport but will only accept it if it is not damaged. Mutilated passports with disfigured bio-data pages will not be accepted.

Age 16 or older: Only passports issued to the applicant when they were 16 or older can be renewed. Passports issued to individuals under the age of 16 years are classified as minor passports, and such passports cannot be renewed. If your child’s current passport was issued to them when they were younger, you should apply for a new one rather than a renewal one.

Issued In Your Current Name: The Passport you wish to renew must be issued in your current name as it appears in your documents. If your name has changed ever since, you may apply for a new passport.

Issued Within The Last 15 Years: The passport must be issued within 15 years. Any passport issued more than 15 years ago is not eligible for renewal.

These are the rules guiding the IS passport renewal process. If you don’t meet these criteria, you should opt for a new passport by filling out the DA 11 Form rather than the DS 82 form for renewals.

US Passport Renewal Requirements

Completed Form DS 82: The US passport renewal form must be duly filled and signed by the applicant. It must contain accurate information that reflects what is stated on their old passport and other supporting documents.

Proof of Citizenship: The applicant must prove their citizenship by providing their citizenship document certificate or certificate of naturalization. Only citizens of the can hold or renew a US passport.

ID Card: A valid ID card is required to prove identity. A driver’s license issued not later than 6 months is required.

Photograph: A Passport sized photograph that meets the DS 82 requirements is required. The photograph must show the applicant’s face clearly. Glasses or head coverings must not be worn.

Processing Fee: A signed check or money order addressed to the Department of State, or US consulate is required.

In case of a name change, the applicant must provide a marriage certificate or a divorce certificate to prove their new status. Or they may provide a Court order which validates their new name.

If you meet the US passport renewal requirements and would like assistance to expedite the delivery of your document to the passport office, visit VisaHQ passport renewal page and we would gladly take the pressure off you and see to it that your application is delivered to the appropriate authorities.

Apply for US Passport Renewal Online
Apply for US Passport Renewal online
This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.