How to update your passport?
For those somewhat new to international travel who muddled through their first passport application, there are many hurdles to overcome. For this reason, passport agencies like Travel Visa Pro exist. It could be anywhere from 10-15 years since you had to consider applying for a passport book, and the application process has changed accordingly. It’s no wonder that when the time comes to renew this travel document so many years later, many people need some help down the road.
How do you update your passport?
What some new or seasoned travelers may not always realize is how often one should update his or her passport. Most countries require at least six months’ validity for entry, and plenty of space in the passport pages for visas and entry and exit stamps. As long as your passport hasn’t been expired for more than five years, you can update your document accordingly.
Updating your passport with time to spare means you have the option of applying by mail. Send in your old passport, a completed Form DS-82, a recent passport photo, and the associated fees to the US Department of State. Normal processing time is at least a few weeks.
When time is a factor and you really need your passport to be updated quickly, you can visit one of the 26 regional passport agencies in the United States in person. Some do require appointments, especially during peak travel seasons, but expedited processing is available for an addition $60 fee. This can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks.
For passport updates that don’t involve getting a new expiration date, like changing your name due to marriage, circumstances vary. Applicants can receive a “new” document free of charge if they are updating their name within a year of having received their passport; on the other hand, those who have been using their passport for over a year must apply for a standard renewal.
If you need help with the forms to update your passport or need to specify exactly when you’ll receive your documents, you can always stop by or ship your application to the nearest Travel Visa Pro office. Our team of experts can work with you to decide on the best processing time for your departure, and facilitate any visa applications you might need in your updated document.
Can I update my passport online?
As of this writing there is no means to change the name in your passport book or card, or renew either online. All applications require that you present your passport in person at a regional passport agency to be updated, or send in the appropriate documents by mail. However, online assistance is available through the US Department of State and Travel Visa Pro websites.
How long will it take to update my passport?
Bottom line? Anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Passport applications for renewals or updates presented in person at a regional passport agency can take a couple weeks, but often less when expedited processing is ordered. Even if you’re just updating your name by mail, the processing time is roughly the same.
If time is a concern when updating your passport, you might consider dropping into the nearest Travel Visa Pro. Our Emergency Passport Service at our nine staffed locations allows our clients to update their passports in as little as eight hours with an appointment.
When can’t you update your passport?
Unfortunately, there are a few cases in which passport applicants need to go through the process of applying for a new passport all over again. When your passport was issued more than fifteen years ago, you don’t qualify for a standard renewal. If you’re trying to update a passport book issued to you as a child, but you are now an adult (between 16-20 years old), you’ll more than likely need a new passport application. Finally, if you had a valid passport, but it was lost or stolen, you can’t update or renew your passport; all passport renewal applications must include the old document for verification.
Do you have any questions about updating your passport? Leave them in the comments!