Passport Renewal Requirements | Advice for US Citizens

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Wed Sep 20 2017

Just because you’re ready and willing to renew your passport doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be able to do so, not without knowing the requirements for renewals versus complete replacement books. If you’ve held a passport before, there are still going to be some situations for which you can’t renew under normal conditions.

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Passport Renewal Requirements for First Timers

Open your passport book and take a look inside. Has it expired yet?

Even if it has a few months left before the expiration date, travelers should consider getting a renewal if they need to travel soon. Many countries do not allow US passport holders to enter without at least six months’ validity remaining on their passport. However, how does this affect the requirements for passport renewals?

If your passport was issued more than 15 years ago, you no longer qualify for a renewal and must apply in much the same way as a first-time applicant using Form DS-11. Similarly, if your passport has been damaged so that it would not be accepted at immigration – water damage rendering the electronics unreadable; extensive folding or tearing; staining – then you also can’t use Form DS-82 for passport renewals.

Other Requirements for Passport Renewals

While the application process for children’s passport is extensive, having held one does not help travelers apply for a passport as an adult. Any passport issued before the age of 16 can be used as proof of citizenship, but still must be submitted with Form DS-11 for first-time applicants.

In addition, if you did legally change your name from that appearing on your previous passport, you still qualify for a renewal. This is provided that you include documentation for your name change in your renewal application.

How to Apply for Passport Renewal

Double check your previous passport to ensure it isn’t invalid for use in a renewal application, DS-82. If you have legally changed your name, provide some legal document stating as such. Then, only a passport-sized photo and fee ($110) is required.

One of the requirements to renew passports is how to send in the application. Many opt to mail them directly to the US Department of State. Assuming there is no rush – this can potentially take weeks – this method minimizes fees and reduces the number of parties with access to your personal information. If you need a new passport book faster than that and live close to 1 of 26 passport agencies in the US, you can apply in person and pay an extra $25 Execution Fee.

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However, the best way to ensure your application is handled properly the first time and won’t get sent back with errors, and your passport book will be in your hand when you want it to be is to trust in Travel Visa Pro. Our travel experts have been demystifying the visa and passport application process for over ten years.