Passport Renewal Can Be Completed by Different Methods
A passport renewal may be accomplished by any U.S. citizen by either mail or in person. Renewal by mail is only an option if the passport holder meets all the requirements. By visiting a local passport office, process will still take some time but it can be moved along a bit smoother by being on hand to provide any documentation that may be needed. There are services available online that can help to expedite this or the government offers their own version of expedited service.
There are certain criteria that must be met in order to renew by mail. The old passport must be available to be returned with the application and must be in the holder’s original name. The passport cannot be more than 15 years old from date of issue and must have been issued after the holder was older than 16 years of age.
As with anything else when it comes to the government, there are forms that need to be completed. The renewal form must be printed out or filled out online and submitted along with the old passport. The form is easily located by going on the Internet and simply searching it out. This will need to be accompanied by two new color photos along with any applicable fees and if there is a name change since the issue date, supporting paperwork to that effect.
The passport renewal normally takes four to six weeks when done through the standard channels. The Department of State also offers an expediting service than can shorten the time to two to three weeks. If the need should arise that necessitates receiving the passport faster than this, there are private services that can expedite the process in as little as one to two business days. These services are perfect for emergency situations but do come with an additional fee.
Should the passport holder not meet all the requirements to renew by mail, a trip to a local Passport Acceptance Facility or Regional Passport Agency will be necessary. An applicant will then need to present a properly filled out DS-11 form along with proper identification. There will also be the need to have new passport photos on hand when applying for the renewal. The private service providers can still help these applicants but there will still be a necessity to appear at a facility of this type.
The above guidelines are strictly for adults applying for a renewal, minors on the other hand have a few more guidelines that must be followed. They must apply in person no matter what, if they are still under the age of 16 or if the passport was issued while they were under that age. They then must follow the same guidelines as an adult and submit the renewal form along with pictures, ID and the processing fee, if any. The same rules for expediting apply for minors as they do adults in that they may choose either the governments offering or to go with one of the private service providers for a passport renewal.
Any U.S. citizen residing out of the country in Canada can also renew by mail if needed. Those that reside in other countries will however need to visit either the U.S. Embassy or local Consulate office to renew the passport in person. There is a complete listing of these locations that may be found online.