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  • Writer's pictureNicole Lawrence

Steps to Obtaining or Renewing your Passport

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Your passport is not only used for international travel, but it is a great form of identification for other everyday purposes. If you don’t currently have one, there are a few simple steps you can take today to start the process. Otherwise, it is smart to regularly check your current passport expiration date and ensure you keep it up to date. You don’t want to find yourself with an expired passport a week before your next trip. Keep in mind that the U.S. Department of State can take up to six weeks, and sometimes even longer, to process your passport application or renewal request.

If you are in need of obtaining a passport, renewing an expired one, or need rush delivery, there are a few simple steps to follow.

How to obtain a passport?

Obtaining a passport is relatively quick and easy. You can get the application process started online, expediting your time at the passport acceptance facility. Follow these quick and easy steps to start the process:

Step 1 - Fill Out the Application Form Today

Step 2 - Provide your legal information: evidence of U.S. citizenship, legal and valid identification. If needed, review a full list of acceptable forms of identification.

Step 3 - Determine any Special Circumstances. If any of the categories apply to you, or you are applying for children under the age of 18, you may need to provide additional information. Be sure to review the list of additional requirements needed.

Step 4 - Provide a Passport Photo. Some passport facilities offer photo services, but you can submit your own; be sure it meets the photo requirements.

Step 5 - Submit all of the above information in person at a passport acceptance facility (completed application, citizenship evidence, photocopy of ID, photo, and fees). Search for a nearby acceptance facility.

How to Renew your Passport

If your passport expired more than five years or does not meet all of the below criteria for the mail-in service, you will need to follow the steps you’d take if you were applying for the first time. Please follow the “How to obtain a passport?” steps above.

How to Renew your Passport by Mail

You can renew your passport easily by mail if it meets all of the following requirements:

  • Your passport is in your possession.

  • It expired less than 5 years ago.

  • Is undamaged and In good condition (other than normal wear and tear)

  • Issued in the U.S.

  • Issued when you were at least 16 years old

  • Issued within the last 15 years

  • Issued with you current name (or you can provide documentation of your name change)

If you fall into this category, you will need to mail all required legal documents and fees to the National Passport Processing Center dependent on where you live. Review the forms and legal documents required.

How to Get a Rush Delivery

If you have overlooked obtaining your passport or renewing your passport and already have travel plans booked, you may be able to expedite your passport process. See if you qualify by reviewing the eligibility requirements and information.

I am here to help you every step of the way in your future travel plans. Send me an email when you're ready to start planning your next vacation.

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