Renewing Passports Is A Cinch

The process for getting a United States passport renewal has been streamlined. On the data page you can find out if it’s about to expire and it’s a good idea to start the process within nine months of that date. The form is online, ready to print and be filled out by hand. The other option is to fill it out online first and then print it. It can be mailed or brought to an agency in person. The phone numbers and locations of agencies can be found on the Internet.

Application

The form you’ll need to fill out is the basic application. It will be different if you’re applying for the first time, replacing one that’s been lost, or changing your name. After it’s filled out, the form can then be mailed or brought in person.

Identification

One requirement is that you have two pieces of ID. The first verifies your identity and it can be your driver’s license or old passport, a certificate of naturalization, or government identification. The second type of ID is proof of U. S. Citizenship, which can be your birth certificate, government or military ID. You’ll also need a copy of each type of identification that you mail or bring in.

Photos

The final requirement is two identical color photos of yourself. Your face must show clearly and the background has to be white or off-white. When your application documents are in order, you then pay the fee, which ranges between $100 and $140.

Passport Cards

Another option is to buy a passport card. It has a size and appearance similar to that of a driver’s license and can be used for travel to Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Mexico. It is smaller and easier to carry and it costs less but it cannot be used for international air travel. The fees vary based on whether it is for adults or children but the range is only $30 to $55.

Expediting

If an emergency has come up, it is possible to obtain a fast renewal. There will be an additional fee of $60 and you’ll also have to pay for the two-day delivery when it is mailed to you. Bring it in to an agency but if you must send it by mail, you should also use two-day service. Write the word “expedite” on the envelope and sign up for mail tracking or delivery confirmation.

Online Help

There are answers on the Net about what to do if you are traveling officially, how to get proof of citizenship and any other questions you may have. It could be that you want to know about how many visa pages you need or how to replace a passport that has been lost or stolen. All the instructions for how to fill out the applications are also provided online.

Obtaining a United States passport renewal is easier than ever. Get started early because the country you plan to visit might require that your documents are valid six months after you arrive. There are expediting services available, like if a lost passport is incurred and a renewal is needed you can get an expedited passport renewal.