How can I apply for a passport renewal?
You'll apply for your passport renewal by mail if you meet the following criteria set by the State Department:
You have your most recent passport in an undamaged condition
Your most recent passport was issued no more than 15 years ago, and after you turned 16
Your current legal name matches your most recent passport, or you have legal documentation of your name change
If you don't meet these criteria, you'll need to apply in person and provide the documentation for a new passport rather than following the process for the renewal of a passport. This includes renewing passports for minor children.
Can I renew a passport at the post office?
No. Misconceptions about how to renew a passport at the post office may stem from the fact that:
Passport renewals are often conducted by mail. However, your post office cannot renew your passport — you must send your renewal application to the State Department.
Many post offices are also passport application acceptance facilities. However, passport application acceptance facilities — including post offices — only process new passport applications, not passport renewals.
Passport renewal process
Once you've completed DS-82, you'll need to gather the following items:
Most recent passport
Your old, undamaged passport is proof of identity and citizenship.
Name change documents
If your current legal name doesn't match your passport, you'll need to send certified copies of your legal name change document, like a marriage or divorce certificate.
Like a first-time passport application, you'll need to submit a photo that meets the Department of State's criteria for size, clarity, etc.
You'll pay an application fee by check or money order. The renewal fees are lower than for a new passport application.
Once you've assembled your materials, submit them by mail. You can find the appropriate destination address on the Department of State's passport renewal site, depending on where you live and if you need expedited processing. Once your materials have been received, you can track your renewal online.
A note on passport books: If you already have a passport book and meet the criteria for Form DS-82, you can use your passport to request a passport card by mail, even if it's the first passport card you've requested. Learn more about passports vs. passport cards.
How do I renew an expired passport?
That depends on how long ago your most recent passport was issued. Passport renewal after expiration follows the same steps as renewing a valid passport. If your most recent one was issued within the last 15 years, and meets all the criteria for renewal by mail, you may do so. If your passport was issued more than 15 years ago, you'd need to apply for a new passport instead of a renewal.
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How do I renew my passport if I'm not in the United States?
Depending on the country you're in, if you need to renew your passport while abroad, the State Department usually requires you to visit a United States Embassy in person. Each embassy has a set of renewal procedures you'll need to follow.
One exception is for U.S. citizens renewing their passport from Canada. If you live in Canada, you can renew by mail as normal, as long as you don't need the new passport within four to six weeks. For more urgent processing, you'll need to visit a U.S. embassy or consulate in person.