Passport Renewal – Step-by-Step Guide

Do you need a new passport? Here's a step-by-step tutorial to get you started!

Needless to say, a passport is one of the most important documents you can have to prove your identity and citizenship. Furthermore, when the validity of your passport exceeds ten years, it must be renewed.

Scroll down to learn about the steps for renewing your passport online. In addition, this article will go over the documents needed and the processing time for renewing your passport.

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Step 1: Take a passport photo.

For all passport applications, two 2"x2" passport photos are required.

If you're looking for a place to get a passport photo taken, AAA has you covered. We'll have you in and out in no time thanks to competitive pricing and a streamlined process. Unless you decide to stay for other travel services, such as ordering foreign currency, purchasing trip insurance, or speaking with a Travel agent to begin planning your next big trip!

Step 2: Fill out your passport application or renewal form for the United States.

To proceed with your passport application or renewal, you must fill out and submit the appropriate form. Depending on your requirements, you will require a different form:

  • DS-11: New passport application (first-time applicant).
  • Children under the age of 16: DS-11
  • Children aged 16-17 (valid for only five years): DS-11
  • Passport Renewal Form: DS-82
  • If your DS-64 is lost or stolen, please contact us right away.

Step 3: Gather your supporting documentation.

Prepare your supporting documents for submission. You will be unable to obtain a passport unless you provide proof of citizenship. Your birth date is an example of one of these.

  • A fully valid United States passport (if renewing)
  • In some cases, a birth abstract is required.
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Citizenship Certificate

You must also provide a valid form of photo ID in addition to proof of citizenship. It must be a physical copy rather than a digital copy. You will also need to submit your old (undamaged) passport for renewal.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment with a passport service center.

Finding a passport processing location may be easier (and closer!) than you think. Many post offices, clerks of court, public libraries, and another state, county, and municipal government offices can accept passport applications for both standard and expedited processing. Some are even open for walk-ins – no appointment required.

Step 5: Pay the application fees for a passport.

This isn't the most enjoyable part of the application process, but it is required. If you want your application to be processed, you must pay the passport application and passport renewal cost. While prices vary depending on the time of year, shipping method, and type of passport, you can always expect to pay more than $100.

Step 6: Engage in the waiting game.

Be prepared to wait, wait, and wait for your passport. Passport processing times may still be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's what you can expect in terms of wait times:

  • Normal processing time: 8-11 weeks
  • 5-7 weeks for expedited processing

Step 7: You'll get your new passport!

You've finally mastered it! Your passport should be delivered to your home or PO box.

Don't be alarmed if you receive your new passport and citizenship documents (old passport, birth certificate, etc.) at different times for both new applicants and renewals. That is quite common. These should arrive within ten business days of each other.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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