Whether you lost your passport or changed your name, you'll need to replace your passport if you want to travel.

But, do you renew your old passport or do you get a new one?

Well, it depends on your passport needs.

In this post, we'll go over these two methods of getting a new passport. We'll also highlight the differences and similarities between each application process.

Let's get started. 

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Passport Renewal vs. New Passport: When To Apply

When to Apply for Passport Renewal?

Below are the necessary conditions you must meet to renew your current passport.

  • You were 16 years or older when receiving your first passport.
  • It's in your legal name, or you have legal documents to support the name change.
  • Your passport was issued less than 15 years ago.
  • Your passport is undamaged and in your possession.

Remember that you can’t apply to renew the passport for any children under the age of 16. These passports are not renewable. Likewise, you can’t renew your passport if you’ve had it for more than 15 years. At this point, you are legally required to change your passport.

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When To Apply For a New Passport

If you meet the requirements below, then you should apply for a new passport.

  • You’ve never had a passport before
  • Your passport is lost or damaged.
  • You received your first passport when you were younger than 16 years old.
  • You've had your passport longer than 15 years.
  • You changed your name but didn't have the necessary supporting documents.
  • Your applying for a child younger than 16

It's important to remember that you can apply for a new passport even if you had one before. If your passport is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will need to use the new passport application. Another common reason you might need to use the new passport application form if you had a passport before is if you changed your name but don't have the legal proof.

New Passport vs. Passport Renewal: Required Documents

The first significant difference between applying for a new passport and a passport renewal is that you need to fill out different forms.

New passports require a DS-11 form, and passports renewals require a DS-82 form. You can find both of these passport forms on our site

Another major difference between new Passport and Passport renewals is that you need to provide documentation on any name changes.

If you've had your name changed legally, you would need the documentation to prove it. Otherwise, you will need to complete a new passport form if you can't provide the proper documentation.

Another difference is that you need to submit your old passport with a passport renewal application, whereas with a new application, you don't.

New Passport Application: Required Documents

Below are the documents required for a new passport application:

  • Form DS-11
  • Proof of U.S Citizenship
  • Government Issued Photo ID
  • Color Passport Photo (Must be no older than six months)
  • Fee Payment

Passport Renewal Application: Required Documents

Below are the documents required for a passport renewal application:

  • Passport Renewal Application DS-82
  • Change Name verification documents, if needed.
  • Old Passport
  • Color Passport Photo ( Must be no older than six months)
  • Fee Payment


New Passport vs. Passport Renewal: Submission

New passport and passport renewals also have different methods of submission.

When submitting the documents for your renewal application, you can do so anytime, from anywhere. There are minimal restrictions. You are also allowed to sign the DS-82 form from home.

This means you can submit your renewal application from anywhere in the U.S or anywhere in the world that ships to the United States.

The New Passport application has more severe restrictions than passport renewals.

The first significant difference is that the DS-11 form required for new passport applications can't be signed at home. If you sign it at home, you will need to complete a new application form.

The application form must be signed in front of an authorized agent at an approved submission location.

After signing your application, you also need to submit your application and all the required documents. This means that you typically need to plan and make an appointment at a designated submission location to submit your new passport application.

New Passport vs. Passport Renewal: Price

The final difference between the two applications is the price. Renewing your passport application is cheaper than new passport applications.

A new passport application costs $130 for the application and $35 for the execution fee. Passport renewals, on the other hand, are only $110. Since there is no interaction with an official shipping station, you don't need to pay the execution fee.


That wasn't so bad, was it?

Now you should have no problem getting your new passport at your fingertips.

After this article, you should have all the information you need to choose which approach is best for you.

About This Author

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

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