By Sally French | NerdWallet
When it’s time to resume your U.S. passport, you’ll in all probability have to take action by mail. That means sending away your present passport and hoping that not solely will you obtain a recent, renewed passport — but additionally that you just’ll get your authentic passport again.
Some folks could want renewal by mail; there’s no have to go to a authorities workplace and no want to face in line. But for others, the thought of sending one in every of their most essential paperwork by means of the mail — on the threat of dropping it — is hardly preferable in any respect.
Although there are circumstances during which in-person renewal is required, it’s not an possibility in most conditions. Mailing your passport to the National Passport Processing Center is normally the one solution to renew it.
With that in thoughts, right here’s what that you must find out about renewing a passport, and learn how to cut back the danger of it getting misplaced within the mail.
When it’s important to renew your passport by mail
There was a time when you would renew your passport on-line, however for now, most passports might be renewed solely by mail. The U.S. Department of State requires mail renewals if all of those circumstances apply to you:
- You can submit your outdated passport along with your software (that’s, it has been not misplaced or stolen).
- Your passport has by no means been reported misplaced or stolen.
- Your passport shouldn’t be broken, aside from regular put on and tear.
- Your passport was issued throughout the final 15 years.
- Your passport was issued while you have been age 16 or older.
- Your passport was issued in your present title. Or, you possibly can present one other doc comparable to a wedding certificates or divorce decree that’s proof of your title change.
- Your passport was not restricted to lower than the traditional 10-year interval of validity. That occurs in conditions comparable to having misplaced or broken a number of passports.
If the entire above is true, you’re ineligible to use in individual for renewal, and passport acceptance services is not going to take your renewal software.
If any of these statements will not be true, then you definately’ll have to use in individual. (More on that later.)
Tips for making use of for a passport renewal by mail
If you’re involved about your authentic passport getting misplaced, listed below are some suggestions:
- Include sufficient postage: Large envelopes require extra postage than ordinary. The postage for big envelopes begins at $1.35, in contrast with 66 cents for a daily letter or card, in keeping with the U.S. Postal Service. Avoid having your passport returned since you didn’t embrace sufficient postage.
- Subscribe to e-mail alerts about your software standing: The State Department generates updates about your passport software standing. While that received’t forestall your passport from getting misplaced, it could possibly at the very least present peace of thoughts as to the place it’s.
- Use USPS to ship your renewal software: The State Department says it is best to use the Postal Service to ship your renewal software reasonably than different supply providers comparable to UPS, FedEx or DHL. When you do, ask USPS to make use of a trackable supply methodology so you already know the place your package deal is within the system.
- Submit your software accurately: If your software is incomplete, you could obtain a letter requesting that you just resubmit your software kind, which provides an additional layer of complication. Ensure your software has every little thing it wants, comparable to a brand new picture within the appropriate format, enough charges, a signature with date, all of the pages, and sure, your most up-to-date bodily passport.
Tips for making use of for a passport renewal in individual
If a number of of the circumstances within the State Department’s checklist above don’t apply to you, then you definately’ll in all probability need to renew in individual at a Passport Acceptance Facility, comparable to one of many hundreds of Postal Service places across the nation.
You’ll have to carry numerous paperwork, together with a photograph, a recent software kind and your most up-to-date passport.
If that you must rush your software
At the time of publication, passport processing occasions for renewals have been seven to 10 weeks, in keeping with the State Department. If you want your passport prior to that, you would possibly have the ability to get out of sending it by means of the mail.
If your worldwide journey is eight to 11 weeks out, then you definately’ll have the worst of each worlds: You’ll need to drop your passport within the mail, and also you’ll need to pay a $60 expedited payment along with the traditional software payment.
But for these heading overseas inside seven weeks, you’ll need to make an appointment at a passport company or heart. That could also be inconvenient, however at the very least you received’t need to put your passport within the mail. If you’re fortunate, you would possibly even have the ability to get a passport in sooner or later.