Did you all know that there is a limit to a blog post? I didn't know that until I tried posting my 'Passport Renewal Made Easy' post. It ended at STEP 2 when I tried to post it. So, 'Passport Renewal Made Easy' will have to be in two parts. I'll go ahead and start with STEP 1 again just so all the steps are in one place.
So, here's the rest of the post. This is continued from http://kyndrahatch.blogspot.com/2012/02/passport-renewal-made-easy_07.html :
STEP 1: For a passport renewal, you need to fill out form DS-82 . You can find the form here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/ds82/ds82_843.html
STEP 2: You have to send in your current passport (even if it is expired). If it is expired, it has to have been issued when you were 16 years old or older. It has to have been issued within the last 15 years. It has to be your current name, or a name that you can legally show you changed (like if you got married, include your marriage certificate).
If none of the above applies to you, then you cannot use form DS-82. This blog entry will not help you. Go to this link for more information on how to proceed (or see the links below to see if any of them will help you): http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_830.html
If the above does apply to you, proceed to step three.
STEP 3: Print form DS-82 and fill it out. DON'T FORGET TO SIGN AND DATE IT ON PAGE 1.
STEP 4: Staple your passport photo to the area indicated on the form. The passport photo requirements are outlined very well here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotoreq/pptphotoreq_5333.html
When you staple your photo, staple it just like this: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_4426.html
STEP 5: Get a check or money order ready. These are the fees http://travel.state.gov/passport/fees/fees_837.html:
Choose one of the following options (Remember: this is for a renewal, not a first time applicant):
a. Adult Passport Book and Card: $140
b. Adult Passport Book only: $110
c. Adult Passport Card only (if you already have a book): $30
Consider both of the following options in addition:
a. Expedited Service: $60
b. Overnight Delivery: $12.72
In my case, I only needed a book. I don't know the benefit of a card yet, especially since you can just use the book for every border you cross.
So, in my case, I started with $110.
If you don't mind waiting about 6 weeks for your renewed passport, you can just send in the $110 with the application.
However, I added $60 for the Expedited Service. They say that it would be 2 to 3 weeks with this service, but mine only took a total of 7 days.
Add another $12.72 for overnight delivery. If I didn't add this in, I probably would have gotten the passport in 10 or 12 days.
Do not request these services on any extra papers. By writing a check for $182.72 (which is the total of $110 + $60 + $12.72) you are requesting these services already. Try to quell any obsessive/compulsive behavior; this is how you request these things, trust me (and I'm as obsessive/compulsive as they get).
STEP 6: Get a Document Mailer envelope. The website recommends Tyvek, but I got a USPS Express Mail document mailer envelope at the Post Office. DO NOT SEND IN A REGULAR LETTER-SIZED ENVELOPE.
STEP 7: Place old passport, form DS-82, check or money order for total (my case was $182.72), and extra passport photo (you get two when you get them at a pharmacy like Walgreens) in the envelope and seal it. Just place these all in there losely. Do not staple or paperclip anything together. The only stapling you'll be doing is what is required in STEP 4.
STEP 8: Write the word 'EXPEDITE' in large letters above the area where you put the address: http://travel.state.gov/passport/hurry/hurry_831.html
STEP 9: Fill out a USPS Express Mail address form that the postman will stick to the envelope (can be found at the post office). I am definitely saying you should use the US Post Office. Passport is Government and USPS is Government, so might as well keep it all Government. It must be Express Mail. I did Express Mail when sending my passport and paid the $12.72 for them to Express Mail it back to me. I think that was key to getting my passport in only 7 days. http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/forms_4553.html
Address the envelope to (This is for the Expedited Service):
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955
STEP 10: Your passport should be back to you shortly! You can look at current processing times here:
The Expedited Service time said 2-3 weeks when I sent in my form and passport, but it only took 7 days door-to-door!
If you need your passport in less than 14 days, go here for more information:
If you are trying to get a passport for the first time, go here for more information:
If you are looking for a Regional Passport Agency near you, go here:
If you need to add pages to your current passport, go here for more information:
If you are looking to get your passport in a hurry, I'd say there is a risk involved with all options to get a passport. I'm sure there are some couriers that can get your passport to you in the time they say they will. If you're willing to pay the extra fees and need your passport RIGHT NOW, then I'd say go for it. Unfortunately, I don't know who to recommend since I have no experience with them.
In the end, it's best we all check our passport expiration dates periodically to make sure we don't get ourselves into a situation where we need a passport in a hurry to begin with. I know my husband and I learned our lesson!
Good luck and happy traveling!