Renewing your passport is something that you will have to do every 10 years once you get a passport. Before you go on an international trip be sure to check the expiration date on your passport to see when it expires. You should check if your passport is still valid even if you don’t expect to go on a trip as you never know when an opportunity may arise when you’ll need to have a valid passport. Even countries close to the US such as Canada now have stricter passport laws. If you find that you need to renew your passport here are some easy steps on how you can renew your passport.
First off you will need to find your old passport. You will need to return your old passport in order to get an updated passport. Your old passport will be returned when you receive your new one in the mail so you will still be able to keep it for sentimental reasons if you’d like later on.
Once you have located your old passport make sure to have some new passport photos taken. You will need at least 2 of these photos to send in with your applications when you apply to renew your passport. There are lots of places you can go to get this done such as your local post office, AAA office, a copy store, or university bookstore. A special camera is used to generate these passport photos so you should not use your own personal pictures. Luckily enough passport pictures are usually very cheap and should cost less than $10.
Next you should go online and find the U.S. State department’s website that contains the passport renewal application. Fill out the application carefully. Once you fill out the passport renewal application you will have to write a check to pay for the renewal fee. The check has to have the same name as listed on your passport and your correct address information. Expect that it should be around $75.00 if you are renewing only your passport. You will have to pay more if you would like to expedite the passport renewal process.
Finally get all your documents together and get ready to send them off in the mail. You should purchase a manila envelope to put all of your documents in. Keep in mind that if you are renewing passports for your whole family that each person needs to send in their individual documents in separate envelopes. The address that will be used to send you your new passport to you is the one you indicated on the renewal application. It’s not a good idea to send the package through regular mail as it contains sensitive material. Be sure to spend a little extra when you mail in the package to renew your passport and send it as express mail so the package can be tracked.