Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Learn About the Passport Renewal Process

A US passport enables a person to travel to other countries and re-enter the country as a US citizen. There is no need for holders to submit any other proof of their citizenship. So it is important that this identification document is updated and renewed so as to experience hassle free international travels.

Purpose of US Travel Permit

A person can possess only one valid US passport at a time. It is not a compulsory rule that a US citizen should hold a US passport, but it is a must if at all the person is planning to undertake frequent trips out of the country. US citizens did not require a passport to travel to Canada and Mexico, until recently. However they can now do so, only if they have a valid US passport.

The two formats of travel permit issued are the traditional passport book and the passport card. The book type is small with a navy color cover. It resembles a small book and has many blank pages inside it. The card type was introduced very recently (in 2008). It is highly compact and resembles a credit card. Unlike the book type, it has no pages and hence more convenient than the book. One major difference between the two is that the card type can be used only when a person travels to and from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean whereas the Passport books can be used during all international trips.

When should one go in for passport renewal?

When a person has a travel permit that is about to expire, he/she should go in for passport renewal. When a person applies for a renewal, he/she should submit the old permit in order to get it canceled, after which it will be returned. US passport is considered to be a property of the US government. (It has the right to revoke any person's travel permits on valid grounds.)

When a person applies for a new passport, it requires to be applied in person. It is not so in the case of renewing passports. Renewal of US passports can easily be done through mail itself. A person can go in for renewing if his/her US passport:

· is about to expire and is undamaged (so that it can be submitted along with the travel permit application) · was issued when the person was 16 years of age or older
· was issued within the past 15 years
· was issued with the person's current name

A person can also renew his/her permit in case he/she wants to document their name change legally.

Passport renewal process

There are two different situations in the process of renewing travel permit.

· Passport Renewal from inside the US - Form DS-82 (Application for a US Passport by Mail) should be filed to renew US passport.

· Passport renewal from outside the US - US Citizens in Canada should file Form DS-82 to the address mentioned on the form; Others should renew their passports at their nearest US Consulate or Embassy

A person, whose US passport has been badly mutilated or damaged, cannot apply for passport renewal through mail and should apply in person only. Also if a person is behind on child support payments, then this disqualifies him/her from applying for a renewal of the passport.

It is recommended that all passport renewal applications and personal documents (for proof) be sent only by a traceable delivery method like UPS, FedEx or USPS (United States Postal Service). The applicants are also advised to mail their applications and supporting documents using a secure packaging so as to protect the contents from extreme weather conditions. The application and personal documents should not be folded and applicants should never use a standard letter envelope. Passports that are renewed by mail in the US should be mailed only to US and Canadian addresses.

Fee for Passport Renewal Process

The fee varies depending on whether the applicant is filing to renew either passport book or card.

Passport Book and Card - $140 Passport Book - $110 Passport Card - $30

If you are interested in learning more about How to Renew Green Cards, Green Card Application, US Passport Renewal and Passport Application visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Direct Services at

Applying for a US Passport?

A passport,an internationally recognized travel document acts as a verification of the identity and nationality of the one holding it. As far as the United States passport is concerned, the US Department of State is the sole authority that grants, issues, or verifies it.

The US passport comes with a 5 year and 10 year validity. For persons who were issued passports when they were 16 years old or older, the passport is valid for 10 years. Whereas for persons who were issued passports when they were 15 years old or younger, the passport is valid only for 5 years.

You can apply for a passport at over 9,000 facilities available across the US. These include many Federal, state, and probate courts, post offices, a few public libraries, county and municipal offices.

To expedite the process, additionally there are 13 regional passport agencies and one Gateway City Agency available to serve individuals traveling within 14 days, or who need foreign visas to travel. Under such circumstances, appointments are required.

You have to apply for your US passport in person if you are applying for the first time.

Also if:
your passport expired and is not in your possession
your passport expired and was issued more than 15 years ago
your previous passport was issued when you were below 16 years of age
you have a current US passport and that is lost or stolen.

Apart from the circumstances mentioned above, applicants under the age of 14 should appear in person, and be able to provide legal consent of his/her parents or legal guardians. The minor must either be accompanied by both the guardians, one guardian who can provide the other guardian's notarized consent, or one guardian who can submit evidence of soul authority to apply.

Application for Passport In Person:

You must use form DS-11 if:
You have never had a US passport
You are below 16 years old.
The current passport you hold was issued more than 15 years ago
You lost your most recent passport or it was stolen.

Form DS-82 (Application for Passport By Mail) has to be filed to renew a previously issued US passport by mail at anytime OR in person at a Regional Passport Agency in case you are traveling internationally, or need your passport for foreign visas within fourteen (14) days.

Replacing a lost or stolen US passport:

Ensure you report a lost or stolen passport as soon as possible and do it before you can apply for a new one. To do this, you have to fill out form DS-64, Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport. Submitting this form will result in the invalidation of your passport, thus making it unusable for travel. Passports that are reported lost or stolen cannot be re validated.

You have to fill out a new passport application. Complete form DS-11, Application for Passport as you would if you were applying for a new passport. Along with the DS-11 Form, you should also submit DS-64 and brought with you when you go in person to apply for a new passport if your previous passport has been lost or stolen.

The US passport comes with a 5 year and 10 year validity. Also ensure you report a lost or stolen passport as soon as possible and do it before you can apply for a new one. To do this, you have to fill out form DS-64