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How To Renew Your Passport and Get One For The First Time

how to renew your passport

Many Americans are making plans to travel internationally as countries begin to relax their border policies. Because there was little ability to travel since the beginning of 2020, lots of people haven’t taken a look at the expiration date of their passport and are now finding out that it has expired or will expire soon. Many are also wanting to travel internationally for the first time and need to get a passport. This article is all about how to renew your passport or obtain a passport for the first time.

How to Renew Your Passport in a Hurry

Those who need to renew their passport quickly must schedule an in-person appointment at a local passport agency within three business days of your trip and pay an additional $60 fee to expedite the application process. You can book your appointment two weeks in advance. These in-person appointments are very limited but are the quickest way to renew your passport. Click here to find your closest passport agency.

If you are unable to get an in-person appointment at a passport agency, you can also expedite your passport by mail, but the process will be slower. Expediting a passport application by mail averages processing times between 4-12 weeks and still carries an additional $60 fee. If your upcoming trip is within the next few weeks or months, you may want to go the in-person route instead.

Passport Acceptance Fairs

For those who have never had a passport, there are many passport acceptance fairs throughout the United States intended to make it easier for people to obtain a passport. Click here to see the locations and dates of the fairs.

When to Renew Your Passport In-Person

If you have a passport and wish to renew, and are in no rush, the Department of State recommends renewing your passport by mail. Here you will find everything you need to submit your passport renewal application via mail.

There are certain situations where you are required to apply in person, such as first-time applicants, children, and those whose passports were last issued when they were under the age of 16. When going to an in-person passport center, be sure to call ahead to ensure the agency is open and inquire as to whether the agency requires appointments.

You can check the application status of your passport here.

Renewing Your Passport While Abroad

If you are overseas and you need to renew your passport to return to the United States, you can renew your passport at the U.S. Embassy of the country where you are located. Make sure to visit that embassy’s website to find the specific instructions on how to renew your passport while abroad.

Updating Your Passport Photo

If your physical appearance has changed significantly compared to your passport photo, you may be required to update it. You can take your passport photo yourself, but it must adhere to the Department of State’s guidelines. Those guidelines can be found here.

Getting a Passport for Someone Under 16

If you need to obtain a passport for someone under 16, click here for a list of all the documents required for your in-person appointment.

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