Applying for/Renewing a U.S. Passport

February 28, 2017

 Between last year and now nearly 49 million peoples (including mine) passports will expire. With the recent travel ban, wall talk, and other crazy happenings having a valid passport is definitely a must!  As the last renewal process for most young adults was completed by our parent(s) here’s a quick guide for renewing your passport (yay adulting!) or applying for the first time.

First Time Applicants/Minors

1) Fill out the DS-11 Form. Based on your travel needs determine whether you want the book, card, or both.

2)  Collect proof of U.S. Citizenship/Identity/Relationship for Minors (i.e Certified Birth Certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, Driver’s License)

3)  Have a 2×2 color photo taken at your local Walgreens, CVS, Passport Studio, or Post Office.  Be sure to check which locations offer this service as not all do. You can also take the photo yourself based on the guidelines here but I recommend leaving this to a professional to not delay your application process.

 4.  Obtain a check/money order made to the “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE” for the fees ($105-$225) and take your completed application to your local acceptance facility or passport agency. Here you’ll have the option to do the routine processing time of approximately 6 weeks or to expedite the process (2-3 weeks) for an extra $60.

5.  Collect stamps and enjoy your new passport book for the next 10 years or 5 years for minors under 16.

Renewing A Passport

1) Fill out the DS-82 form.  Determine whether you want to add the passport card.

2) Gather your current/recently expired passport book. Also, include a copy of your certified marriage certificate if you recently tied the knot.

3) Same as #3 above, have your photo taken at your local Walgreens, CVS, Passport Studio, or Post Office.

4) Obtain a check/money order for the fees ($110 – $200) made to the “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE.” It is imperative your full name & date of birth are either written or printed on the front of the check/money order.   As you already have a passport book you can mail in the application with the routine/expedited process mentioned above. Expediting in person at your local passport agency is also available if traveling in less than 2 weeks or for life/death emergency. Proof of travel/emergency is required & you can pay by major credit/debit cards, bank draft, or exact change in cash there.

5) Time to refill your book with stamps!

ICYMI – Things to Know

1) Gone are the days of paying for extra pages! Everyone now has the option of selecting a standard 24-page book or 52-page book at no additional charge.

2)When going for your #PicturePerfectPassport photo be prepared to take off your glasses or trade them for contacts as they are no longer accepted in photos.  You definitely don’t want to be apart of the 200,000+ photos that get rejected and delay the application process. For more information to avoid a rejected photo read this helpful article here.

3) There are companies out there that “can expedite the process even faster” for you but charge an arm & leg for this service. Beware of this as you are just paying more for them to do the same thing you can do yourself!

Happy Traveling!

 xo Sincerely Shanti

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  • Reply kerona February 28, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I’m not a US Citizen but great info for those who are very informative

  • Reply Joanna March 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I have a WHILE before I have to renew. Wish I got the 52 pages though. :-/

  • Reply Zuri March 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Super helpful! I didn’t know they don’t allow glasses anymore!! I’ll be taking a trip in May but haven’t been out of the country in over 10 years. Since my passport expired do you think I’ll have any issues getting a new one?

    • Reply sincerely shanti March 6, 2017 at 5:41 am

      Hey Zuri! You shouldn’t have an issue. It just depends on when your last one was issued/expired in order to determine which form you’ll need to use.

  • Reply Aitza B March 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    This is a timely post. I’ve noticed a great deal of my friends have been renewing their passports. There was so much misinformation when it was originally announced glasses would not be allowed; people were going out and getting new passports even though they didn’t need to yet!

    Aitza B |

  • Reply Kenecia Lashae March 10, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Love your blog! Great info!

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