Infographic: How to Get or Renew a U.S. Passport

by rajtechnews March 24, 2018 at 7:02 am 0 comments
Infographic: How to Get or Renew a U.S. Passport

This infographic provides a simple, step-by-step guide for how to apply for a new passport or renew one you have.

Infographic showing the steps to renew or apply for a U.S. passport.

Apply for a U.S. Passport


To have a U.S. passport, you must be a U.S. citizen.

Passport Book and Passport Card

Depending on where you are traveling outside of the U.S., you will need to determine if you need a passport book or a passport card.

  • A passport book is required for all international travel by air.
  • To enter the United States at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, you can use a passport book or a passport card.
  • A passport card is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book, but it cannot be used for international travel by air.

How to Apply

The application process is the same for either the passport book or card, even if you want both at the same time. You have to go in person to present your application.

From Within the United States

  • If you need to get a passport in two weeks or less, you will need an expedited process. To find out where you need to go and what additional fees you’ll pay, follow the steps to get a passport quickly.
  • If you will be traveling in three weeks or more, you can follow the regular application process and apply in person at a passport acceptance facility.

From Outside the United States

  • Contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate near you for information and forms to request a passport from outside the U.S.

Items You Need to Apply for a U.S. Passport

  • Application Form – To complete the application for a passport book, card, or both together, first do one of the following:
    • Fill out the application online. Use the Passport Application Wizard to step through the process of filling out the application. When you’ve completed the application, print it out to take to the passport acceptance facility. Passport applications cannot be submitted online.
    • Fill out the application by hand. Download the passport application form (DS-11) and instructions (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) and complete the application by hand, or go to a local passport acceptance facility to get a copy to fill out.
      • Whether you fill it out online or by hand, it is important that you do not sign the form until you are instructed to do so in front of a passport designated official you will meet when applying in person.
  • Personal documents – You’ll need to bring all of the following:
    • An original proof of citizenship document
    • An acceptable photo ID document
    • A photocopy of the front and back of the photo ID document
  • Passport photo – Follow the photo requirements.
  • Payment – Calculate your passport fees.

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Renew a U. S. Passport

Every person, regardless of age, must have their own passport to travel internationally by air.


To have a U.S. passport, you need to be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization.

You can renew your current or expired U.S. passport unless your passport was:

  • Issued before your 16th birthday
  • Issued 15 or more years ago
  • Damaged, lost, or stolen
  • Issued in your previous name and you don’t have a legal document like a marriage license to prove your legal name change

If any of these are true, you cannot renew your passport. Instead, you must apply for a new passport in person using form DS-11.

How to Renew Your Passport

  • If you need to get a passport quickly–in two weeks or less–you will need to have your passport renewal expedited and pay additional fees.
    • Call the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment at a  Regional Passport Agency. There are two options for getting an appointment:
      • For an automated appointment system available 24 hours a day, call 1-877-487-2778; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793.
      • OR use the online passport appointment system.
    • At your appointment, you’ll need to provide proof of immediate travel, an expedited fee, and the items listed below to renew your passport.
  • If you will be traveling in three weeks or more, you can submit an application by mail.

If you live outside the U.S. or Canada: Contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate near you for information and forms on all passports requested from overseas.

Items You Need to Renew Your Passport

  • Application form – Use the renewal application form DS-82 (PDF, Download Adobe Reader). You can print it and fill it out by hand, or use the Passport Application Wizard to complete the form online and print it out. While applications can be filled out online, they cannot be submitted online. You can also get a DS-82 form at a local passport acceptance facility or regional agency.
  • Passport photo – Follow the photo requirements.
  • Payment – Include your passport fees.
  • Your most recent passport.
  • If your name has changed, you’ll need a certified copy of your marriage certificate or a court order of your name change.

The Passport Services Office returns the official documents you submit as supporting documentation.

Tips on When to Renew Your Passport

  • Renew your passport approximately nine months before it expires.
  • Check the expiration date because certain countries require passports to remain valid for up to 6 months after travel. Also, some airlines do not allow you to board if you don’t meet this requirement.
  • If you travel frequently, check the “52 page” box at the top of your passport application to receive a larger passport book with 52 pages.

For more information, see these frequently asked questions about passports.

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Get a Passport Quickly

You could ask and pay for expedited service if:

  • Traveling in 24-48 hours for an emergency such as a serious illness, injury, or death in your immediate family
  • Traveling within 2 weeks as you are able to provide proof of immediate international travel (for example, purchased airline or cruise tickets)

For the above, you need to follow the steps for expedited service request in person:

  1. Call the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment at a passport agency. There are two options to make an appointment:
    • For an automated appointment system available 24 hours a day, call 1-877-487-2778;TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793.  
    • Use the Passport Services online appointment system.
  2. With an appointment, submit your request in person at a regional passport agency.

If your trip is not within 2 weeks, but you need your U.S. passport more quickly than the normal processing period of 4 to 6 weeks, you can request expedited service by mail or in person at a passport acceptance facility near you.

In addition to the regular passport application costs, the expedited service will cost an extra $60, plus any delivery costs.

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Passports for Minors Under the Age of 18

All children must apply or reapply for a U.S. passport in person at a passport agency.

  • Children under 16 need parental consent and their parents must:
    • Be present with their children
    • Co-sign the application
  • Children ages 16-17 applying for a passport can do it by themselves if they have their own identification documents.  However, it is recommended that at least one parent appears in person with the child to show parental awareness.

Find resources about passports and custody disputes and how parents may enroll their children who are U.S. citizens under the age of 18 in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP).

If you are living overseas, contact a U.S. Embassy or consulate in the country where you are for information on how to apply for your child’s passport.

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Check the Status of Your Passport

Passport application processing times vary throughout the year, but there is a way to get a passport in an emergency.  Check the status of your passport application online 7-10 days after applying.

If you have questions about passports, please contact the National Passport Information Center.

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Passport Fees

Fees for renewing or getting a new passport depend on several factors such as if you are just getting a passport card or if you opt for expedited service. The passport application fee and the execution fee are non-refundable. They are collected and retained by law even if a passport is not issued.

If you are outside the U.S. and are renewing or applying for a new passport, ask your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate what forms of payment they are able to accept.

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