Are you planning an international trip but your passport is about to expire? If it’s time to renew your U.S. passport, make it easy on yourself and get your passport renewal application underway with these five simple steps.
When exactly does your passport expire? You’ll find the expiration date on the photo page of your passport book or on the front of your passport card. As a United States citizen, you need to renew your adult passport every 10 years.
Just because your passport is valid today doesn’t mean it will be when you’re traveling, though. Many countries require passports to be valid for six months at the time of entry. Check with the embassy in your destination for guidance.
If you do need to renew your passport, you need to determine whether you’re eligible to apply by mail.
Some renewal applications can be submitted through the domestic mail—depending on your situation, however, you may need to attend an in-person appointment. For example, passport renewals for minors require an appointment at a designated facility, as do renewal applications for first-time adult passports and overseas applications. Other scenarios apply.
Consult the U.S. State Department website, or call its customer service line, for guidance on exactly how to renew a U.S. passport and whether you can apply by mail or are required to attend an in-person appointment.
Whatever your situation, you’ll need a passport photograph that meets all State Department requirements as part of your U.S. passport renewal application.
While you’re at it, check expiration dates on other documentation to see if you require additional photos. Passport photos can be used for many forms of official identification other than passports.
Whether you’re renewing or applying to replace a lost or damaged passport, a current passport photo is recommended.
Passport renewal forms are located on the State Department website. Determine whether you will be applying for a passport book, a passport card, or both.
A passport book is intended for all forms of international travel, while a passport card is specifically designed for land and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Again, refer to the U.S. State Department guidance for the form of passport that best meets your needs.
Bring the completed paperwork ready for mailing to your photo appointment, or print the forms you need at The UPS Store. The State Department offers comprehensive guidance on how to fill out the required paperwork.
Be sure to bring to the photo appointment all the information you require for completing and mailing your application, including your existing passport.
How quickly you need a new passport will determine whether you pay for the application to be expedited. The State Department provides a number of options to accommodate your situation.
The UPS Store locations can securely mail your renewal application via the United States Postal Service. Check with your local The UPS Store for details on express mailing services for expedited renewals, shipment tracking, and mailing costs.
While The UPS Store locations are not able to review passport applications or accept passports, their expert associates can help get your passport renewal application securely mailed.
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