Passport renewal or new passport? How do you know if you should renew your old passport or simply apply for a new one? Can you renew your passport even if it has expired? Read on to know for sure.

Passport Renewal

If you meet all of the qualifications listed below, you can renew your passport instead of having to apply for a new one:

  • You were 16 or older when you applied for your most recent passport.
  • You still have your most recent US passport, and it is undamaged and in good condition.
  • Your passport is no more than 15 years old. Or in other words, if your adult passport with a ten year validity is more than 5 years expired, you cannot renew it.
  • If you’ve changed your name since your last passport was issued, you have legal documentation to support the name change.

Passport renewals can be done through the mail or in person. Applicants can visit their local post office for the application or fill it out online: Passport Renewal Form DS-82. Be sure to include a recent passport photo along with a check for government fees, and include your recent passport.

New Passport

  • If your passport has been lost or damaged, you must apply in person for a new passport.
  • If you were under the age of 16 when you got your current passport, you need to apply for a new one.
  • If your passport is more than 15 years old, you’ll need a new one.
  • If you’ve changed your name and don’t have the applicable paperwork, you’ll also need to apply for a new passport.

What’s the difference between applying for a passport renewal instead of a new passport?  When applying for a new passport, you have to go in-person to a passport acceptance facility and fill out form DS-11, Application for a New Passport. Since you have to apply in person, you’ll pay a $35.00 execution fee in addition to the fees listed above.  Plus, you’ll need to bring proof of identity and proof of citizenship.

This step in the process is extremely important and can impact the time it takes to get your new passport. Use this tool to find a passport acceptance agent near you.

After you’ve submitted your application, all you have to do is have patience and wait for your passport to arrive in the mail. It can take up to 9 weeks for routine processing.

How To Get Your Passport Fast

If you need a passport quickly, it is important to understand how soon you’re traveling, and how quickly you’ll need your passport to ensure it’s delivery prior to your trip. If you’re planning to leave the country sooner than later, you’ll likely need

some type of expedited passport service. Current routine processing for passport currently takes up to 9 weeks.  If you want to get your passport in time, it’s important to choose the right expediting method from the start.

Expedited Passport Service at a Passport Acceptance Office

One way to speed up the process of getting a passport is by requesting standard expedited services at the post office or another passport acceptance office. You’ll pay a $60 expedite fee in addition to your regular application fees. If you want overnight delivery, you’ll also pay an extra shipping fee. Expediting at the post office generally gets you service in up to 5 weeks, and is not guaranteed. In addition, if there are any problems with your applications or documentation, your passport could possibly be delayed.

Expedited Service at a Regional Passport Agency

There is another way to obtain a new passport, and that is to schedule an appointment with a Regional Passport Agency. Although, there are some requirements you must meet. You must be departing for your international travel within 14 days or less, or if you’re leaving next month and need to get a visa before you travel.

In this situation, Regional Passport Agencies will typically get your passport to you within 8 business days. However, these appointments can be hard to obtain because there are only a handful of regional passport agencies serving the entire country, so you may have to travel to get to one near you. Additionally, passport agencies often have limited operating hours. If you work during the day and can’t get time off, this may not be an option for you. At a Regional Passport Agency, you’ll pay the same additional $60 expedite fee you’d pay if you were applying for passport expedited service at a Passport Acceptance Office.

Using a Passport Expediting Company

If you need a passport sooner than a Passport Acceptance Office or the post office, but you can’t (or don’t want to) go to a regional passport agency, it may be worth considering using a private passport expediting company. A registered passport expediting company will take your application to the Department of State, where it will be processed in as little as 7 business days. The company will then ship your new passport back to you, usually overnight. Not only does using an expediting company reduce the time needed to receive a United States passport, it also lessens the chance of errors that could delay your application. If there’s a setback at the passport office, the expediting company can inform you immediately so that corrections can be made, and your passport can be in it’s way to processing and back to you in time for your trip.

Get Your Passport Fast With RushMyPassport

If you need a passport quickly, but don’t have the time or patience to go to a passport agency, RushMyPassport can help. With services ranging from new passportspassport renewalschild passports, or replacing a lost or stolen passport, RushMyPassport is the most convenient way to get a passport in a hurry! Visit us online to get started, or visit a FedEx Office location near you!