FAQ – Passport Renewal
- My passport is expired, is there a grace period to renew it?
Yes, you have five years from the expiration date to renew your passport as long as it was a 10-year passport (does not include temporary or child passports).
- Where is the expiration date on my passport?
The expiration date is located on the data page where your full name and photo are also located. Look for the second to last piece of information next to your picture. The title should be "Date of expiration/Date d'expiration/Fecha de caducidad." Under that phrase should be a date in the format of day/month/year. This is the expiration date of your passport. See photo for reference.
- Can I renew my child's passport?
Child Passports [child was under 16 when issued a passport] are only valid for 5 years. They cannot be renewed the same way as an adult passport. You must apply for a New Child Passport until the age of 16.
Note: To expedite your child's passport with our service, please select the "child passport" service for all minors under 18. There are special requirements for age 16 and 17.
- How do I get my photos to you?
You will include your photo with the application and documents when you send via overnight shipping.
- When do I need to get my passport renewed?
The State Department recommends that U.S. citizens renew their passports approximately nine months before the date of expiration since many countries require at least 6 months validity left on your passport in addition to the 6-8 weeks standard processing time. If you do not have 6 months left on your passport and you are traveling soon, we can help expedite quickly.
- If my passport is damaged, can I still renew it?
Unfortunately, damaged passports cannot be renewed. You must select the damaged passport service, which requests a statement explaining how the passport was mutilated or damaged. Your passport will be considered damaged if it has extensive water damage, torn or ripped pages, unapproved holes, separated pages, a loose or missing cover, or any other suspicious markings. If you are not sure, it is best to apply for a new passport.
- Can I renew a Temporary Passport that was issued to me while abroad?
Unfortunately, only 10-year passports, in good condition, are able to be renewed. Please check the Issue Date and the Expiration Date on the data page of your passport next to your photo. You can still receive a new passport but you will need to apply for a new passport.
- Can I use my old passport photo from my expired passport?
No, new passport photos must be taken each time a passport is issued. Photos must be no older than 6 months and the Department of State is very strict on this policy. We recommend having your photo taken professionally at CVS, Walgreens, or other professional photo service. See other requirements here.
- Will my passport number be the same?
No, your new passport will be issued with a different number that has not been used on any previous passports.
- Can I use a valid visa in an expired passport?
Sometimes. It is important to check with the individual countries to confirm, but if you have a valid visa in an expired passport, some countries allow you to travel with both your passports (the expired one with the valid visa AND the new passport).
- I'm renewing my passport. Do I get the old one back?
Yes, your old, canceled passport is returned to you unless it is deemed to be damaged by the United States Department of State. It may be sent separately from your new passport. It is a good idea to keep it in a safe place as it is considered proof of your U.S. citizenship.
How long does it take to renew my passport by mail?
There are 3 options to renewing your passport by mail.
- 6-8 weeks - through the post office using standard processing
- 3 weeks - through the post office using expedited processing
- 1-12 Days - through an expedited passport service
- Can I renew my passport at the Post Office?
Actually, you don't renew your passport at the post office, you mail your application through the post office, which is then sent to the National Passport Processing Center. Processing times range from 6-8 weeks or 2-3 weeks if expedited processing is selected.
By using a passport expediting service, your application is mailed overnight or dropped off at one of our passport courier offices and submitted for processing that day. Processing times range from 1-12 days depending on speed of service selected.
- How long must my passport be valid for international travel?
Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your trip. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must apply to renew your passport.
- What if my name has changed?
If you need to change the name in your passport, and your passport is less than one year old, use Form DS-5504. If your current passport is more than one year old and you wish to change the name, you will need to apply for a Passport Renewal. You will need to submit the original court document indicating the name change or original marriage certificate, along with your current passport and other supporting documents.