I dreaded having to renew my passport for a variety of reasons. It seemed to cost quite a bit of money. I didn’t want to be without my passport for such a long time. And navigating all of the rules and regulations seemed daunting. However, renewing your passport doesn’t have to be complicated and confusing. To clear the air, here are some of the ins and outs of renewing your U.S. passport.
How Long Does It Take? If you travel constantly for work or pleasure, you might be up against the clock with your passport renewal. A U.S. passport will usually take between four to six weeks to arrive by mail. There are ways to expedite the process. For an extra fee, you can mail in your renewal and receive it in two to three weeks. If you apply in person at a passport agency nearest you, you can have your passport sooner. This is usually the recommended option if you are traveling internationally in less than two weeks. If you know that your passport is expiring this year, you can pick and choose what time of the year to renew. To speed up the process, I found that applying around the holidays helped. By mail, my renewal only took four weeks, rather than six weeks. If you can wait to renew until less high times such as around summer vacations and spring breaks, you can speed up the process.
How Much Does A Renewal Cost? When I started the process for a passport renewal, figuring out all of the different costs seemed incredibly confusing. For the most part, if you are an adult over 16 years of age applying for a passport book renewal, you will need to pay $110. The costs can vary depending on your age, if you need a passport book and a passport card and according to your situation. For example, I was applying for a renewal to change my name on my passport. I paid the same price of general renewals. To figure out what your situation might warrant money-wise, the U.S. government passport website does offer a cost calculator to help you figure out just how much you will have to pay.
Will My Old Passport Be Returned To Me? Most of us don’t want to give up our old passports and their celebrated stamps. When I mailed my old passport in for a new one, it wasn’t very clear if I would receive my old one back. However, my old passport showed up in my mailbox about a week after my new passport arrived. Travelers shouldn’t panic when they receive their new passport without the old. The old passport is mailed separately.
Can I Take My Own Passport Photo? While I had my passport photos professionally taken at a drug store, they can be costly for two tiny photographs. If you are already hurting due to the shock over how much a passport costs to renew, you can save a bit of cash by taking your passport photos yourself. The 51x51mm photograph must meet a whole laundry list of criteria, outlined on the U.S. passport photo webpage.
Is There A Way To Save Money With My Passport Renewal? If it weren’t for a marriage name change, I would have had my old passport for a few more years. However, it was filling up to the point where I would need more pages. To add more pages to your passport, you will fork over $82, almost the same price as a whole new passport. To save this cash, you should make sure to tick the box on your application requesting a 52-page book. This will allow you to travel longer without having to add more pages for more money. You can also save on passport costs by staying on top of your expiration date. If you are under a time crunch with getting a new passport, you will pay $60 for expedited service.