Odds are good that if you are trying to figure out how to renew your passport fast then you haven’t paid attention to your expiration date. Unlike a credit card you don’t get a warning that your passport is about to expire, so if yours is set to run out within a year it’s a good idea to go ahead and renew it.
Fast Passport Renewal by Mail
• Your passport must be undamaged and must be submitted with your application.
• It must have been issued when you were 16 years of age or older or issued within the last 15 years.
• Renewed passports by mail can only be mailed to addresses in the United States or Canada.
• The document must have your current name on it or you must be able to legally prove the name change.
Note: If you are unable to meet any of the above requirements then you must apply in person.
If You Are Inside the U.S.
You are going to have to submit Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail to the address shown on the form. You can visit the U.S. Department of State’s website to obtain the form and step by step instructions on how to fill it out. The form is fairly straight forward; you just have to give the information. You can choose to fill most of it out online (which I recommend) and print it out or print out the blank forms and then fill them out in pen.
• You need to get yourself two new photographs taken to include with your renewal. Make sure they are in color, 2 x 2 inches, taken within the past 6 months, against a white background and in normal clothing.
• It’s a good idea to mail your documents by using a delivery method in which you can track them. If you want to get your passport renewal fast, you’re going to need to mail them in the fastest delivery method available anyway. Make sure the packaging used will protect your information from water, handling abuse, etc. Tyvek envelopes or similar material should be sufficient.
• You can apply for expedited service to get your passport renewal even faster. There will be a fee. You must also clearly write on the envelope the words “EXPEDITE.” Although the State Department offers no guarantee, this will usually cut delivery time from 4-6 weeks down to 2-3 weeks.
• If behind on child support payments, it may not be possible for you to get a passport until you are current. They don't want you skipping town, ya know.
If You Are Outside the U.S.
U.S. citizens that are in any other country except Canada need to visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Those that are in Canada can use Form DS-82 and follow the instructions as if you are in the U.S.
How to Renew Your Passport Even Faster
Visit a Regional Passport Agency
If you plan on traveling internationally within 2 weeks or you need a passport within 4 weeks to get a foreign visa then you should go to a regional passport agency. Visit the National Passport Information Center online or call them at 1-877-487-2778 to discover the nearest agency to your location and schedule an appointment. You’ll need all the same documents as when submitting by mail. Most of the time you will be able to pick up your renewed passport no later than the following day. The drawback is that you may have to travel a ways to get to an agency.
Using a Professional Passport Expediter
These companies are registered with the U.S. State Department and allowed to submit applications on behalf of their clients. Most of them are located near a regional passport agency for faster turnaround time. Prices will vary depending on how fast you want your renewed passport. It’s best to choose a company that is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, has a “B” rating or higher and has been in business for a few years.
Photo by clappstar/flickr
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