Apply for your passport well ahead of planned travel! There has been increasingly strong demand for U.S. passports in recent years. Whether you are renewing a passport or applying for the first time, the passport application process can be completed without added stress if done ahead of time.
Tips for Your U.S. Passport:
- Plan ahead! Save $60 per application by choosing routine service (4-6 weeks processing time) instead of expedited service (2-3 weeks processing time).
- Processing times are shorter from September through December. If you apply during that time, you will likely get your passport faster.
- You can conveniently renew your passport by mail if you meet the criteria.
- Review the entry/exit requirements for your destination now. Many countries require U.S. passports to have at least 6 months of validity and some require two blank pages for entry.
- Check all passport expiration dates. Remember that a child's passport is valid for 5 years, while an adult's passport is valid for 10 years.
Renew by Mail:
Apply in Person:
- You must apply in person if you:
- Are a first-time applicant
- Are under 16 years old
- Have lost your most recent passport
- Otherwise do not meet the requirements to renew by mail
- There are more than 8,000 authorized passport acceptance facilities where you can apply in person. Find one near you.
- Children under 16 years old must apply in person. See their requirements and separate requirements for 16 and 17 year olds.
- Routine and expedited services are both offered.
- If you are traveling in less than 2 weeks or need a foreign visa within 4 weeks, you may schedule an appointment at a U.S. Department of State passport agency.
- You must have proof of travel within two weeks in order to make an appointment.
- You must pay the $60 expedite fee.
- Call the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment.
Not sure how to renew your passport? Amy's story gives you a quick introduction.