If you are looking for information on how to renew a passport, then you have landed on the right page. In many occasions, lack of information does make those intending to renew their passports miss out on critical issues that do nothing but extend their wait time or end up making it very difficult for them to renew the passport.
This is unlike renewing a visa which takes the relatively shorter time or sometimes may be negated, depending on the country you are from and where you are traveling to. For example, if you are headed to Canada and you are from a visa-exempt country, all you will need is the Canada ETA and you will be good to go. No need for a visa or to renew anything.
To help you out, we have gathered all the information you need to renew your passport without any hassles whatsoever successfully. We would like to note that most of the information given here will be highly relevant to US passports, but they will provide useful information to citizens of other countries since the principles don’t very much.
Options for renewing your passport
For US citizens, there are basically three options available if you want to renew your passport. These include renewing your passport by mail, in person or online. For you to renew your passport by mail, you will be required to meet the following conditions-:
- The passport must not be damaged in any way or form and must be such that it can be submitted alongside your renewal application.
- The passport was issued after your 16th birthday
- The passport was issued within the last ten years
- The passport bears your current name and in case of a name change due to marriage or divorce, then you have to attach a legal document affecting the name change. This can be a court order or certified copies of your marriage certificate or any other government-issued document showing the evidence of name change.
How to renew your passport online
Most people prefer to renew passports online because of the inherent benefits and conveniences it has. For example, if you choose to renew your passport online, you don’t have to worry about traveling to any of the regional passport offices to make the application. Besides, you can do it from any place, provided you have access to the internet and you also all the required documents ready. One thing you have to be cautious about when you are renewing online is the photo you submit.
It is vital to ensure the photo follows all the recommended guidelines, or your application may be rejected or you may be requested to send another photo and this may end up lengthening the renewal period. As far as the guidelines are concerned, just be sure to take a clear picture on a white background. You should not have any glasses or headgear (unless for religious purposes). Your hair must also not exceed the frame of the photo, and you should not make any form of facial expressions, such as laughing or smiling while taking the passport photo.
Dealing with mistakes during passport renewal
Mistakes are sometimes inevitable, and you may have waited for your passport for a while, but when you get it, you realize that it has a mistake. There are a number of mistakes that can happen, ranging from your name spelled wrong and the certificate bearing the wrong date of birth amongst others.
Well, when you notice such mistakes, the last thing you should do is panic, because you can have all the mistakes corrected without any problem. The State Department has a correction application center where you can have most of the passports mistakes corrected at no additional costs. As far as the mistakes are concerned, here are some of the things worth knowing-:
The time it takes to get the passport corrected
After you submit your passport correction application, you can expect to have the corrected passport between four and six weeks. If you need the passport as soon as possible, you can use expedited passport correction services and have the passport back in less than two weeks. But for the expedited services, you will have to pay an additional fee of $60.
How to have the passport corrected in a matter of days
If you needed the passport corrected quickly and you don’t want to wait for the correction services by the State Department, then you can always opt for an independent passport services agency to help you out. With the expedited passport correction services offered by the third-party agencies, you can have your passport corrected in a matter of days and not weeks.
Is there time limits to make the corrections?
What happens if you realize one year after renewal that there are mistakes in your passport? In such a case, nothing really changes. It doesn’t matter when you notice the mistake, and you can always apply for correction any day any time. However, taking long might only cause some inconveniences to you, such as realizing that your passport has a mistake when you are just about to take a flight. It is therefore recommended that you should always check the passport for accuracy the very first time you get it.
Other reasons to renew your passport
Other than validity time, there are other reasons why you may need to renew your passport. In other words, you don’t have to wait until your passport expires for you to renew it. As you seek more information on how to renew a passport, here are some of the other reasons why a renewal may be necessary-:
- Your passport is running low on blank visa pages – as you continue to travel, you continue to utilize the blank visa pages. If you are almost out of the pages, then you will need to renew and get one with a slightly higher number of pages.
- You have changed your name legally, and your passport is more than one year old – this may be due to marriage or divorce, or any other legal reason. In such a case, you will have to use passport re-application services to have the name on your passport changed.
- Your appearance has changed significantly from the time your passport was issued
You may also need to renew your passport when it looks worn out, but it is not yet damaged enough to be considered mutilated.