Travel FAQs: How to Apply for or Renew Your Passport

Updated as of March 19, 2022 – check the link at the very bottom for the latest updates!

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Photo Courtesy of nappy

Applying for a passport or renewing it isn’t complicated in most cases, but you want to make sure you get it right, so here’s a break down of what to expect, in case you might be unfamiliar with the process.

Apply for or Renew your passport

  • Step 1: Fill out your passport form. You can see which one you need by clicking HERE. This page is for first time passport applications, for your child under age 16, for corrections, renewals, lost or stolen passports, consent forms for children, special family circumstances, or didn’t get your passport. Tip: Make sure your forms are printed on one side only, not double sided paper.
  • Step 2: Find out the cost you’ll have to pay by clicking HERE or by using the FEE CALCULATOR. There is also a FEE CHART if you would prefer that. At the time of this posting, the fees to get a new passport are around $165 and renewing is $130. Please note: Do not get a passport card for international travel by air or by cruise ship. This is only valid for land crossings. Get the passport Book.
  • Step 3: Get your passport photos done. You can try to do it yourself at home, but honestly, it’s not worth the hassle. Just go to a drug store photo team who does it, totally worth the few bucks to make sure it’s done right with less math! Check here for more information on photos.
  • Step 4: Gather the documents you need. First, you need to provide proof of US Citizenship to get a US Passport. If born in the US, that’s a fully valid, undamaged US Passport (can be expired) or a US birth certificate. Learn more about the exact and specific requirements by clicking HERE. Secondly, you need to provide a physical government issued photo ID if you’re over 18. If you go in person, you must bring the original and a photocopy. Learn more by clicking here.
  • Step 5: Apply in person or renew by mail. Find out where you can apply in person by clicking here.

How to Pay

  • If you apply at a “Passport Acceptance Facility” Such as Post office, library or government office, check for your local facilities and see what they do accept by contacting them. You can find your local facilities by clicking HERE.
  • If you renew your passport by mail, you can send a check or money order.
  • If you renew your passport at a Passport Agency (limited by need for service, location – only 26 – and by appointment only), you’ll be able to pay by credit card, check, money order, cash or prepaid card.
Black and White Map Illustration
Courtesy Nataliya Vaitkevich

Expected processing time

  • Standard processing time is 8-11 weeks. If you are not traveling sooner than this, it’s the way to go.
  • Expedited processing time is 5-7 weeks, you can do this in person at the acceptance facility or renewal by mail. To learn about in person expediting, click here to find an acceptance facility and then reach out to them. If you’re looking to renew by mail and use this service, click here to learn more.
  • Urgent, non-emergency international travel is a 5 business days time and you must contact your local agency for this service. Click here to learn more.
  • Emergency Life or Death 72 hour, 3 business day passport appointments are extremely limited but might be available to you. Click here to see if you qualify.
  • Expediting your passport costs $60
  • 1-2 day delivery is $19 extra
  • File search fee if you do not have the correct documents is $150

To check the latest information on prices, policies, expected processing times, and more – check out the State Department’s passport application & renewal page by clicking here.

Ready to plan your next international getaway?

If so, Easy Breezy Journeys is here to make it easy for you! Just click HERE to get started!

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Suitcase with passport inside – PS don’t put it in there – courtesy Kindel Media

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