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Before booking international flights, it’s important to make sure your passport is up to date, especially since many countries require you to have several blank pages and at least six more valid months on your document before you enter their country. However, the US passport renewal process shouldn’t intimidate you or stop you from making travel plans. Figuring out how to get a passport is fairly simple and can be done in five easy steps. 


Step 1

Fill Out DS-82 Form

Filling out the DS-82 form is your first step to in the passport application process and will assess your eligibility to renew your document. You can either print out the pdf form to mail in, or you can complete a renew passport online form. No matter which way you fill out the DS-82 form, there are still other steps for how to get a passport that you will need to complete.

Step 2

Take A Passport Photo

One of the most important steps for how to apply for a passport is to take a current passport photo. Many US post offices with passport application services can take your photo for you, and several pharmacies also offer this service. If your post office has this service, it’s also a good source to go to if you have questions or concerns about how to get a passport

Step 3

Gather Documentation

In addition to a photo, there are other documents to submit for a US passport. All applicants are required to submit their previous passport, which will be returned to you so that you can keep your collection of stamps. If you’re looking for how to apply for a passport with a new name, you’re required to submit a certified copy of the legal name change document, such as a marriage license, divorce decree, or court-issued name change document. 

Step 4

Write A Check

To pay your passport application fee, you may either write a check or submit a money order. The fee for how much is a passport is the same whether it’s your first time or third renewal: $110USD. However, how much is a passport to renew is cheaper since you are not required to pay the additional acceptance fee. If you’re requesting expedited services or delivery, you’ll have to pay an additional fee. Once you’ve calculated how much is a passport, make sure to write your full name and date of birth at the top of the check. 

Step 5

Submit Your Application

Even if you filled out the renew passport online form, there is still documentation to be mailed in. If you’re completing your passport renewal within the US, you must use the United States Postal System to submit your application. For residents of California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, or Texas, mail your application to the following address:

National Passport Processing Center:
Post Office Box 640155
Irving, TX 75064-0155

Residents of all other states will mail their completed application to the Philadelphia office:

National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

If you’re requesting expedited services, write "EXPEDITE" on the outside of the mailing envelope, and mail to the following address no matter what state you reside in:

National Passport Processing Center:
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

Make sure the envelope is big enough to fit all your documents without folding. Once you’ve mailed your application, keep the tracking number so that you can verify that it has arrived safely.

How to apply for a passport is a fairly straightforward process, but it must be done early so that you can start your packing without worrying about when it will arrive. With some steps to renew passport online, it’s quick and easy to fill out the paperwork, and completing the US passport renewal process will open the doors to the world and give you several more years to travel the globe. 

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