Keeping your passport current is a wise move, not only for travel but also for general identification purposes. Even though passports are valid for ten years, that time can go by fast, and you may find yourself with an expired passport when you need it most.
If you have a trip coming up and discover your passport is expired, don’t panic. The steps on how to renew an expired passport are straightforward and simple to follow, based on how long ago your passport expired.
Passport Expired Less than Five Years Ago
You can renew an expired passport by mail if it expired less than five years ago and also meets the following criteria. Your passport must be:
- In good condition
- Issued in the U.S.
- Issued when you were at least 16 years old
- One that was valid for ten years
Renewing by mail involves sending all required documents to the National Passport Processing Center, with the exact address dependent on where you live. The required documents include:
- Your U.S. passport
- Passport renewal application DS-82, which you can find online and then print out to complete and sign
- Passport photo that meets photo requirements
- Any name change documentation, if applicable
Note that routine processing by the U.S. Department of State can take four to six weeks to renew your passport.
How Do You Renew an Expired Passport if You’re in a Rush?
If you already have travel plans or otherwise simply can’t wait up to six weeks, you can get your passport renewed in as little as one business day by using an agency like Swift. You’ll need to mail or ship the above documents to Swift, along with two others:
- Proof of departure, such as a copy of your flight itinerary or airline ticket
- Two original letters of authorization that allow the agency to submit your materials on your behalf
Passport Expired More than Five Years Ago
If your passport expired more than five years or otherwise doesn’t meet the criteria for a mail-in renewal, you’ll have to schedule an in-person visit at a passport acceptance facility.
Instead of using the passport renewal application, you would fill out form DS-11, which is an application for a new passport. You would then follow the same steps you’d take if you were applying for a passport for the first time.
Again, processing time through the U.S. Department of State could take up to six weeks, although you could receive a new passport much faster using expedited passports services from Swift.
Renewing an expired passport can be fast and easy, especially when you have Swift on your side to help with expedited passport renewals. Please feel free to send any questions our way; we’re always happy to help!
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.