Passport Renewal at the Post Office

Most of the US passport acceptance facilities can be found in post offices. 

It’s no secret that you can also renew your passport there. But should you do it in person, or simply by mailing your application through the United States Postal Services? 

In this article, we will answer this and some more related questions. Read along and find out. 

U.S. Post Office building, opened passport on a desk, text “U.S. Passport Renewal At The Post Office”.

How to do it –  renewing your passport at the post office 

You technically can renew your passport at the post office but overall it is far more popular to do so by mail. You can only renew your passport at the post office in person if you don’t meet the criteria to do so by mail, or if you need a faster, expedited passport renewal service. 

USPS offers mail services for passport renewal and you will be required to check if you are eligible to do so. 

Below you can find the conditions under which you can renew your passport by mail. If you’re not eligible, you will need to show up in person. 

Are you eligible to renew your passport by mail?

Here are the conditions that you will have to meet if you would like to renew your passport using the USPS mailing services:

  • You still have your previous passport to submit with your application
  • Your previous passport is undamaged (without any significant damages that would indicate it no longer being valid)
  • Your previous passport is no older than 15 years and it was issued when you were older than 16 years old
  • The passport you had previously was issued in the name that you still have or you have some sort of documentation to prove the name change. 

If you don’t meet the conditions stated above, you are not eligible for renewing your passport by mail. 

Are passport renewal forms available at the post office?

You cannot obtain a passport renewal form at the post office as post office’s work as places for first-time applications only. 

If you end up not meeting the criteria for renewing your passport by mail, you will essentially need to apply as you did for the first time, using the DS-11 form which will be available either online or at the location, and you can do it at the post office. You will also need to show up in person and bring the proof of your citizenship (and its photocopy) and your current identification document (and its photocopy). 

Remember that this is not a passport renewal – the whole procedure is treated as a first time application. 

Renewing your passport by mail

If you meet the conditions stated above, you can go ahead and renew your passport using the postal services of USPS. Below we’ve summed up what to do to renew your passport by mail – what documents you will need, how to mail and track your application. 

The documents you will need

Here is a list of the documents that you will be required to present with your passport renewal application:

  • A completed and signed DS-82 form 
  • Two passport photos that follow the official Department of State’s guidelines
  • A confirmation that you have paid your passport renewal fees
  • Your previous undamaged passport. 

Mailing & tracking your passport application

So how should you mail your application? 

Well, the best thing to start with is choosing the correct size of an envelope. Try not to bend your application form, make sure not to bend your pictures. Later you will need to address the envelope correctly (a list of places to address it can be found on the second page of the DS-82 form, as the locations change depending on which state you live in). 

To mail your application you choose one of these three services:

  • USPS Priority Mail® Service with Delivery Confirmation
  • USPS Priority Mail® Service with Signature Confirmation
  • USPS Priority Mail Express® Service (for overnight delivery requests). 

To track your application and its progress, you can use the USPS tracking service. It can take even 4 weeks to see a change in your application status to “in process”. After around 5-6 weeks of when you submitted your application, you can check the status to see whether it was accepted or not on the website of the Department of State. 

Expedited passport services in the U.S. Post Office

There is a possibility to renew your passport faster at the post office. You will be required to provide proof of immediate travel and, depending on when you need to leave the country, you should receive your passport within up to 3 days (to the day of your travel).

Here is a list of expedited services at the post office:

  • If you need to travel right now because of a life or death emergency – you need to make an appointment within 72 hours of your travel and you will receive a passport afterward
  • If you need to travel within the next 5-7 weeks you will also need an appointment within 72 hours of your travel. Watch out because in this case, the number of available appointments is limited.

Closing thoughts 

As you can see, you can renew your passport at the post office if you want to receive it quicker but it’s much easier to do it using the mailing services of the United States Postal Service. In reality, the only time you might need to show up in person to your appointment is when you need fast service and your travel is urgent. 

Passport renewal at the U.S. Post Office: FAQs

How much does the passport renewal at the post office cost?

The passport renewal fee is usually $110 for a passport book, $30 for a passport card, and $140 for both.

Can I renew my passport at the post office if I lost the previous one?

No, in that case, you will need to apply for a new passport.

My passport got stolen – can I renew it at the post office?

No, in that case, you will need to apply for a new passport.

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