October 7th, 2011 by Abby Keane
You can renew your US passport by mail if you already have a US passport that is not damaged and if you had received it within the last 15 years. Apart from this, you must have been at least sixteen years old when the passport was issued. You should still have the same name as on your US passport or you can legally document the change of name.
However, there are some exceptions to applying by mail :
If you are a US citizen residing abroad ( other than Canada), you are required to renew your passport at the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate. If you residing in Canada, you can mail DS-82 renewal applications to the address indicated on the form. But remember to make the payment in US currency.
However, if your passport has been mutilated, altered, or damaged, you are not permitted to apply by mail and should do it in person. Another important point is that, if you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport
If you are eligible to apply for a renewal by mail,you have to complete form DS-82, Application for Passport by Mail form. Make sure you sign and date the application.
Along with the application, you have to attach :
your most recent passport
2 passport sized photographs
the submission fee payable to the US Department of State
expedited service fee (If applicable).
If your name has changed after your passport was issued, apart from the documents mentioned above, you also have to include a certified copy of the legal document that reflects the name change (marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption decree, or a court order). Do not send photocopies.. If your name has been changed by other means, it is mandatory that you apply in person.
Once your application is approved, your previous passport will be returned to you along with the new one. If you mutilate or alter your passport, it might result in invalidating it and you further risk possible persecution per US laws. In certain countries, the law requires your passport to be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip and/or have two to four blank visa/stamp pages. There are certain airlines that will not permit you to board if these requirements are not fulfilled.