January 27th, 2012 by Eleanor Gaskin
The passport renewal process can be done through mail or in person depending on certain conditions. You can renew your most recent US passport if it is undamaged and can be submitted with your application and was issued when you were 16 years or older. In addition, it is important that it was issued within the last 15 years and issued in your current name or you can document your name change legally. If you do not meet these conditions mentioned above, you have no other option but to apply in person. Also note that if you are a previous passport holder and qualify to file Form DS-82, you can file for a passport card as a renewal by mail, though it is your first passport card.
Passport Renewal Process by mail
The passport renewal process process differs depending on where you reside at present. If you are in the US at present, to renew your Passport by mail, you are required to file Form DS-82, Application for a US Passport by Mail. Detailed filing instructions will come along with Form DS-82.
There are many important factors to bear in mind before filing for passport renewal. If your current passport is mutilated or damaged, you cannot use the mailing option. You are required to file in person. If you are mailing your application along with any supporting documents, make sure the delivery method is traceable. The application and the supporting documents should not be damaged during the mailing process. To prevent it from damage, mail your application and supporting documents in an envelope that is big enough to fit the application without folding it. Ensure you do not use a standard letter-size envelope. The Passports renewal process by mail in the US can be mailed only to US and Canadian addresses.
Also note that you cannot get a passport if you are behind in child support payments. If you renewing your passport from abroad, you have to file at the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate (except those living in Canada). US citizens residing in Canada who want to renew their passport can file Form DS-82, Application for US Passport by Mail to the address mentioned on the form.
If you need a US passport quickly, you have to schedule an appointment to be seen at a Regional Passport Agency, but only in certain circumstances. It can only be done if you need the passport for traveling abroad in less than 2 weeks OR you need the passport within 4 weeks to get a foreign visa. Get in touch with the National Passport Information Center to schedule an appointment or locate a Passport Agency.