A US passport is valid for 10 years from the date of its issuance—that’s a long time to prepare yourself for the renewal process.
But what if you need—or want—to renew your passport earlier? Can you do that? And if so, what’s the earliest you can renew your passport?
No more doubts: Keep reading to discover the criteria for early passport renewal, the documents you need, and the reasons to start the renewal process sooner than the expiration date. Here’s what we discuss:
- How soon can I renew my passport?
- Early passport renewal: essentials
- Reasons for renewing your passport early
For every passport application, be it first-time or renewal, you must provide a recent biometric photograph. Use our Passport Photo Booth App for iOS or Passport Photo Maker App for Android and create US passport photos anytime—you’ll get a digital image instantly in your email box or have the prints delivered directly to your door. 100% compliance guaranteed!
And for a more detailed reading, check out our other articles:
- Renewing US Passport Online
- Your Ultimate Guide to US Passport Renewals
- What Do You Need to Renew a Passport?
Without further ado, let’s move on to discussing early passport renewals.
How soon can I renew my passport?
You already know that your US passport is valid for 10 years.
The general rule of thumb is to renew your passport 9 months before expiration. This recommendation comes from the fact that most countries follow a 6-month validity rule, which means that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of departure.
That said, the answer to “how early can I renew my passport?” is: Anytime.
However, you must still go through the renewal process, prepare the necessary documents, and provide your current passport photo.
Read on for a brief summary of what’s needed for renewing your US passport.
Early passport renewal: the essentials
While the US Department of State is still working on the online passport renewal program, you can renew your passport either in person or by mail. To do that, you need to prepare a passport renewal application (DS-82).
When choosing to renew your US passport by mail, remember that you can only do so if you’re in the possession of your current, well-preserved passport. But it’s not your only option.
You can also apply for your passport renewal in person at any acceptance facility, passport agency, or consulate if you’re outside of the US territory.
The standard processing time for US passport renewals varies between 8 and 11 weeks. When in rush, you can also go for an expedited service and receive your new passport in 4–6 weeks. For that, you’ll have to pay a $60 fee.
The price for renewing a US passport book is $130 plus additional fees—for renewing by mail, these will be connected with the mailing charges, and if you opt for passport renewal in person, you’ll also have to pay a $35 acceptance fee.
Reasons for renewing your passport early
Technically, you don’t need any significant reason to renew your passport early—you can even do it if you simply find your current passport photo ugly! It’s recommended, though, that you provide the passport agent with a letter explaining why you want to renew your passport before the expiration date.
There are several reasons for early passport renewal:
- Name change. While traveling with a maiden name on your passport is possible, it’s always safer to update your personal data before planning an international trip
- Significant changes in your physical appearance. A passport photo must reflect your current looks. If you underwent any surgeries, got injured, or received treatments that permanently altered your appearance, you must get a new passport
- Damaged passport. You can’t travel with a damaged passport, and you must file for a replacement in person
- Lost or stolen passport. If you’ve lost your passport or it’s been stolen, either in your place of residence or abroad, you must inform the respective authorities and apply for a new identification document
While these circumstances might occur, you could also plan a longer international trip and want to renew your passport earlier. Either way, you can do it without problems—just remember the necessary documents (if applicable) and a new passport photo.
Ensure you can always prepare a perfect passport photo for a renewal or any other form. Snap a picture with our Passport Photo Booth App for iOS or Passport Photo Maker App for Android and enjoy the results after only 3 minutes! Get a compliant biometric photograph anytime and anywhere.
How long in advance can I renew my passport?
You can renew your passport anytime you want before the expiry date.
How do you renew your passport before it expires?
Renewing a US passport early is the same as the typical passport renewal procedure. You must prepare a DS-82 form, your current passport (in good condition), and a new passport photo.
If I renew my passport early, when will it expire?
From the date your passport was issued, it will be valid for the next 10 years.
What happens if you renew your passport early?
When you renew your passport early, the previous passport is no longer valid. You’ll receive a new document with a new expiration date.
Whether planning a longer international trip or having any other reason, you can always renew your passport earlier than 9 months before expiration.
Roxana is a writer with 3+ years of experience. As a Master in psycholinguistics, she blends her passion for language and communication with insights from diverse cultures, making her content resonate with a broad audience.