What Do I Need to Renew My Passport? – A Complete Guide

A deep-in-thought woman in green t-shirt against a yellow background, a U.S. passport

Do you keep thinking of the upcoming passport renewal and what documents you need? “What do I need to renew my passport?” is what you may be asking yourself at the moment.

We will explore this topic and explain what exactly you need to complete a passport renewal, including fees, various necessary documents, and scheduled meetings.

In this article:

What do I need to renew my American passport – Form DS-82

The crucial document you should be filing to renew your passport is Form DS-82.

You can download it from the government website and complete it. The form remains an essential item that you’ll need to provide to complete the passport renewal process.

Completing the form requires the passport applicant to input some important information, such as:

  • their full name;
  • date and place of birth;
  • Social Security number;
  • most recent passport book/passport card details (passport number, issue date);
  • name change information (if applicable);
  • means of contact (email, phone number, and mailing address).

Documents you need to renew your passport – your old passport book

Your soon-to-be old passport will be a crucial document to bring with you for the passport renewal to be completed.

There are 4 (four) passport requirements you need to keep in mind.

  • Remember to bring your passport book as well as your passport card if you’re renewing that document too. 
  • A passport book or passport card needs to be in good condition, ideally entirely undamaged.
  • The passports need to have been issued when the passport applicant was 16 (sixteen) years old or older, and the issuance of the document must have happened within the last 15 (fifteen) years.
  • Last but not least, the passport should have been issued under the same first name and last name. If you can provide a name change confirmation, you’re all set.

If your old passport is compliant with all the requirements mentioned above, you are eligible to send the application via mail.

New passport application – Form DS-11

If your passport is damaged, issued under a different name, over 15 (fifteen) years ago, or when you were younger than 16 (sixteen), you will need to schedule a meeting and renew your passport at a passport acceptance facility. In such a situation, you proceed as if you were issuing your first passport, using the same form, and having to provide the same kind of documentation you’d need for a regular passport application.

In this case, the passport renewal process will instead include Form DS-11 instead of DS-82. You will be required to fill out the boxes in the downloadable passport application form and bring the printed version to your appointment.

Furthermore, you will need to submit evidence of U.S. citizenship. Examples of documents you can use include:

  • an undamaged U.S. passport (even an expired one will do);
  • a U.S. birth certificate;
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
  • Certification of Birth;
  • Certificate of Naturalization; 
  • Certificate of Citizenship.

You will also need to provide an additional ID to complete the passport renewal application:

  • an undamaged passport book or card;
  • a current (valid) foreign passport;
  • a Certificate of Naturalization;
  • a Certificate of Citizenship;
  • a valid driver’s license with a photo (an enhanced version will do as well);
  • a Government employee ID;
  • a U.S. military ID;
  • a Mexican Consular ID;
  • a U.S. Permanent Resident Card;
  • a Trusted Traveler ID;
  • Enhanced Tribal Card;
  • a Native American tribal photo ID.

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What do I need to renew my passport – name change documentation

If the full name that will be displayed on your new passport will differ from the one you could see in the old passport, you will be required to provide sufficient documents confirming the name change. Renewing the passport by mail will still be possible, but the confirmation needs to find its way to the envelope you’ll be sending to the National Passport Processing Center.

The papers you bring need to be certified copies of the legal name change document. They include:

  • a marriage certificate;
  • a divorce decree;
  • a court-ordered name change document.

American passport renewal – passport photo

In addition to the old passport book, the correct form, and possible name change documents, you will be required to provide a new, single passport photo compliant with passport photo requirements.

You can get one using the Passport Photo Online smartphone application. Upload a photo and receive a perfectly valid digital copy for just $6.95.

The application allows you to take care of passport photo matters without leaving your home. It has a built-in validator, able to confirm if the passport photo meets official U.S. passport requirements. Either the passport photo you get passes muster, or you receive a 200% refund.

Renew passport for minors – what do you need?

Because there is no such thing as a passport renewal for children under 16 years of age, the form you will need to use for a child’s passport application is Form DS-11.

The child needs to be accompanied by his or her guardian(s) to their appointment at the passport acceptance facility, and that’s where all the documentation required for a child’s passport renewal will be presented. You will need to provide proof of your nationality:

  • proof of U.S. citizenship (an undamaged U.S. passport);
  • the child’s birth certificate;
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
  • Certification of Birth;
  • Certificate of Citizenship;
  • photocopies of the front and backside of the child’s U.S. citizenship;
  • a single passport photo.

A document confirming the parental relationship between the child and the parent is also a crucial requirement. The child’s legal guardian can present one of the following:

  • a divorce decree;
  • sole custody court order;
  • a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, confirming them as the only parent;
  • adoption decree;
  • death certificate of the other parent.

To complete the minor passport renewal application, parents will need to provide one last ID to confirm their identity.

The child’s guardians can use, for example:

  • an undamaged passport book or passport card;
  • a valid foreign passport;
  • a valid driver’s license;
  • a U.S. military ID;
  • a Mexican Consular ID;
  • a U.S. Permanent Resident Card;
  • a Trusted Traveler ID;
  • Enhanced Tribal Card;
  • a Native American tribal photo ID.

Passport renewal fee

Apart from documentation such as your old passport and name change documents, you’ll also need to pay to renew your passport.

Fees surrounding passport services vary depending on the documents you wish to renew. You may want to renew only the passport book, for instance.

This will increase the cost of the application, so make sure you know what kind of fees will be included in your passport renewal:

  • passport book renewal – $130
  • passport card renewal – $30
  • renewal of both passport book and card – $160
  • expedited service – $60

If you need to appear in person and apply for a passport renewal using Form DS-11, the passport fees included in that kind of application will also vary.

  • passport book fee (adults) – $130
  • passport book fee (minors) – $100
  • passport card fee (adults) – $30
  • passport card fee (minors) – $15
  • an execution fee – $35

Checks and money orders payable to the Department of State are the two ways you can administer the passport renewal fee.

What documents do I need to renew my passport? – summary

To get your passport renewed, you need to arm yourself with identity confirmation documents that you will either send via mail or present at a scheduled meeting.

These include either Form DS-82 or DS-11, your current, or even expired passport, and other papers confirming your U.S. citizenship. A birth certificate or Certificate of Naturalization will work just fine for that matter.

Moreover, an additional ID will be required to further confirm your identity, and last but not least, a fee will need to be paid using a check or money order.

To apply for a new passport, the legal guardian will also have to confirm their relationship with the child and provide sufficient means of identification. Their passport or birth certificate will do.

What do I need to renew my passport: FAQ

Here you will find the most common queries about passport renewal applications and what types of documentation are required to complete them.

What proof of ID do I need to renew my passport?

To confirm your identity you can use, for example, an undamaged previous passport, a passport card, or a birth certificate. A Certificate of Naturalization, driver’s license, Trusted Traveler ID, or a U.S. Permanent Resident Card will also work.

What form do I need to renew my U.S. passport?

To have your passport renewed, you need to use Form DS-82, although there is a precedent for the need for another form. In an instance when the current passport book is in poor condition, it has been issued over 15 (fifteen) years ago, the applicant isn’t over 16 (sixteen) years old, or if the passport was issued issued under a different name and you can’t confirm the change, you are required to use Form DS-11 and apply in person instead of sending the passport application via mail.

What do I need to renew my child’s passport?

Instead of renewing your child’s passport, you will have to apply for a new one using Form DS-11. You must provide the child’s passport or another document confirming their nationality. A birth certificate or Certificate of Citizenship will do.
You need to show your valid ID, like a passport or driver’s license, and a document confirming your relationship with the child. In this instance, a sole custody order, an adoption decree, or a divorce decree will work.

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