Saturday, February 13, 2016

Time Flies - Passport Renewal Time

My current U.S. passport photo was taken literally within 3 weeks of my birth. I'm almost 4.5 years old now, and I look pretty different these days. But more importantly, my child passport is set to expire November 30, 2016.

While it may seem like I have plenty of time to apply for a renewal passport, consider the following:

1. Many countries require you to have at least 6 months of validity left before allowing you to enter. Therefore, I should have my new one by May 30, 2016.
2. Factoring in that it can take up to 6-8 weeks to process, we should be applying no later than March 31, 2016.

But since we're not planning to go outside the country over the next few months, we thought it made sense to apply for my renewal now, so that I'd be ready to travel internationally for my school's Spring Break in late April.

As you may recall, I had to apply for my passport in person with both of my parents. Given I'm still not 16 years old yet, that rule still applies.

Step 1 - Print your forms
So my father went online and found a web-version of the DS-11 form that we need to fill out. Mostly it was just basic information such as full legal name, address, phone number, social security number, etc. Since we had to go in person, you to save it as a PDF and print it out with you (single sided).

Step 2 - Submit your forms.
We were told:

"For Minors under Age 16 you must establish proof of citizenship AND proof of relationship between the child applicant and the parent(s)/guardian(s). Previous U.S. passports are not acceptable as proof of relationship."

So we'll bring an original birth certificate (which we were going to need anyway).

Step 3 - Where to submit
By clicking on the Locate button, we found several post offices and passport centers near us with information about (a) when they're open, (b) if you need an appointment and (c) if they do photos there.


Step 4 - What to submit
As you can see in the infographic, we'll need a passport photo, a check for the $105 in total fees ($85 for the passport and another $25 for processing), proof of my U.S. Citizenship and proof of parent's relationship including their photo IDs.

It's important to note that for my Proof of U.S. Citizenship, I need to give them both (a) the original certified certificate and (b) a photocopy of both the front AND back. Fortunately, my father had ordered 4 original copies when I was born, so we had backups. Smart dad!

Now I just need to practice my poses for my new passport photo. I wonder if they'll allow some sassy shots.


UPDATE 3/4/2016:  Definitely did not need to pay any expedite fee as we received our passport back within just 16 calendar days after submitting it.

4 comments:

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