By Sam Cohen
Passports have expiry dates and to keep the passport valid even after that it is important that the passport is renewed at the right time. Many people think that renewing a passport involves lots of hassles and complications, but it is not so at all. The only thing is that you need to plan the thing well in advance and prepare the required documents for renewal and the work will be done smoothly. Document and photograph requirements might vary slightly from time to time. Know in details about the requirements before you send the renewal application.
Mentioned below are some tips which help with smooth and hassle-free passport renewal:
Do not wait for the passport to expire
One of the greatest mistakes that all of us make is waiting for the passport to expire before getting it renewed. Instead of this, it is better to check the validity of the passport from time to time. When few months are let for the expiry, it is best to get the passport renewed at that time – 6 months is the best time. There are many countries which check whether your passport has 6 months validity or not. It is better to be safe and start the renewal process 6 months in advance. Having some buffer time in hand is always recommended so that even if you need to travel during this period, there will be no issues at all.
Read through the renewal application form thoroughly and check the required boxes appropriately
The passport application form will have many boxes that need to be checked appropriately. There are many questions that need to be answered in yes or no in the form. Some of the most common questions include:
- Is the passport undamaged
- Is the passport issued with the last 15 years
- Does the passport have my current name
- Can it be confirmed that the passport has never been damaged, mutilated, stolen, lost but subsequently found
- Was the candidate 16 years of age when the passport was issued
If a candidate replies to any of these questions with a ‘no’, he/she cannot renew the passport via mail. The passport renewal application has to be done in person at any of the acceptance facilities, which are widespread in the USA. With an affirmative answer to all the questions, the candidate can apply easily via mail.
Making the passport renewal application via mail
Passport renewal via mail is simple and easy. The DS-82 form needs to be filled up. The form can be downloaded online. Standard information regarding the candidate is sought, which includes name, address, social security number, recent passport number etc. There is an option of choosing the numbers of pages that you need in the passport. Fill up the form after downloading and attach photographs as and where required. Things that need to be furnished for getting the passport renewed include the passport renewal application form, the current passport, cheque with appropriate fee etc. the fee for passport renewal is around $110. Put all these things together in a large envelop so that no documents get folded. Ensure that you trust a reliable courier company for sending the mail and be able to track the same. The renewed passport and the current passport will most probably be couriered to you separately.
Photograph specifications in passport renewal form
One of the most important things for which many passport renewal forms get canceled is an improper photograph. Before going for getting clicked for passport photos, know the regulations in detail. The size of the photo is important – it should be 2×2 inches. The photograph should be colored with white or off-white background. The photo should be front-facing and the whole face should be seen. Eyes should be open and preferably there should be no head covering, until and unless it is for some religious purpose. Wearing glasses without some strict medical problem is not allowed. A signed letter from a medical practitioner has to be submitted in support of glass wearing in that case.
There are many passports expedite agencies and companies, which help in getting a new passport or passport renewal within a very short period of time, even within the same day. Additional fee has to be paid for availing such a service. Make sure that the agency with whom you are endowing such a responsibility is a trusted and reliable one.