How To Renew Your Passport

I booked a trip to London! In England! In Europe! I’m so excited. And, of course, it’s a business write-off, as I’ll be attending Ad-Tech and Affiliate Summit the end of September.  But I don’t have a passport!  So thought I’d share my steps to hopefully save someone else some time.

Fill out an Application of U.S. Passport online.  You will need to know birthplaces of not only yourself, but your mother, father and spouse (or former spouse), plus wedding and divorce dates if applicable.  I had to get out my baby book for info. Print out form after filling it out. But DO NOT sign it.  You will sign it later.

Get a Mug Shot taken.  You will need 2 identical passport photos 2″ x 2″ in size. They must be in color with a white or off-white background. You must wear street clothes (no uniforms) and no headgear.  I got mine taken and processed within an hour at Walgreens for $7.95.  The gal told me I could smile but could not show my teeth.

Things to Gather: Proof of U.S. Citizenship (ie Birth Certificate with raised seal). This will actually be sent with the application and returned with your passport. And you’ll need Proof of Identity (ie Driver’s license).  Your social security card does not prove your identity, but you will need to provide your SSN on the form. And you’ll need some moola for all the fees.

Passport Fees (for ages 16+): $97 ($67 application fee + $30 execution fee; I had to write out 2 seperate checks). For expedited service (I did this), add $60 plus postage for overnight delivery to and from you ($16.25 one way). I had to go to the post office to get a stamp for $16.25 for the way there.  And they added the $16.25 back to my app and expedited fee.  Total Spent for Expedited Fees: $189.50

Got everything? Go to a Passport Acceptance Facility (search by zip code for nearest location).  You will need to present everything and sign your form in front of them.  Phew, that wasn’t so hard.

The website states routine passports take 10-12 weeks, and expedited passports take 2-3 weeks. But the Clerk of the District Court told me it is taking much longer, ie over 15 weeks for routine and up to 6 weeks for expedited due to the high volume of demand.

Check the status of your U.S. Passport here or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778), Monday through Friday, 6 am – midnight ET, but good luck talking to a real live representative.