Who do I contact to renew my passport in a normal, timely fashion? Can it be done online? 800 number? Any changes in document support requirements? My passport expires September 2009, but I have no plans to be out of the country. Thought I might get it renewed, just in case.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
The agency that handles passport renewals is the U.S. Department of State. Passports must be renewed by mail, unless you don’t meet the criteria. Forms can be downloaded over the Internet.
In order to qualify for a by-mail renewal, there are four prerequisites: First, your existing passport must be undamaged to be submitted with your application renewal. Second, the old passport has to have been issued when you were age 16 or older. Third, it should have been issued within the last 15 years. And finally, your current passport must have been issued in your current name (unless you can provide legal documentation of your name change).
Form DS-82 is the form that you fill out and submit, with your signature, photos, and application fees. The form is available online. Print it out, and submit it with your expired passport and other documents. The State Department Web site will tell you the address to which you should mail the application. That depends on where in the United States (or overseas) you live.
Renewal takes approximately three weeks, unless you choose to expedite the process for an additional $60.
If you do not meet all four requirements, you can apply for renewal in person at a post office or certain government offices. The above Web site will let you search for the nearest walk-in renewal location and will tell you what documents you need to bring with you.