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Renewing US passport while in the UK

by Tamara
(Chelmsford, Essex, UK)

Question: I am a US citizen living in the UK. I need to renew my US passport but have mobility problems so cannot get to the US embassy in London to do it in person.

Is it permissible for me to complete the online form and send it by post? Do I send it to a US or UK address for processing? Will they mail it back to my UK address?

Answer: You may renew your passport by Courier/Mail in the United Kingdom if your most recent U.S. Passport is:

* Undamaged and can be submitted with your application;
* Was issued when you were aged 16 or older;
* Was issued within the last 15 years;
* Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change by U.S. Court Order or Marriage Certificate.

If the above statements do not apply to you, you must schedule an appointment and apply for the passport in person.

Here is a list of the documents you must send in order to renew your passport by mail in the UK.

1. Completed application form DS-82

2. Your most recent U.S. passport. It will be invalidated and returned to you.

3. One passport photo that is recent, 2x2 inches in size, full-face view with white or off-white background. Vending machine photographs and photographs printed on a home computer are unacceptable.

3. The application fee is $110.00. Accepted payment methods are: credit card (payment form), International Money Order to the exact U.S. dollar amount made payable to the "United States Disbursing Officer;" or Banker's Draft drawn in U.S. dollars only on a bank in the United States made payable to the "United States Disbursing Officer."

You also need to send the following two items if they apply to your situation.

* Foreign naturalization certificate: If you are naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country since your last passport was issued, provide a photocopy of your foreign naturalization certificate and a statement regarding your intentions when you naturalized (i.e. whether or not it was your intention to relinquish your U.S. citizenship when you were naturalized as a foreign citizen).

* Original Marriage Certificate or U.S. Court Order showing change of name.

Submit your passport application, along with all supporting documents and photos, only by using the Royal Mail "Special Delivery" service (available at any UK Post Office). Do not use the regular mail service. Your envelope should be addressed to:

Passport-by-Mail Service
American Citizen Services
U.S. Embassy
5 Upper Grosvenor Street
London, W1A 2LQ

To ensure the safe return of your passport, you should also enclose a pre-paid Special Delivery self-addressed return envelope that shows postage paid up to 500 grams. You should keep a record of your Special Delivery tracking number so you can track your passport's return to you.

An alternative means of delivery is the courier service, DX Secure.

Applications for full-validity passports are sent to the U.S. for printing. Processing time for a full validity (10 year for adult) U.S. passport is approximately 4 weeks.

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