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Should I renew my expired passport or apply for a new one?

by Lisa
(Sebastopol, CA USA)

Question: My passport expired a few years ago. Can I still renew? Also is a marriage license/certificate sufficient for a name change? I never officially changed my name after I got married in 1992. I thought the marriage certificate was sufficient. What documentation is needed? If I need to do an official name change, how long will this take?

Answer: You can renew a passport by mail as long as you were not age 15 or younger when the it was issued, it has been no more than 15 years since it was issued and the passport is not significantly damaged.

The requirements to obtain a U.S. passport renewal include a completed application form DS-82, your most recent passport and one passport photo taken within the last 6 months.

An original or certified copy of a marriage certificate serves as evidence of a legal name change.

The fee to renew a passport book is $110. You can request a passport card at the same time for an additional $30.

Regular processing takes 4-6 weeks. You can request expedited service if you want to get your passport renewed in 2-3 weeks. There is an additional $60 fee for this.

If you need to get your passport in less than two weeks, you can either visit a regional passport agency or authorize a registered passport expediting courier service to submit the application for you.

Applicants are encouraged to use a secure means of packaging such as a Tyvek envelope and a traceable delivery method. Two-way overnight delivery is strongly recommended if you need your passport fast.

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