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Can I renew my passport without sending the old one so I can travel?

by Devin Wilson
(Carolina Beach, NC, USA)

Question: I travel quite often with different organizations such as Operation Smile and Lifeworks International. Normally at least once a month. My passport will expire in about 10 months. Is there any way I can get my new passport without having to send the current one in as this would make it impossible for me to travel?

Answer: There are a few different ways to handle this situation. One, you can wait until a week before the passport's expiration date and apply for expedited service by mail. Currently, this service is estimated to take between 2 and 3 weeks but is sometimes completed sooner. Of course, this method requires you be without a passport for this period of time.

Another option is to wait until less than 2 weeks before the passport's expiration date and submit the application at a regional passport agency. In many cases, the new passport can be issued the same day. The closest agencies to Carolina Beach are in Atlanta and Washington, DC.

Finally, you can apply for a second passport. Second passports are only issued in special circumstances. American citizens who travel frequently, especially to countries that require visas, can sometimes obtain a second passport. For more information about this option, click the link below.

Second Passport Information

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Old passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I have my old passport card and I also recently got my new passport card. Now I want to apply for a passport book but I travel to Mexico by car and need my new passport to cross. Can I send my expired passport card instead of the current one?

Answer: You cannot. You need to send your most recently issued passport in order to obtain your new passport book.

2 passports
by: Anonymous

Question: You can't have two valid driver's licenses at once so why 2 passports? The whole point to send in your old passport is to avoid identity theft and fraud.

Answer: Majority of citizens are not allowed to be in possession of two passports at one time. You may have a passport book and passport card at the same time but the card has limited uses. Those who are issued official/military passports may also be issued civilian passports which they must use for leisure travel. There are also special cases when a second passport can be issued.

Lost passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I cannot find my old passport. What do I do to get a new one?

Answer: If your old passport is still valid, you need to report the loss by calling 1-877-487-2778 or by submitting Form DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport. Then, you can start the process of applying for a new one.

If it is already expired, you do not need to report it. You can then proceed to applying for a new passport by gathering the following documents:

1. Form DS-11 (completed but unsigned)
2. Evidence of U.S. citizenship
3. Proof of identity
4. Photocopy of ID
5. New passport photo
6. Payment for fees

Please submit your application in person at the nearest acceptance facility. Routine service takes 6-8 weeks to complete while expedited service takes 2-3 weeks.

Submitting passport
by: Bo

Question: Having to surrender a passport to renew is possibly the stupidest law, particularly in this age of instant communication. Being without a passport for those weeks is absolutely unnecessary; you have our info on your screen. You just don't want to make the effort to update your rules/system. Let the office punch the current one, put an 8-week marker on it; there is no need to make people jump through hoops just because you want both of them physically in your hands. If there has been no illegal activity, let the person keep it while they renew; just give your offices an 8-week permanent stamp so they don't exist for years with two passports. You can correct this; there are thousands of people who shouldn't have to travel to your distant office because of your inefficiency.

Answer: As is stated at the top of every page of our website, this is a privately owned website and not a government agency. If you would like to register a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of State's Passport Services, you can do that here.

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UPDATE: Mailing delays and high demand are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 10 and 13 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 7 to 9 weeks excluding mailing times on the front and back end. Current mailing delays are significant. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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