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Should the renewal application be sent via certified mail?

by Arlene
(Stoughton, MA)

Question: I have everything ready to MAIL but want to know the best way to mail all the renewal documentation including my original passport.


Do you recommend US postal service? Do you recommend Certified mail with return receipt? Can the documents be sent via Regular Mail? Is FedEx or UPS a good option?

Answer: You are strongly encouraged to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method. This will minimize the risk of your documents getting lost.

A traceable delivery method lets you confirm the receipt of your package at the intended destination. Traceable delivery methods include:

* USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation
* USPS Priority Mail with Signature Confirmation
* USPS Express Mail (for overnight delivery requests) traceable delivery method

USPS Certified Mail and USPS Registered Mail are also forms of traceable mail but take longer to reach the mailing destination than Priority or Express Mail service.

Please Note: Your application for a passport renewal will be sent to a PO Box. Therefore, the traceable delivery method used must be able to deliver to a PO Box address.

Also, in order to protect the contents of your mailing from the elements throughout the delivery process, you are encouraged to send your passport application and any personal documents using a secure means of packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope.

Comments for Should the renewal application be sent via certified mail?

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More than one application
by: Anonymous

Question: Can you send more than one application in one envelope? (wife and I)

Answer: Yes, you can. We recommend placing each application set in separate envelopes then send both together in a larger one.

Photo incorrect
by: Anonymous

I went to our main post office in Anchorage with my application ready to go. Little did I know, the photo of my wife had some of her hair covering her eye brown and could have caused our application to be declined, wasting more time. Make sure that the photo is showing all of your face. USPS was not the company taking the photo. Next time I will be going through the USPS.

I folded mine
by: Anonymous

Nowhere on passport website does it say documents can't be folded.

Here's a verbatim quote from the State Department's website:

"When mailing your passport application from the United States, please use:

-An envelope large enough to fit the application without folding
-Mailing by the United States Postal Service (USPS)
-A trackable delivery method. The method used must be able to deliver to a P.O. Box address."

Envelope size
by: Anonymous

Question: Can you fold the application and use a smaller envelope?

Answer: You cannot. Please send the application in an envelope enough to fit the documents without folding.

Fed Ex & UPS NOT OK!
by: Anonymous

Fed Ex or UPS CANNOT be used to deliver to a P.O. Box. ONLY US Postal Service (USPS) can be used to deliver to a P.O. Box. Certified Mail First Class is the least expensive traceable option with proof of delivery via the Certified Tracking number for a fee of $3.50 plus postage.

FedEx OK or Not?
by: Anonymous

Question: You did not answer if sending the for renewal by FedEx is OK or not.

Answer: You may send the application through FedEx but you are strongly encouraged to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method. This will minimize the risk of your documents getting lost.

A traceable delivery method lets you confirm the receipt of your package at the intended destination. Traceable delivery methods include:

* USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation
* USPS Priority Mail with Signature Confirmation
* USPS Express Mail (for overnight delivery requests) traceable delivery method

Wrong application submitted
by: Anonymous

Question: I submitted the wrong application. My recent passport that expired was issued to me before I was 16 years old. I did not fill out the Form DS-11. When will they send me back the wrong application/expired passport/check? I filled out Form DS-82.

Answer: You will receive a letter notifying that you sent the wrong application form. It will also provide instructions on how you can send the correct form. If you wish to speak to a customer service representative, you may call 1-877-487-2778.

Certified Mail Tracking Number
by: Anonymous

Question: I can see that the passport was mailed last Wednesday via certified mail. How can if find out the tracking number for the return of my passport?

Answer: There is no tracking number for the passport's mailing after processing is completed. You may, however, check the status here: http://uspsg.net/status/

Passport renewal application was not certified
by: Anonymous

Question: I mailed my passport renewal on February 25th and asked for tracking but once I got home, I noticed on the receipt that they didn't add tracking. It just said estimated arrival Feb 28th. Should I worry that I have no way of tracking my application? What can I do? Just wait?

Answer: You may use your Last Name, Date of Birth and the last 4 digits of your SSN to check the status of your application. Please note that it takes several business days to enter your application in the system. I suggest that you check by the end of the week.

Stapling material
by: Anonymous

Question: Should application pages 1 and 2 be stapled together? Also, should check also be stapled to application when paying by mail?

Answer: You can staple the pages together but do not staple the check. Instead, write your name and birth date on the back of the check so it can be identified in case it gets separated from the other requirements.

What if tragedy strikes?
by: None Disclosed

Question: I just sent my passport renewal with my previous passport, certified copy of my wedding license since my name changed, and all my current contact info, including SSN as requested on the renewal form, through the mail. I used Priority mail (traceable) in a Tyvek envelope. However, I am paranoid about what will occur if my mail is lost or stolen, since this has happened to mail coming to me and sent from me in the past - even when dropped off at the Postal Office itself. How can this method of mailing all our most valuable information together be considered safe? USPS takes NO responsibility when they lose mail or have mail stolen. What are the recommended steps to take if my packet is ‘lost?’

Answer: Since you used a traceable delivery method, it is highly unlikely that your parcel will be lost. You can keep track of your documents and follow-up if need be.

Also, you can check the status of your application here: http://uspsg.net/status/

Mailed to wrong center
by: Anonymous

Question: What if I mail my renewal to wrong passport center?

Answer: There is a chance that your application will be processed by that center. If not, it will be sent to the correct processing center.

po box with signature
by: Anonymous

When mail is sent to a po box that needs to be signed for, a note is put in the po box and the owner then has to come to the window and sign for the mail.

In the case of a large firm like this, the P O will create a manifest with all the pieces on a page and the pick up person will sign for all the pieces on one page.

Question #20
by: Anonymous

Question: What do I write in block # 20 if I don't have any travel plans as of yet?

Answer: You do not need to fill in #20 if you do not have travel plans.

Sending Passport Renewals
by: Anonymous

Question: One of the methods of mailing documents you list includes a signature required service - yet you know that this is going to a PO Box. Why even include this method of tracking when it is not an option?

Answer: USPS Priority Mail with Signature Confirmation is an acceptable form of delivery. The confirmation will be signed.

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