Passport renewal question

Anyone have any first hand experience with this? My passport has expired (exp date, Jan 2001). I want to get a new one/renew.

I go to where it tells me that I renew my passport if it was issued less that 15 years ago. It was issued in 91, so I’m cool.

But it’s expired.

I can’t find anything on that site that says I can renew if my passport is under 15 years old even if it’s expired. This makes me nervous somehow.

I’m a trifle pressed for time (not badly, but it’s starting to make me nervous) and it’d be tons quicker to get it renewed. Yeah, I can just call the passport office tomorrow, but I wanna know now! :wink:

Anyone have any personal knowledge of whether an expired passport can be renewed?



That’s weird. I just got mine renewed this afternoon, or more accurately, I filed my application for renewal. I had no idea how it worked, so I just went to my local Post Office, and they had all the forms I needed right there. It takes 3-6 weeks to get a new one mailed to you.

Remember to bring your expired passport, a copy of your birth certificate and an ID of some kind. You’ll also need to get new photos taken. Try giving the PO a call and see if they can recommend a place to get the pictures taken.

Since U.S. passports are only good for 10 years, if the site mentions 15 years, expired has to be okay.

Not sure if this info will help, but my wife and I just re-applied for passports (within the last month). We both had expired passports, which we turned in with our applications. We received new passports one week later (yes, one week) along with our expired passports, which had been hole-punched to render them unusable. I was stunned to see the new passports show up so quickly. Perhaps the volume of applicants is particularly low right now.

If your passport has to be renewed, then I’d venture to guess it has expired.

If it hasn’t yet expired, then it would be pretty silly to try an renew it.

Or are you just really paranoid?

Fenris: go to or call your local post office tomorrow and ask about this. I have info but it’s in my files at work. I also (think) I have the name and number of an expediting service, if you are really pressed for time. It’s a bit expensive, but you can get it done in a few days if you have to. You’ll also need some passport size photos of yourself, unless the process has changed in the last 4 years.

Scarlett…apparently I don’t need my birth certificate if I’m doing the mail-in route. It is a weird coincidence though.

lurker: Aren’t new passports good for 15 years? ISTR some sort of flap about it a few years back. That’s part of what’s confusing me.

aesop: A week?! Wow!

postcards:It’s possible to renew before they expire. If I hadn’t miscounted, that’s what I’d be doing.

ShibbOleth: I intend to go to the Post Office, I was just wondering in advance. I should be fine, timewise (it was a 3 month wait, the first time I got a passport, but now they’re saying 6-8 weeks and aesop is saying 1 week. I have until mid Feb. so while I don’t want to screw around much longer, I should be fine.

I just got my new one. If you are traveling more than 14 days IIRC from the date of application, you have to go the Post Office route. You can get it expedited but it still takes a few weeks. If there is a passport office in your area you can do what I did, go in ten days before, fill out the paperwork, bring your old one, and you can get it in like 5 days. Sometimes even less!

So, where are you going? And will you be sending back post cards and trip reports?

Former passport application acceptance agent, Monty, weighing in!

Even an expired US passport is proof of United States citizenship. What it no longer is proof of, though, is identity. So you take the application form with you, the expired passport (or other proof of citizenship), and a valid & current photo ID to your local acceptance agent. Or, if it’s expired within a certain amount of time AND had been issued to you after a certain age (for you, not it), then you can do the “mail-in” application.

p.s. When I got my latest passport last year, I got it in one day! That required me taking all the appropriate junk with me up to the passport agency in San Francisco, not paying the expedite fee ('twas waived because I had the employment contract with me showing I had to depart in a few days), and hanging out inside the building until the passport was ready. Leaving the building wasn’t a bright option–at a certain time, the entry door is locked and you can’t enter again, no matter what!

Drat. Left off something else. If you have ever been issued a US passport before, you really don’t even need to take that or other proof of citizenship with you if you go the personal appearance at the passport agency route. You can pay a fee for a records search and since it’s computerized, it’s done whilst you wait. Of course, you still need to take current & valid photo ID.

Just something to file for future reference, some places like Hong Kong and Shanghai will give (well, you have to pay the standard fees) you a new passport while you wait. So, if you’re getting close to expiration, it might be worth dropping by a US consulate for an hour to get a new passport.

I just got mine renewed, and the old one had expired six months ago, so there certainly is some time period within which you can renew an expired passport.

I needed mine fast, so I went to Passport Express. Cost me an extra $100, but I got the new passport in three business days. I don’t know how true the claims at Frequently Asked Questions about passports are, since the authors obviously have an agenda, but it sure worked for me.

In 1999 I renewed my PP through our company travel agent. Using Fed-Ex, it only took about 3 days to get it.

I took a trip to Europe in Feb. of 2000. My wallet, with passport was stolen at C. DeGaulle A/P in Paris. I went to the US Embassy and had a new passport issued in about 45 min. I was impressed.

Things may have changed, but Monty seems to indirectly confirm that the fastest office to go through on the west coast is San Francisco. That’s been the standard advice from my insider pals for years and years.

On the east coast, you can’t beat the office at 21st and L Streets in Washington, DC. I got mine in three days, without paying the expediting fee. Of course, I had to make absolutely certain all my ducks were in a row before I sat down with a paperback and a two-hour wait on a work day. They’re pretty ruthless about showing you the door if you don’t have all the paperwork and documents they require.

To add to what Monty and Sofa King have said - I have twice had to renew my passport for urgent travel reasons. The first time, at the Los Angeles passport office, I was told I could get it the same day (after waiting in long lines). The second time, I was told that I could only get it the next business day, and that the only place near Los Anbeles where I could get it the same day was San Francisco. So if it’s really urgent, find the closest passport office, and call them to find out what the turnaround is.

BTW, US Passports are still good for 10 years. Sez so on the one I renewed in May.

I renewed mine by mail, sent it in just days before expiration (downloaded the form as PDF from the Passport Office website, printed it, mailed it with the check and old passport to Pittsburgh). Had the new one in my hands within 8 business days. The old one had been issued thru Sanford and was just about as quick.

But yes, nothing beats dealing on-site with an actual Passport Office for speed…

Thanks everyone for the answers!

ShibbOleth: I’ll be going to England. If I get to an internet cafe, I’ll probably post some updates from there.

Monty: Thanks! I was getting somewhat stressed th’ other night and your post(s) helped a lot!

And like I said, I’m not leaving 'till Feb. so it’s not urgent but I had a “panic” moment when I realized that my passport has already expired. And I appreciate the suggestions as to how to speed things up if necessary.

Thanks everyone


Just in case it applies to anyone, if you are under 18 years old at the time your passport is made, then your passport is only valid for 5 yearw; it’s 10 for adults.