Secret Tips for Renewing Your US Passport

Tips of the trade, insider secrets, loopholes—whatever you want to call them, they certainly can help you. Sometimes you can save money, other times they simply expedite convenience. When it comes to getting your US passport, WeExpats did the research and uncovered some of the top US passport tips for when you are renewing your US passport.

Renewing your US passport is done through Form DS-82, and there are several little hints and secrets that can arise through this simple form. Once you have your first passport, you can find a world of ways to save you money, expedite convenience, and even protect yourself in case of unfortunate occurrences.

 

YOU CAN HAVE TWO US PASSPORTS:

Unknown to many travelers, you are allowed to have two US passports. Called a “Duplicate Passport”, this is a completely legal safety measure that can save you a world of trouble—especially if you travel often.

Though it is illegal for you to leave the country with both passports, it is a good idea to have a second passport on hand for processing international visas, or in case of a lost or stolen passport.

To apply for a second passport book, you simply have to fill out Form DS-82 (the Passport Renewal Application). In the application packet, include a photocopy of your valid passport, and a signed letter explaining why you would like a second passport. Of course you will need to include a passport photo, and the $110 USD processing fee.

It is best to be prepared when you travel often, and have a plan in place for replacing a lost or stolen passport can save you a world of trouble in the unlikely scenario that you are in a foreign country, and you lose your passport or it is stolen. Replacing a lost or stolen passport abroad is a costly measure, and it can seriously interrupt your travel plans while you wait for a passport to be issued. Instead, file for a duplicate passport ahead of time.

 

YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON A PASSPORT CARD IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A PASSPORT BOOK: 

In case you are wondering, when we think of a passport, what we are really thinking of is a passport book. The Unites States also issues a passport card. This limited travel document is not meant for air travel, but meant for those who travel often by boat or by car to countries that are nearby to the United States. Those countries are:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Bermuda
  • Caribbean Island Nations

It is a relatively inexpensive cost to apply for a passport card. For more information, click here. However, you can save a bit of money if you already have a traditional passport book. All you have to do is fill out Form DS-82 (the US Passport Renewal Application), and request a passport card instead of a passport book.

Applying for a passport card is $55 USD, however renewing your passport card is only $30 USD, thus you save $25 USD by simply requesting a passport card in a mail-in renewal application instead of applying for one right away.

 

GETTING EXTRA PAGES IN YOUR PASSPORT FOR FREE:

That’s right! When you are filling out Form DS-82, you can also get extra pages for free. All you have to do is check the box at the top of the page that says, “52-Page Book (Non-Standard)”. This will give you a larger passport book with extra pages in—for free—it so that you don’t have to go through the costly and time-consuming process of having your passport mailed out to put extra pages in it, and then having it shipped back for you. Do it all ahead of time when you renew!

 

SOME COUNTRIES WILL SHIP THE PASSPORT RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR IF YOU LIVE ABROAD:

This is perhaps the most secretive tip we uncovered. If you live in these countries, then you can send a postpaid envelope in with your passport renewal documents. Then, the United States will ship your passport right back to you in this envelope directly to your door. The countries that do this are not well marked. However, we have uncovered that Australia is one of these countries. To find out if your country is one of these countries, call your local embassy or consulate and ask if they offer postpaid envelope delivery.

*If you reside in Canada, you can also have your passport shipped directly to your address because of a special dispensation with the Canadian government. To learn more, click here and scroll to the bottom.

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