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Question U.S. Passport Renewal?
Old 07-18-2010, 11:25 PM   #1
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Question U.S. Passport Renewal?

Anyone renew a U.S. passport recently? What's the cheapest and most direct way? Post office, website, or ...? I know the fee just went up.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:15 AM   #2
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Anyone renew a U.S. passport recently? What's the cheapest and most direct way? Post office, website, or ...? I know the fee just went up.
We go to AAA to have our pictures taken and then to the post office to submit the request/pay the fees.

Remember, you have to also submit your current passport. Otherwise you have to go back to the beginning and re-submit your certified birth certificate.

Also, there is an extra charge to expedite the request if you are running short on time. We normally renew ours if we are within a year of expiring (each on our third; we have traveled a lot over the years), in addition of the requirement of having a passport that still has 6-months of “life” by the end of your tour/travel end date.

There are commercial processors, but of course you will have to pay extra for their "services".

In addition, if you find (last minute) that your passport will fall out of date soon and you have your trip booked, you can take a copy of your itinerary or plane ticket to a federal passport facility (ours is 50 miles away), stand in line, and get it the same day. It's a lot of hassle, but I retired from a company in which a lot of folks traveled internationally (yes, me also) and we had some folks who did not have a passport nor expected to ever travel for their j*b. Well, you know how that goes. They suddenly had to leave the country (sometimes in a few days) and needed a passport ASAP.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:36 AM   #3
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We went to CVS Pharmacy and had the picture taken. There processing machine had a setting for passport pictures, then to the post office.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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Anyone renew a U.S. passport recently? What's the cheapest and most direct way? Post office, website, or ...? I know the fee just went up.
We went to Walgreens for the photographs and to the USPS to apply. This (a year ago) was our third time (2nd renewal) and did it exactly that way the earlier times. I don't know if it was the cheapest way (never compared) but it certainly is simple and trouble-free.

This last time, we, in addition, purchased the small wallet-sized laminated cards. Have yet to find a use for them so am, now, questioning that decision.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
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Anyone renew a U.S. passport recently? What's the cheapest and most direct way? Post office, website, or ...? I know the fee just went up.
If current passport is less than 15 years old, cheapest and most direct is to download form DS-82, get your pics at walgreens, and submit by standard mail.

You can also get a passport card, good for North America travel. If yu apply when renewing the passport you pay the separate application fee but only one execution fee.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:52 AM   #6
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Anyone renew a U.S. passport recently? What's the cheapest and most direct way? Post office, website, or ...? I know the fee just went up.
I took the photographs! DH just followed the website guidelines - printed them, cut them out. I think we just had to have a certain color backdrop (light?) and the blinds in our MH were fine.

DH did everything else per the govt website, downloaded and printed out the forms and mailed everything in.

We got it back in just a few weeks it seems - faster than expected. We didn't expedite anything. This was all late last year.

No other business involved...

Audrey
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #7
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I renewed mine last year . Pictures at Walgreen's (there is a $5.00 off coupon on line ) . Printed the form and mailed it in . I received the passport in three weeks .
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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I renewed mine earlier in the year. Like Audrey, we took the pictures at home and used the internet to fill in the form, mailed it & it was here in (iirc) 3-4 weeks. The web site gives you detailed information about the dimensions, background etc. of the ID picture, so it is quite easy to meet requirements.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:41 PM   #9
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I always get all my passport sized photographs taken while I am traveling in a developing country since it is so cheap (like 50 cents each). I paid once at Walgreen's and said never again (although it looks like they have dropped their prices now). I usually carry at least half a dozen passport photos as they are needed from time to time if you travel a lot.

When I had the photos taken for my current passport, I had the pictures taken with a jacket on. Then I took the jacket off for the other passport size photos, as sometimes for a visa or visa extension they require the photo be within the last 3 or 6 months. Whereas my photos might be a year old and they would know that by looking at my passport photo.

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Old 07-19-2010, 03:23 PM   #10
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Earlier this year, AAA did photos. Submitted online. Mailed in the old ones. Got those back, plus the new ones in reasonable time, maybe three or four weeks. No problem.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:47 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. I knew I could count on y'all to educate me.

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Then I took the jacket off for the other passport size photos
Clever, clever. So you use the photos that have you dressed appropriately for the current season?
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:28 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I knew I could count on y'all to educate me.



Clever, clever. So you use the photos that have you dressed appropriately for the current season?
Hi Onward, my point was that if I submit a photo for a visa or visa extension one year after my passport was issued, and it is the same exact photo as is in my passport, they will know it is one year old (and thus possibly reject it). Whereas, if I took the other photos with different clothing, they will not know that.

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Old 07-21-2010, 05:37 AM   #13
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My passport expired in June so back in March I breezed into the large, main post office near my workplace at lunchtime, old passport in hand. They took me into a back room, snapped my photo, filled out the paperwork and then I mailed it at a special window they have for passports and wrote a check for the whole process. Very easy and all done in about 40 minutes. I got my new passport very quickly, in less than two weeks.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:54 AM   #14
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I found a free program on line to automatically resize the passport pictures, so I took them myself and it generated the correct face dimensions and outside dimensions. Sorry I don't have a link.

At least that way I get to pick which picture is used.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:37 AM   #15
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I found a free program on line to automatically resize the passport pictures, so I took them myself and it generated the correct face dimensions and outside dimensions. Sorry I don't have a link.
Let me Google that for you: passport +resize - Google Search
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:52 AM   #16
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Of course if you already own something like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements or maybe other photo editing software, you don't need any special photo resizing software.

Audrey
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:58 AM   #17
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Let me Google that for you: passport +resize - Google Search
Wow this Google thing is great. Does anyone else know about it?
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #18
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Hi Onward, my point was that if I submit a photo for a visa or visa extension one year after my passport was issued, and it is the same exact photo as is in my passport, they will know it is one year old (and thus possibly reject it). Whereas, if I took the other photos with different clothing, they will not know that.
Ah. I get it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:23 AM   #19
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I always get all my passport sized photographs taken while I am traveling in a developing country since it is so cheap (like 50 cents each).
Kramer
Some people... What's the use of going abroad if you don't adopt the "Ugly American" behavior and flaunt your wealth?

PS-I just applied for a passport renewal at the US Embassy in Bangkok on Aug 6. $110 and should be able to pick it up in two weeks. They let you keep your old pass port, good idea since under Thai law, aliens are required to carry their passport at all times (but 99% of expats carry a photo copy of the new page.)

Before the new rate increase adding pages to a passport was free; now its $85. Hmmm, let me see, adding pages is $85, new pp is $110... Maybe just opt for a new one
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:43 PM   #20
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i have found that the easiest and most direct way is to find an online service. There are many different services out there so make sure to choose one that looks legit.
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