Passport Renewal Lawyers

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 How Can I Renew My Passport?

If a person has already been through the application process for a United States passport and received one, there are several options available for renewal.

The best and easiest option is to renew one’s passport before it has expired. A person’s passport clearly shows its expiration date and it can be renewed well before it has expired. This avoids the risk of delay in processing of the application beyond the expiration date. It can be done at a post office, court clerk’s office or the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency. A typical renewal should proceed without problem unless the person’s passport has been revoked.

If a person’s passport has already expired, a person can still renew their passport by mail if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • The person is in possession of their old, expired passport;
  • The expired passport is in good condition;
  • The person received the expired passport when they were age 16 or older;
  • They received the expired passport within the last 15 years;
  • The name they want on the renewed passport is the same as the name on the expired passport, or, if they have changed their name, they have an original or a certified copy of their legal name-change forms.

If any of these factors are not true, then a person must apply to renew their passport in person using a DS-11 form. Passports can be renewed in person in several places such as a post office, court clerk’s office, or the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency.

Another option is a passport card. This is a single card that can be used as a passport only for the purpose of entering the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from:

  • Canada;
  • Mexico;
  • The Caribbean;
  • Bermuda.

The passport card cannot be used for international air travel. It can also be renewed by mail.

What Should I Expect?

If a person is eligible to renew by mail, they need to fill out a form DS-82. It can be mailed in with a copy of your expired passport, a new passport photo, the applicable fee, and, if necessary, name change documents. Mail all of these materials to the appropriate address.
If a person is a frequent international traveler, they may also request that a larger passport book be sent to them as part of the application process.

Renewal of a passport can be expedited (sped up) in some cases. If a person is planning to travel outside the U.S. within the next 12 to 16 weeks, they can speed up the process of passport renewal.

A person can expedite renewal by mail by doing the following:

  • Fill out a DS-82 application and gather up needed documents;
  • Include $60 to cover the fee for expediting the application in addition to the normal application fee;
  • Clearly write the word “expedite” on the outside of the application package;
  • Include an optional 1-2 day delivery fee, if desired;
  • Send the application in via the United States Postal Service’s Priority Mail Express for faster shipping of application.

Or, a person could make use of a private Passport expeditor/courier company These companies are registered at the U.S.passport agencies, and are allowed to deliver expedited passport applications on behalf of customers.

If a person wants to renew their passport quickly, then they must make an appointment at a passport agency. Needless to say, these appointments are difficult to get. If a person needs a passport for travel within 72 hours because of a life-or-death emergency, they can call to make an appointment and will have to bring proof of travel, e.g. airline reservations, and proof of the life-or-death emergency to their appointment. A person can only make an appointment of this type by phone and the number of available appointments is very limited.

If a person needs a passport for urgent travel, then, again, a person must make an appointment by telephone within three days of their international travel. Clearly success with this would depend on the availability of an appointment within three days of a person’s trip. Only certain passport agencies offer the appointments and the person seeking renewal would have to present proof of travel. As with the life-or-death emergency situation, appointments are very limited in number.

A person whose passport needs renewal and who is considering a trip overseas should keep in mind the fact that many countries do not allow a person to cross their border, or even get on a plane to fly there, unless their passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date on which they intend to depart. Others, including the 26 European nations that participate in the Schengen Accord, mandate that a person’s passport be valid for at least three months past their date of departure. Nations in the Schengen Zone include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries that are frequent travel destinations for U.S. citizens. A few countries have a one-month validity requirement for passports. There are some nations that have no validity restrictions at all, other than requiring that a person have a valid passport during their stay.

Before taking a trip, a person should be sure to verify the passport validity requirements of the country to which they are traveling. A person does not want to arrive in a foreign airport and find that the remaining period of validity on their passport is insufficient and be sent home. As a rule, a person should always have at least six months of validity past the planned end date of their stay in a foreign country, regardless of where a person travels.

Can My Passport Renewal Be Denied?

There are a few reasons for which a passport may be revoked or a renewal application denied. Individuals who have unpaid tax debts of $52,000 or more can have a passport revoked. People who owe $2,500 or more in child support also can have a passport revoked. People who have been convicted of certain kinds of crimes, including sex trafficking of minors or drug trafficking, or individuals who have had their citizenship revoked might have their passports revoked or their renewal applications denied as a result.

Local law enforcement agencies that have arrested and charged a person with a felony can request revocation of the person’s passport. if they consider the person to be a flight risk. .

However, there are also several technical and typographical errors that can lead to delays or denials in the passport renewal process. A person wants to make sure that every form is filled out completely and correctly and that all information provided is legible. Leaving out any information, especially crucial identifying information such as a social security number, birthday, or important addresses, could lead to a denial of the renewal application.

Finally, be sure to include the check made out to the correct party for the correct amount to pay all required fees. A person’s passport renewal application could be denied if the payment is forgotten or inadequate.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Many passport renewals for American citizens are straightforward and can be handled by the passport holder on their own without assistance. People who have large, unpaid tax debt, prior criminal convictions, child support debt of $2500 or more, or potential immigration issues should speak with an immigration lawyer or passport lawyer to help streamline the application process. A lawyer can advise you of all of your options and help you weigh alternatives if you should confront any difficulties while renewing your passport.

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