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Renew an adult passport

Find out if you can renew your passport or have to get a new one. Learn how to renew your passport by mail or in person in an emergency.


Renew early. Passport processing times vary. And some countries and airlines deny entry if your passport expires in less than 6 months.

Determine if you can renew your passport

If any of the following are true, you cannot renew your U.S. passport and must instead apply for a new passport in person using Form DS-11:

  • Issued before your 16th birthday
  • Issued more than 15 years ago
  • Damaged, lost, or stolen. Learn how to report a lost or stolen passport.
  • Issued in your previous name, and you do not have a legal document like a marriage license to prove your legal name change

If none of the above situations are true, you can renew your U.S. passport.

How to renew your passport and documents you will need

Passports can only be renewed by mail. Online renewals are currently paused. Because it can take up to three months to process your application, it is important to renew your passport before it expires.

Typically, you will need the following items to renew your passport:

Learn how to submit all your documentation and passport fees by mail.

Check with the Department of State to find out the current processing times for passport renewals.

Be aware of passport expiration rules for your destination

Some countries and airlines will not allow a U.S. passport holder to enter if their passport expires in less than 6 months. 

Check your destination country's U.S. passport expiration rules on the Department of State's country information page.

  • On the left, search for the country name in the "learn about your destination" box.
  • On that country's page, look for "passport validity."

LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023


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