My passport was nine years old, extremely used, and extremely worn. I wasn’t sure on the procedures for renewal. I was once told that when one is issued a new passport, the old one would be retained by the USG. This turned out to be inaccurate. However, with this misinformation I waited and waited to renew mine because of many fond memories held within each visa page. The last two times flying in and out of Colombia I was stopped at immigration because my passport was deemed “unserviceable.” Each time I had to speak with the supervisor and make promises of my intent to renew my passport at the earliest convenience. I was planning on doing some extensive traveling in South America; so I needed to get my passport renewed in Colombia before beginning my journey.
Follow these simple steps to renew your US passport abroad:
- Go to the US Embassy webpage of the country you are currently in.
- Make an appointment for “US Citizen Passport Services”. You pick the available time that best suits your needs.
- Fill out a DS82 form online, or print a copy from the Embassy webpage, if not copies are available at the embassy. Be sure to arrive early.
- Get 2each 2in x 2in passport photos to bring along with your application to your appointment.
- Be ready to pay $110.00 USD at the time of your appointment.
Be patient, and be ready to stand in line. The employees at the Embassy’s are rarely American, and therefore are not accustomed to our pace, nor our standards for customer service. After submitting your forms, photos, and fees, you will be able to retain your old passport while waiting for the new one to arrive. The Embassy will send your packet to the U.S to be processed. Your new passport will arrive no more than 10-11 days from the date of submission to the country you are currently in. In order to pickup your new passport you will need to bring your old one along. At that time an Embassy employee will punch 4 holes in your old one, and pass it back to you along with your new passport. This process really couldn’t be any easier.
For additional information go to the DoS’s page http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html