June's challenge: renew (or file for) your passport

talley_sue_nycJune 16, 2008

OK, this is prompted by my screw-up. I realized that my passport, issued 18 years ago, has expired.

Right now, I need it for getting a replacement driver's license.

But it's not valid, and so shouldn't be used by the DMV.

And renewing it now, in person, is going to cost $100; if I'd done it before the 15-year mark (from the date it was issued), it would cost me $75. Plus, I have to go in person.

The lesson: You don't know when you're going to need these things. A passport is phenomenally handy for proving identity, citizenship (for employability), etc. I foresee this as something you're more and more likely to need.

If you don't have one, you need one. Even if you don't plan to go to Paris soon--you should have one.

If you have one, you should check to see if it has expired, and if it has, renew it. If it's before 15 years, you can just renew by mail, which is relatively fuss-free.

So--your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this:

*Locate your passport--check its date.

*Check online to see what you need to do in order to renew.

*Post back here to tell us which day you're going to deal w/ your passport.

*Go that day, and come back here to tell us of your success.

(My plan is Tuesday, June 24)

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Thanks for the heads up, I do know where the passports are and I am within the 15 year mark. So it should be easy.

Good luck with this project.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 6:48PM
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I accept the challenge! I need to apply for a passport, and need to do it before the time comes I'd actually have to use it. I'm going to shoot for getting it done by the end of the week...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:50PM
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Lena M

Good idea. You never know when you might want to quickly leave the country -- err -- find a great deal on a flight to New Zealand. Mine's valid and at hand.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:54PM
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I just had mine renewed two years ago and I know where it is. Excellent idea to check, it's a very necessary thing to have.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 9:06PM
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Thanks T.S. I just went and checked ours.
I can't work out why DS and mine would be different renewal dates. His is due 2009, mine 2014, yet we got them at the same time. Must be to do with his age. He was only 16 at the time, so.. I don't know.
Do they send you reminders in Australia here, does anyone know. We get driver's licence renewal reminders posted to us, so I'm hoping the same for passports. Can we depend on you to come back in 2009, 2010 and 2014 for us Talley_Sue?
I'll ring up the dept and find out, otherwise I'll mark it off somewhere as a reminder. Thanks Talley_Sue.. it's so true. That's one of those things that are very easy to let slip, creating a real bother, instead of just a simple process.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 9:46PM
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Thank you for the post...I checked mine out and it is only good until 2/09. I read that some countries like you to have a good passport for 6 months beyond your travel to their country. Mine is about at that limit now if I traveled today.
I printed out the form and will take a digital photo and mail it in by the end of next week.
I use the Office outlook calendar, so I will be sure to schedule it.
Lilydilly...the office outlook calendar is nice for even putting on dates in the future. You could have it remind you of when you renewal time is due!
In the U.S. we get reminders on Drivers Lic. and Registration renewals due, but not on passports.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Let me mention that certain countries will not give you a visa to enter if you have less than 6 months time on your passport, so be sure to renew well in advance of a trip.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:20PM
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Can you renew before it expires? That might help Lilydilly and brugloverz9!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 6:41PM
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Here's the answer to that:

How soon can I renew my passport before it expires?

Usually a passportcan only be renewed if it is within 6 months from its expiration. However, we can have it renewed earlier if there is a good reason for request i.e. my appearance has changed SIGNIFICANTLY, I am moving to another country for a prolonged period of time (1 + years).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:19PM
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you can:

If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:24PM
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I thought a birth certificate was all that was needed to get a driver's license. Has the law been changed or does it depend on the state you live in?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:29PM
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I realized that my passport, issued 18 years ago, has expired. Right now, I need it for getting a replacement driver's license. But it's not valid, and so shouldn't be used by the DMV.

I thought you could use an expired passport for identification within the US.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:15AM
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I wandered off (metaphorically speaking) and let my passport expire a couple of months ago, and that's when I learned that, in the US, if you still have your expired passport (meaning it wasn't lost, stolen, or damaged), you can still apply by mail using the simple form. You can download an interactive version, which you fill out on your computer and then print out, to send with your check, your old passport, and your two hideous photos.

Oh, wait, maybe your photos won't be hideous. I had mine done twice, however, because if I had used the first ones, the border officials would most certainly have pulled me out of the line and put me in the funny farm. My family and friends did get a good laugh out of them before they went into the shredder.

But I digress...I had my new passport back in a matter of weeks. Now, if somebody invites me to Paris for dinner or Florence for the weekend, I can thrown my little black Balenciaga dress and my copper silk Jimmy Choos into my Louis Vuitton carry bag and go.

As if...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:27AM
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Not for the DMV, not anymore. It specifically said, the passport must be current.

I could use other things as well--marriage certificate, Social Security card, work ID (stolen), utility bills.

I need 6 points. A passport is 4; the other things are 2's and 1's.

So I was able to do it. But a passport would have been really handy.

Actually, the birth certificate was ZERO points for proving identity.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:28AM
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You can renew your passport by mail (easy peasy) for as long as 15 years after it has expired. I'm at 18, so I'll have to make a special trip, and pay $25 more.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:32AM
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Ah, right. The 15-year limit.
Just think of the $25 as the cost of an extension for the years after which you would have had to renew if you hadn't expired.
Okay, that is one of the worst sentences I have ever produced. You, I trust have not expired. Some writer I turn out to be...
T-Sue, you work in publishing, no? So I will assume you have seen worse...;>)
When you do get your new one, let's go to Paris for lunch and swap editing stories!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:05PM
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I renewed my passport over a year ago even though I knew I would not physically be able to travel for a while (but hopefully that will change). I do like knowing my passport is at the ready should opportunity and ability arise! When I feel a little wistful about the blank, unstamped pages I can look at my old passport and remember past trips. sigh

Also, It is a good idea to have an ID in addition to my Driver's License - in fact IMO everyone should have a passport, even if they don't have plans to travel abroad. One can always dream . . .

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Well, the Govt. office here in Aust. that deals with passports could sure do with employing both of you for your editing skills.
I thought I'd be smart and follow up on finding out if we get renewal reminders sent to us or not. So I emailed a one sentence question to the Govt Dept that handles passports.
The Email I got back in reply was so funny I almost posted it on here to share with you, but deleted it by mistake.
Basically in about 2 pages, they said that
"on occasion" they "sometimes" send renewals, but "to only some applicants" and "not at the same time to the same family members", who "could" receive renewals if they "apply for a renewal", but "not necessarily so", and some are sent "after the expiry date", but some are sent "while the passport is current". ??????
Also just to make it even simpler, to apply for a renewal application that i may or may not get, on occasion, I have to go to a certain website and (this is true, I kid you not!) and either choose Option 1, or I can choose Option 2, which will allow me to access Option 3, but not both at once !!!!!!
The lady who wrote the Email was called Prudence, so I'm now going to phone the Govt office, and ask for anyone but Prudence please LOL.
All I wanted was for someone to say, "yes we do" or "no we don't" !
I'm so thankful for your reminder Talley Sue, because my son's does lapse soon. Even to get his renewed, he has to have an interview as well as fill out the form. So better to get this done now, than if he needs it all in a hurry.
Oh My.. I can understand the need for red tape, but not all the gobbledygook language!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Thanks to the challenge, I have filled out the form (online), printed it along with the locations to apply, and will get this process on its way. I've set a time-line for this week to be done, so it's on my short list! Thanks for the PUSH!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Did anyone apply for a passport card along with their book?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:10PM
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The link you posted says you can renew by mail if, among other things, you, "Received it within the past 15 years". I think that means you received the passport within the last 15 years, not that it expired within the last fifteen.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 12:21AM
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Excellent suggestion. I'll check on it tonight. I think my passport must be long past the 15-year expiration date; I renewed it in 1988. DH does not have a passport at all.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 10:34AM
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Oops, yes, you're right, Susan--sorry, all!

That's actually why *I* can't renew by mail; mine was issued 18 years ago (but it expired less than 15 years ago); it's the "issued on" date that counts.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 10:49PM
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Although I would never think of being without a passport, and although DH and I have rented cars abroad and driven all over Italy, I only recently became aware of the International Driving Permit.

The permit, a translations of your Drivers License, is recognized in 150 countries and it costs $15 to apply in the US. You also need to submit two passport type photos. I plan to have one before leaving the country. They are valid for one year.

Here is a link that might be useful: US Dept of State road safety

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 7:38AM
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When y'all renewed your US passports, did you send your old one in, and did you get it returned to you? I've heard of instances where people sent the old one in and did not get it returned, losing all of their stamps that they had accumulated from other countries. I don't want to lose mine. A friend said to report it as lost and just get another new one. I don't know how different the application process is...I just don't want to lose my original passport.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 10:09AM
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I did send mine in, and it was returned with my new one, after they punched a hole somewhere to invalidate it.
So I didn't lose my stamps...or my previous hideous photo!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 2:03PM
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modern life interiors

I had the same thing happen to me. My passport expired and now i have to go there and start the whole process all over again.
Prior to that my previous passport was renewed in paris and i went right away to do it because i wanted to go back to the usa, The reason i forgot about renewing the last one was because i wasn't planning on going overseas.
Meanwhile, my usa passport was never returned to me in paris when they issued a new one.
Is there any way I can still do the process by mail or is it really to late.
Do they make any exceptions? Under what circumstances?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:55PM
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My passport had long expired, but when my daughter was anticipating doing a study abroad semester, I decided we should have a little mother/daughter lunch/passport celebration, even though my husband and I were not planning on going to see her at the time. Glad that I did it though, because we decided we just had to go meet the wonderful family hosting her, and oh, why not go to London and Paris on our way to Spain??
Plus, we get to think of our fun day together each time we look at those fabulous passport pics!
elizabethzen - thanks for the reminder on the intl dl; we have whetted our appetite for more intl travel and may just get adventurous and try driving our next trip.
And if anyone is going to Paris for lunch, can I come too?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:26AM
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There is a wonderful little fish restaurant on the Place de l'Odeon, just north of the Luxembourg gardens, called "La Mediterranee" - the menu has drawings and text by Jean Cocteau, the soupe de poisson is perfection, and I'll meet you there on Tuesday!
Oh, wait, I forgot, I am not going to Paris this week. Or the next. Or...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Since I am not here mentally, I might just as well be in Paris!

In armchair travels, I'll meet you all there. :)

Lily313 - DH prefers to drive, I was reluctant, but I must admit it was fun having a car and exploring out of the way places we would not have seen otherwise!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 9:53PM
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I have my form all filled out for my renewal...just need to get a photo of myself! Maybe today!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:01PM
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bronwynsmom - Well I was there on Tuesday...in spirit. You did have me checking flights and counting my airline miles. And your lovely little restaurant has been saved on my list of What To Do Next Time I'm in Paris!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 1:21PM
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Lily, that whole neighborhood is awash in wonderful places to eat...there is also a Belgian restaurant in the rue Racine that is a big bar/cafe downstairs, and a perfectly wonderful Art Nouveau dining room up, with mirrored walls paneled by the carved vines and leaves typical of the style. If you like good beer, it's heaven. Now all we have to do is get the dollar up against the euro, and we're in good shape. Now, not so much...
And to get back onto the point of this forum, if you declutter enough, and make room, you can go to the flea markets at Clignancourt and have a field day.
I have to stop talking about Paris. It does terrible things to my concentration!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 3:25PM
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talley sue - My *alert* mode clicks on when I see your name! You always write something interesting and worth reading.

Thanks for the June challenge. I look forward to other ideas you may suggest to help survive the (long, hot) summer:)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 3:29PM
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