Native Americans and people who obtain US citizenship through naturalization are both eligible for US passports. If you are a US citizen above age 16, you will be issued a US passport valid for ten years and children below age 16, will be granted US passports valid for five years. You will have to renew your passport, if you find that your passport is going to expire. To renew your passport, you need to file Form DS-82, Application for a US Passport by Mail. You may apply for passport renewal by mail and you need not go to a passport agency, to apply for renewal. Though it is possible to renew your passport in person, it is more easier to renew it by mail as your US passport will be mailed to you, after your application for renewal is approved. But remember that you may not be able to travel abroad if your passport expires and it is mandatory to renew your passport before it could expire.
US Passport Renewal by Mail
Applying for passport renewal by mail is an easy process. You can go for passport renewal by mail if your existing US passport is not damaged and if you can attach it with your passport renewal application. You can renew your passport that was issued when you were a minor or if it was granted to you before 15 years.
You can download Form DS-82 and complete it by hand or you can also choose to fill out the online form and then print it. Similarly, you can also get blank passport renewal forms from the local passport agencies or acceptance facilities. You will have to send two passport style photographs along with your passport renewal application and make sure that you submit photographs according to the specifications.
You need to mail the completely filled Form DS-82 along with your expired passport, passport photographs and the required fees. If your name has been changed legally, you will have to attach copies of the court order or your marriage certificate, to prove that you had legally changed your name. You will have to mail the application package to the right filing address and you can find the filing address in the form instructions.
Applying for US Passport Renewal in Person
You can visit a passport agency or an acceptance facility and obtain Form DS-11 or you can download it from the website. You need to complete the form and remember that you must sign the form only at the time of filing it. You must submit few supporting documents and proof of US citizenship, such as your birth certificate, US citizenship certificate, naturalization certificate or your United States driver’s license, along with your application. You will have to take with you, your original documents and copies of the original documents, while you go to the passport acceptance agency, to file your passport renewal application.