Enter your email address

Renewing Your Passport On A Lunch Break

by Meg · 1 comment

This past weekend, Tony and I realized that this year is going to fly by (like they always do) and within no-time, we are going to be packing our bags to begin our journey.  With that in mind, we decided to start checking things off of our to-do list.

First Action: Updating My Passport

Tony’s passport is valid until 2015 but my passport is currently under my maiden name and expiring in 2013.  Tony and I got married this past April and after getting married you begin to realize how many things your name is tied to…but I am happy to say that this was the absolute last step of the whole name change process, which has dragged on for months!  I was not sure how long it would take to update my passport.  For whatever reason, Tony and I thought this process would take several months so we wanted to be proactive and get an early start on this task.  Luckily, it turned out to be an incredibly easy process that takes a matter of days – All done by mail to boot!Here were the three easy steps to getting my new passport:


1.  Fill ‘em Out, Print ‘em Out!

The US government’s travel website provides you with all of the information you need to renew or change your passport information.  In addition, this website contains all of the necessary online forms that you need to fill out for your new passport…

  • When I was filling out the online form, it asked me if I also wanted a Passport Card for an additional $30.  I wasn’t sure what a passport card was so I did a little research on the differences between the two documents.  Apparently purchasing a passport card would prove itself worthless for our trip, as it is only valid when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry (lame).

2. Say Cheese!

Next, I went to the photography department at a local Walgreens store where they were able to take a valid Passport mug shot for me.  There are plenty of places in your local community where you can get a valid passport photo taken.  Note, it is required that you submit two photographs with your application.

3.  Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The final step was to mail my form in along with my application fee of $110 (check only), two photographs, my old passport, and a copy of my marriage certificate (for the name change) to the US Department of State address that they provided on the form.  I was paranoid to ship my passport out by mail, so it is important to spend the extra cash and go to USPS, where they can ship it out professionally and have your package tracked.

And that was it!

This whole process took a couple of hours during my lunch break on a Friday and I should have my new passport mailed to me within a couple weeks.  As recommended by goabroad.com, Tony and I should leave photocopies of our passports with our families in case we lose them on our trip because this will ease the replacement process.  In addition, we should look into embracing our inner dork and get an under clothing waist wallet for our trip to avoid horror stories like these:

  • Traveler Stacey shares her story on her stolen passport in Amsterdam
  • Ruth’s story about getting her passport stolen in Cambodia from two passengers on a motorbike seemed to hit a little too close to home for me, as I  was faced with a similar situation when I was studying abroad in Barcelona back in college…but that’s for another post.
Reading these stories reminds me that it’s good to take extra precautions, but doesn’t stop me from wanting to travel the world.  Now we just need to decide where to go to get my first passport stamp!

About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

katie February 22, 2011 at 12:11 am

as if!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Older post:

Newer post: