renew_passport
active family travel,  family,  Travel

Renewing Your Passport – What you Need to Know in Canada or USA

Renewing your passport often conjures up images of a long, miserable process that feels like torture before you take an amazing trip abroad. But it doesn’t have to be. Chances are you’ve heard horror stories about the process, but as a frequent traveler, I’ve found that those stories generally come from people who weren’t prepared or didn’t have the right information. So let’s talk about renewing your passport.

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Renewing Your Passport – Canada

If you do any traveling at all, or if you’re preparing to travel abroad, you need to make sure your passport is up to date. First things first. If you have a current passport, don’t let it lapse. It makes it so much easier to travel. That’s because many countries won’t allow you to enter the country with a passport that will expire within 3 months.

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By Mail

Keeping your passport up to date well before any travel also allows you to make it easy on yourself with mail in services rather than rushing to get a passport ASAP.

You can print and complete this passport form, and then simply mail it in. You’ll need all pertinent documents to get your passport and photo. Those being:

  • Your most recent passport
  • 2 identical passport photos
  • 2 references who have known you for more than 2 years
  • Payment – Visa, Mastercard, American Express, certified check, and money orders accepted

In Person

You’ll need to find a passport office or receiving agent in your area when renewing your passport in person. The requirements are the same, as are the payment options. Be aware that even though you’re applying in person, you still cannot pay with cash. You can pay an additional fee to pick up your passport in person.

For even more information on renewing your passport, visit the Government of Canada webpage here.

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Renewing Your Passport – United States

The process is very similar to the Canadian process of renewing your passport. You can use the Passport Application Wizard for a step by step guide through the application process. You can also download the application here and complete it by hand. You’ll need:

  • An original proof of citizenship document
  • An acceptable photo ID document
  • A photocopy of the front and back of the photo ID document
  • Passport photo (requirements here)
  • Payment (fee calculator here)

For more information on renewing your passport, visit the USA government passport page here.

Renewing Your Passport Keeps You Good to Go

As an avid traveler and travel blogger, I can tell you it is vital to keep your passport up to date at all times. Renewing your passport 6 months before expiration is the rule of thumb for the easiest passport renewal possible and worry free travel. Stay on top of renewing your passport, and you’ll be good to go for adventure no matter when or where.

And if you are traveling and you lose your passport don’t panic, follow the steps outlined in the What to Do If You Lose Your Passport post.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

23 Comments

  • Rebecca M.

    After I got married, I had to change my name on everything! What a headache!! I went ahead and did my passport too even though I didn’t have any plans to go out the country.

    • Paula

      Life happens and sometimes it’s the best possible thing – I’m sure having a family tops travel any day.

  • Tamara

    I’m not due yet, but it’s great info. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t used mine in the last several years. Another big step is getting passports for my kids. We’re only a few hours from Canada.

  • Claudia Krusch

    The last time I renewed my passport I did it by mail and it was so easy! I always make sure I stay on stop of getting in renewed on time.

  • Lisa Heath

    I keep renewing my passport… but I’ve never used it! The one time I was on a cruise and we were going to use it for 1 island, the ship had to turn around before we got there because of an allergy medical issue on the cruise!

  • Dogvills

    It’s a breeze when you have all the requirements with you. I also make sure to renew our passports a least 6 months before they lapse.

  • ricci

    These are all great tips on renewing your passport! I just got mine last year so I don’t have to worry about renewing for quite a while!

  • Jeni Hawkins

    This is such great information. I have never really needed my passport much but when I need to renew it this sounds simple enough.

  • uprunforlife

    I really need to renew my passport. I got one when I went on a cruise for our honeymoon. It will expire in 2018 and it has my maiden name on it. Having a passport is great for local travel at the airports too.

  • Emily

    This is all so helpful! My husband travels to Canada often for work from our home in Wisconsin and he needs to renew his passport. This came at the perfect time!

  • Marysa

    Our family of 4 needs to renew all our passports, and we need to do it soon because we are trying to go to Mexico in the fall. With the two kids it seems like it will be easiest if we all go in person, because it makes it easier when both parents are present. The prices have definitely gone up since the last time I renewed my passport!

  • Bonnie @wemake7

    I think I would always dread getting a passport for some reason even though I may not ever need one. Great information though!

  • Amanda

    These are great reminders for those with an expired passport. We just learned all about the process since we just went out of the country for the first time as a family. So fun!

  • Victoria Heckstall

    I’m not due yet. This is a great info for those with an expired passport. Still, thanks for the great information.