I'm in NYC. What is the best way to renew my expired passport?
January 18, 2019 1:14 PM   Subscribe

I need a new passport. I live in NYC. What is the most efficient way to do this?

Documents I have that might be helpful:

1) An expired passport (expired April 18th, 2014)
2) A current Georgia Driver's License
3) Various documents which contain my Brooklyn address.

Thing I might be able to find if it is desperately necessary
1) My birth certificate

Should I go somewhere in person? If so, where? What do I need to bring?

Can I do this via mail? Email? Online?
posted by davidstandaford to Law & Government (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It is very easy to do by mail. Here are the instructions. You'll need passport photos. I do these myself because I am cheap, but you can get them done at most drug stores.
posted by k8t at 1:16 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just did this using the mail renewal form k8t linked to, from NYC and with a slightly expired passport, and it worked well. I got my new passport in the mail in three weeks. (I sent it right before Christmas, so yes this was during the shutdown.) It wasn't clear to me from the info, but you do get your old passport mailed back too.

I wouldn't call it hassle-free, as you'll need to go get passport photos taken, print a form, staple those photos to the form, write a check, get a padded envelope and take it all to the post office to mail it. It might be easier for you, if you happen to have more of that stuff at home (printer, stapler, etc.) than I did.

It was still FAR easier than the process of getting my driver's license changed from out of state to a New York license.
posted by unannihilated at 1:49 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you are worried about missing a detail here or there, USPS hasn't been affected by the shutdown, and is still accepting passport applications in person, with an appointment. I just did this a month ago, right before the shutdown.

Some locations even have passport photography services on the spot. I used that, as I didn't want to risk getting my passport rejected due to a bad pic.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:48 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Slightly fussy to do by mail, as described, but not really hard. They processed my (standard) application with stunning speed--I think it was barely two weeks from the time I put the envelope in the mail to the time I got my passport back. However, I have no idea whether the State Dept is even still processing applications.
posted by praemunire at 3:08 PM on January 18, 2019

Just a gentle nudge - get it renewed by mail before it's been expired more than 5 years. (IE before April 2019.) It's super easy to renew now. It will be more difficult after it's been expired over 5 years.
posted by hydra77 at 6:06 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Do your own photo and save yourself $20 or more. If you have a smartphone or can get hold of one, use a free app like this to take the photo yourself. Use a white background like a wall, the app guides you where to place your head to fill the photo correctly.

The app will save your picture in a format printable as a single 4x6" print, then you cut out the 2"x2" photo for attaching to your application. Upload and print it at a shop like Walgreens and it'll be less than $0.50 (coupon codes can knock than down even more). And you only need to attach one copy to the application now.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:19 PM on January 18, 2019

You can only do it in person at the NYC passport office if your flight is within two weeks or you need a foreign visa within four weeks. I travel frequently and have done this twice after running out of pages and have been happy with the efficient system each time, even though it requires a return trip to pick it up.
posted by icaicaer at 10:38 AM on January 19, 2019

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