Frequently Asked Questions
Can I renew my passport before it expires?
If I don’t plan to travel back to the United States any time soon, why should I renew my passport now?
- Life is unpredictable. You never know when you may need to travel suddenly to the United States. The last thing you need to do in an emergency is worry about getting to the Embassy to get your or your child’s passport renewed. It is much better to do it when it is convenient for you.
- The passport is proof of U.S. citizenship. Every U.S. citizen abroad should have valid proof of his/her citizenship at all times.
- If you wait too long, adults cannot renew an expired passport by mail.
- A valid passport is required for some Israeli administrative purposes and you do not want to get caught with an expired passport if you need to process an application for some benefit.
Will I get my passport back when I renew it?
Yes. In nearly all cases, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with the new one.
What happens to the visa stamps in my current passport when the passport is cancelled?
We do not have the authority to transfer visas or stamps issued by other countries. When you renew your passport, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new one; you should then contact the appropriate authority of the country that issued the visa for further information.
Do I submit my passport application directly to the United States?
No. You must apply for the passport at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are currently present.
Do I have to submit my passport application by mail?
If you are eligible to apply for the passport renewal by mail, you should use this service. Appointments are limited and are reserved for those who are required to apply in person. Please see the instructions for your specific passport service for more information.
The instructions on the passport forms are different from those on this website. Which should I follow?
You should disregard the instructions on the passport forms as they refer specifically to passport applications processed in the United States. You should follow the instructions on this website.
How long is a passport valid for?
In general, children under the age of 16 are issued passports valid for five years; those 16 and over are issued passports valid for ten years.
How long will it take to process my passport application?
You should allow two three weeks for a full validity or second passport to be processed, regardless of the method of application. During busy seasons, this time may be increased
How long is an emergency passport valid for?
Emergency passports are generally issued with a validity of one year.
Can I have extra pages added to my valid passport, or should I apply for a new one?
As of January 1, 2016, it is no longer possible to add extra pages to a U.S. passport. You are required to apply for a new passport and in most cases may do so by mail. Please see the instructions for your specific passport service for more information.
My passport was issued in my maiden name; can I change it to my married name?
If I use a different name than that which is on my birth certificate/most recent passport, can I change the name on my passport?
There are certain acceptable forms of name changes that may be entered into U.S. passports. For further information on acceptable name changes and application procedures to apply for a new passport in your new name, please follow this link