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Passport Renewal

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Hello community
I’m seeking advice from folks who have or are renewing passports that are expiring -
My passport expires in January 2021. Under “normal” circumstances, I would wait until after my last trip in 2020 to submit pictures and forms as my only planned (Fingers crossed) travel for the remainder of the year is London in December and the U.K. only requires US passports to be valid for the duration of my stay.

I’ve been monitoring the State Department website. The language is very pessimistic and the backlog to process seems overwhelming. I’m curious about your experiences in non-emergency renewals. I’d appreciate any experiences or observations you’d like to share and how long your passport renewal has taken. Yes, we are home bound for now....Renewing my passport gives me hope and comfort that I’ll be out among the world again soon.
Take good care.
Michelle

Posted by
929 posts

Michelle, I sent our renewals in at the beginning of March. They cashed our checks and then closed down processing. So here we are four months later with nothing and according to their website probably nothing for a good while. If I had a trip coming up I don't think I would take a chance on trying to renew my passport ahead of the trip but would wait until afterward to send it in. You can watch and see how things are moving according to their website but with the virus numbers fluxing I personally don't have confidence they might not open and then shut down again.

Posted by
15621 posts

A friend sent their renewal application in February and got their new passport two weeks ago.

Posted by
2078 posts

It has been reported here in similar threads that the Agency has returned to work and is processing the backlog of renewal (and new) requests, in order received. Sent in now should get it back inside 3 months. It seems unlikely that you will be allowed to fly to London this year with the new European bans coming, perhaps by late in the year this will change.

Posted by
164 posts

I would assume it that passport expirations likely won't be extended due to Covid, right?

Posted by
3436 posts

Passport expiration cannot be extended for any country. This is because the main purpose for a passport is it is used outside the issuing country and those interested in looking at it don't really care why it is expired, only that it does not have the required number of months of validity to allow you into whichever country you are wanting to visit. Programs like Pre Check and Global entry are easily extended because they are only useful inside the US.

The US is issuing urgent need passports and renewals for those who have a real, important, urgent need to travel. You can get one of those same day if you can convince the issuing agent of the necessity of your travel.

Posted by
500 posts

I’m still at a total loss as to why people wait until the last minute to renew their passport. The potential issues vs reward is negligible. If you renew it a year early (every 9 yrs) each time you give yourself a big opps margin. Cost- pretty much nothing. Over an average adulthood of traveling you will end up doing 1 extra renewal. ONE. Let me repeat that- 1 extra renewal. 1. If you have started traveling in your 40’s you will end up having the SAME number of renewals over a 35 yr travel span. So we are looking at a max of $200 over 40 years. Seriously, that is $5 a year folks- not exactly breaking the pocket book.

Posted by
3436 posts

Bob,

Under normal circumstances, you have a point. But right now many people did send in their passports early, very early, as early as last February for planned travel late this year in other words many months in advance of the expiration, only to have the government shut down processing of applications leaving many of us with no valid passport in hand leaving only a cashed check that does nothing for our travel needs. So for many people right now it is not a situation of waiting until the passport expired before renewing. Of course not many of us have anywhere that will allow us to travel to so it doesn't really matter, but we all want to have the dang thing in hand when we are allowed once again. Good news is there does appear to be some movement in the renewals at least with several people reporting they have received their passport finally.

I am one of those who usually waited until close to the expiration before applying for renewal. This is because the job I had required me to travel a lot to places requiring my passport. If it was not in my hand, I could not do my job, and when I sent it in for renewal it wasn't in my hand. So I planned the renewals to coincide with my non travel periods and before travel requiring the 6 month window of validity for example. This did mean that sometimes I ended up waiting until the last month before it expired to send it in for renewal. Never been a problem, even with the totally unknown processing time a renewal would take, but we have never had a situation like we do now in my lifetime anyway.

Posted by
929 posts

We finally got our passports yesterday, almost five months after sending in for renewal. At least they weren't back dated to March. Now if we could only go somewhere...

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks to everyone for the advice and info!
I mailed my passport, check and new photo (with longer pandemic era hair) on August 20. The check cleared August 26.
“Hope springs eternal in the human breast." Alexander Pope