Can I Have My Old Passport Back?

Yes! Most people view their passports as important memorabilia and are eager to get them back. That's why your previous passport, marked "canceled," will be returned to you with your new one.

Passport Renewal

Passport renewal will cost $75 if you can use Form DS-82 to do it by mail. You can use this form if either of these applies:

  • You possess and can submit your most recent passport.
  • Your previous passport was issued on or after your 16th birthday and within the past 15 years.

To apply for passport renewal by mail, complete Form DS-82, sign it and date it. Your packet should also include your current (or most recent) passport, two identical passport photos and the $75 fee (plus $60 if you want expedited service). If your name has changed since your last passport was issued, you'll need to submit a certified copy (NOT a photocopy) of the court order, adoption decree, marriage certificate or divorce decree. Send it all to the National Passport Center. (Note: If your passport has been damaged or altered in any way, you must apply in person and bring IDs and proofs of citizenship. You can also render your passport invalid if you mutilate it and can even be prosecuted for the act.)

If you're a U.S. citizen living abroad, you should renew your passport at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. Passports renewed by mail can only be forwarded to U.S. addresses.

Lost or Stolen Passport

Losing your passport -- especially if you're in a foreign country -- can be scary. It's the most important item you carry with you, so it's best to keep it someplace secure (like in a money pouch you wear under your clothes). Another safety measure you can take is to make two photocopies of the photo ID page of your passport. Leave one at home with family or friends and keep the other in a different place from your passport, perhaps buried in the bottom of checked luggage. This could make all the difference in getting you on your flight home in the event that your passport is lost or stolen. It also makes getting it replaced much easier.

You'll want to report the loss of your passport as soon as possible. You can actually report a lost or stolen passport at the same time you apply for the new one. At that time, you will submit a DS-64 "Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport" form. (Again, you can download this form.) You'll also need to fill out a Form DS-11 passport application and submit it in person, along with appropriate documentation and fees, to your nearest passport acceptance facility. (Don't worry -- you are not required to know your passport number or issuance date to apply for a new passport. However, it's not a bad idea to memorize them, since most countries require that info on forms you'll be asked to complete quickly on an airplane or in customs.)