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Passport Renewal


chasinraynbowz
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3 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

 

I was planning on asking at the post office what they recommend.

I have decided to do the same although I wish I could avoid going into the post office at all (ours always had long slow lines before covid and I dread visiting it now).  But my family's track record with the USPS since before the election (when 2 absentee ballots were mailed at the same time and one arrived within 3 days and the other floated around for a nerve racking extra 10 days) and through Christmas makes me nervous about using 'just' first class mail.

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9 hours ago, SelectSys said:

I took my first positive step in terms of future travel.  I filled out my passport renewal and got my photos taken/printed out this morning! 

 

I decided to get both the book and card this time.  The total cost is $140 as the card costs an extra $30.

 

The reason I got the card too is that you are now required to possess either a passport or card when traveling in the border region of Mexico.  I wanted something that I can simply put in my wallet permanently and not have to worry about carrying the book all the time.  

Considering where you live, that makes total sense.

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14 hours ago, capriccio said:

I have decided to do the same although I wish I could avoid going into the post office at all (ours always had long slow lines before covid and I dread visiting it now).

 

I am lucky in that my local post office isn't too busy and has pretty good service.

 

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5 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

 

I am lucky in that my local post office isn't too busy and has pretty good service.

 

That helps, of course - but once out the door your item can wander in postal limbo like things mailed anywhere else - and the State Dept. shows very erratic turn-around times.

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2 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

State Dept. shows very erratic turn-around times

 

Of course.  I would suggest that the State Department is not unique in terms of government agencies that provide erratic service.  I actually don't think they aren't too bad compared with other entities/agencies.

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My application is in the mail and I have my USPS-provided tracking number.  I was charged $4 to send in the application by 1st class mail which was the recommendation of the person helping me.  He also suggested watching for my cancelled check before getting rid of my tracking number.  

 

.

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OH and I are in the United Kingdom and have passports which are valid until 2029. We are going on a Mediterranean cruise in October 2022, have never been on a cruise before. 

 

Please could anyone advise - do we need a Visa or ETIAS? If so, should we wait until nearer the time before applying for it? Also, should we wait until nearer the time before buying insurance? 

 

Thank you - any advice is much appreciated.

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2 hours ago, SelectSys said:

My application is in the mail and I have my USPS-provided tracking number.  I was charged $4 to send in the application by 1st class mail which was the recommendation of the person helping me.  He also suggested watching for my cancelled check before getting rid of my tracking number.  

 

.

All your cancelled check shows is that they have glommed your money.. A smarter approach is to hang on to that tracking number until you actually get your new  passport  -- which, if you stop to think about it for a second or two, is the point of the exercise --- just being able to prove that they have you money will not get you past any immigration control desk.

Edited by navybankerteacher
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9 hours ago, HomingPigeon said:

OH and I are in the United Kingdom and have passports which are valid until 2029. We are going on a Mediterranean cruise in October 2022, have never been on a cruise before. 

 

Please could anyone advise - do we need a Visa or ETIAS? If so, should we wait until nearer the time before applying for it? Also, should we wait until nearer the time before buying insurance? 

 

Thank you - any advice is much appreciated.

As a general rule in Europe from the UK, little other than a passport is needed, although as the post-Brexit arrangements evolve, things may change.  I'd suggest using the Foreign Office website: 

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice as a starting point.  If you've not seen it before, it lists over 200 countries and territories, and each includes a section on entry requirements, health, safety and so on.  Currently, there are also the temporary (hopefully) COVID rules.

Cruise brochures and your travel agent, if you've used one, should also offer useful information.

Hope this helps.

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13 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

All your cancelled check shows is that they have glommed your money.. A smarter approach is to hang on to that tracking number until you actually get your new  passport  -- which, if you stop to think about it for a second or two, is the point of the exercise --- just being able to prove that they have you money will not get you past any immigration control desk.

All the tracking number shows is that your application was delivered to their facility. The canceled check shows that they acted on that receipt. That tracking number has nothing to do with the return of your new passport. A tracking number will not get you past any immigration control desk.

 

FYI. We have a nearby UPS office (which is not as busy as the post office) that will mail items via USPS. Rarely a line there.

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Just an update - I went to the Post Office in the next town (about an extra 5 minute drive) and there was only one person ahead of me in waiting line and it moved very quickly.  In order to get tracking on the envelop it needs to be sent via certified mail.  The cost was $4.25.  I will update again when I receive the new passport.

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On 1/14/2021 at 7:42 AM, CHEZMARYLOU said:

Does anyone have more recent information on length of time to have passport renewed?

Received my renewed passport last week.  Here are the details:  

Chose standard service ($110).  Mailed using certified USPS for tracking on 10/19/20 to Philadelphia from Georgia, cost was $4.95.  It arrived per tracking on 10/26/20.  Received email confirmation from US Govt that they were processing on 12/5/20.  In took almost 3 months including USPS shipping.  
 

Anxiously waiting to be able to use it.  

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57 minutes ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

Thanks whitbob. We will probably wait to renew until we know that Alaska cruises are a go and pay for expedited service.  If not, we'll have plenty of time to renew until our next possible cruise.

Paying for expedited service does not mean you will get expedited return of new passport.  There are three chances for significant delay:  in the mail from your PO to State Dept., while being processed by State Dept., in the mail from State Dept. to you.   Enough people have experienced enough delays in each of those steps to consider allowing six months or so before your earliest anticipated need.

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5 hours ago, whitbob said:

Received my renewed passport last week.  Here are the details:  

Chose standard service ($110).  Mailed using certified USPS for tracking on 10/19/20 to Philadelphia from Georgia, cost was $4.95.  It arrived per tracking on 10/26/20.  Received email confirmation from US Govt that they were processing on 12/5/20.  In took almost 3 months including USPS shipping.  
 

Anxiously waiting to be able to use it.  

So you do get a confirmation from US Gov that it is being processed...even if it was sent 1st class?

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Trudeau is warning Canadians against traveling and indicates that new restrictions will be announced shortly.  Moving to 80/20 that our Alaska cruise will not sail so I likely won't need a passport renewal until October.

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1 hour ago, capriccio said:

Yes — you can confirm that your passport application is “ being processed”  - as my wife and I did a couple of years ago concerning the renewal applications we had sent in at the same time.  While my new passport came in about four weeks, the repeated confirmation that my wife’s was “being processed” for many of the nine weeks it took to get hers back was small comfort.  

 

At at the end of the day — as soon as you know you will need a passport several months from now, it is time to apply.

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7 hours ago, Ashland said:

So you do get a confirmation from US Gov that it is being processed...even if it was sent 1st class?

Yes, as others have mentioned you can look up the status from the US passport website.  I did get an email with a link to the govt website, and it had a locator number but you can also look it up with your name, Birthdate...  It took 6 weeks from the time I mailed everything in to get that email.  The website only told me that they received the application on Oct 26th.  I received another email in January saying the passport was approved, and what day it would arrive.  It was reassuring to get the confirmation notice in advance.

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Update on my passport renewal:

  • Mailed the morning of January 20th via certified mail with tracking.  Due to arrive in Texas on January 25th,
  • According to USPS tracking, it didn't even begin its journey until the late afternoon of January 21st.
  • USPS notified me that it was delivered early in the morning of January 25th. 
  • Just notified (11 pm) January 28 via email from the State Department Passport Application Status tracking

    The U.S. Department of State has received your application for your passport book on 01/28/2021. We're now reviewing your application and supporting documents.

    You requested routine service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 10-12 weeks.

So it has taken slightly more than one week to get to where it needs to be for processing.  Once the passport arrived at the Texas processing center (the other is in Pennsylvania) it was routed to one of 29 passport agencies.  If anyone is interested in the the entire process this article, although 6 months old, has an excellent flow chart:  https://runningwithmiles.boardingarea.com/how-are-us-passports-processed-here-is-an-easy-infographic-to-show-how-it-is-done/

 

Assuming there are no issues with the renewal, the next time I hear from them should be when it is completed and being mailed back I presume. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/28/2021 at 11:44 PM, capriccio said:

Update on my passport renewal:

  • Mailed the morning of January 20th via certified mail with tracking.  Due to arrive in Texas on January 25th,
  • According to USPS tracking, it didn't even begin its journey until the late afternoon of January 21st.
  • USPS notified me that it was delivered early in the morning of January 25th. 
  • Just notified (11 pm) January 28 via email from the State Department Passport Application Status tracking

    The U.S. Department of State has received your application for your passport book on 01/28/2021. We're now reviewing your application and supporting documents.

    You requested routine service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 10-12 weeks.

 

Notified today (2/21/2021) via email that

 

The U.S. Department of State approved your application for your passport book. We're now printing your passport book and preparing to give it to you. You requested routine service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 10-12 weeks. You should receive your passport book on or around 02/27/2021.

 

 

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3 hours ago, capriccio said:

Notified today (2/21/2021) via email that

 

The U.S. Department of State approved your application for your passport book. We're now printing your passport book and preparing to give it to you. You requested routine service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 10-12 weeks. You should receive your passport book on or around 02/27/2021.

 

 

Interesting that, after advising you about 10-12 weeks processing, they indicate that you should expect it by 2/27/2021 —just 4 weeks after they said they received your application.   Please come back and let us know when you do get it.

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14 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

Interesting that, after advising you about 10-12 weeks processing, they indicate that you should expect it by 2/27/2021 —just 4 weeks after they said they received your application.   Please come back and let us know when you do get it.

I was shocked, but happily so!  I have wondered if the fact that I've continually had a valid passport since 1969 (and sometimes both a tourist and diplomatic one), security clearances for over 30 years before retiring, and current global entry may have made the approval process faster.  But I have no idea what is involved in that process.

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