It’s that time again…

My husband and I decided it was time to renew our passports after our last trip to Mexico a couple weeks ago. We don’t plan on any trips out of the country for the next few months.

We do have plans to visit California, our friends in Santa Barbara — and hopefully our kids will be joining us. You don’t need passports to visit California, regardless if it seems like a different country or not.

My son didn’t join us on our last trip to Mexico although our DIL did. He didn’t get his passport renewed in time. He did schedule an appointment. The soonest appointment was a month out.

After looking online and printing out paperwork, my goodness! What a complicated bunch of words in tiny print. It gave me a headache looking at it. Or, maybe it was because I had an eye exam earlier and my eyes were dilated.

In any case, they tell you if you have your passport, it isn’t expired, and want to renew it, you don’t go to a passport office or post office. You mail in paperwork. I’m not sure if we mail in the old passports or not. That’s a little concerning. We do need to get new passport photos and staple them exactly a certain way to the paperwork.

Our passports don’t expire until February, but we’ve heard the turn-around time is three to four months, so we’re tackling this chore this week. Reading the US Passport website, it said when renewing your should start NINE MONTHS IN ADVANCE! Yikes, we’re already a month behind.

Do you have any tips for passport renewals? Do you need to mail in your old passports or do we get to use them until the new ones come in?

34 thoughts on “It’s that time again…

  1. I’m happy we all now have a few years before we need to renew. Our last two international trips we’ve had the stress of waiting for a passport. I will make sure I renew early from now on.

    • That would be stressful!! We don’t go on big international trips like you do, just weekend getaways to the beach. At least we haven’t for 20 or more years.

  2. I think it’s mail in, and remember your passport really expires six months before the date because most countries won’t let you travel there if your passport expires within six months

  3. My passport expired years and years ago so I would have to start the process all over- which I likely won’t do. I wish you good luck though!

  4. Yes…what a process! The thing that bugs me is the need to ‘mail in’ your existing passport. Seems unsafe. We need to update/renew ours before they expire but as you said, Elizabeth, the fine print and nutty steps…plus the mailing of the passports just give us pause. But…we’ll need to deal with all of it at some point. Thanks for the reminders. 😉

      • When I first moved from NYC to LA (Lower Alabama), I was amazed at the differences. Eventually, I let my guard down and now I can’t imagine returning.

      • I had to be very open minded and not run back. It helped I was still in my 20’s and able to easily adapt but yeah it was funny at times and nerve racking.

      • My main drawback moving to Arizona was not being able to walk downtown. We were one block from the main drag. Now I have to drive a distance of 20 to 45 minutes to get to town. But, I’m thankful to trade that for the homeless man living in my backyard, the VRBOs playing loud music at night and the crowds of millennials from LA all dressed the same pouring into our town. Add that to high gas, electric and state taxes 😁

  5. We had to renew our passports in July of 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown phase. It was all about getting a professional photo at Fed Ex then mailing everything, passport, photo, and form, to who knows where. It was unnerving, on top of unnerving, but it all worked out. Our old passports came back to us along with the new ones.

    • We did that nine years ago. But since that time, I have had so much trouble with mail. One time, the post office in Palm Springs gave me a bin of mail that dated back two years! They had no explanation. I often get mail for neighbors now. Unnerving is a good word for it!

  6. Larry and I have to renew our passports after this next trip because we’ll fall inside the six month window. I know you can pay to expedite the process but normally it takes a few months. Good reminder that we need to get right on it upon our return in September. Hugs, C

    • We decided to forgo any Mexico weekends until we get our new passports. Otherwise, we’d keep putting it off to get another beautiful weekend at the beach. We’re going up to Santa Barbara area instead.

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