How to Replace (and Store) Crucial Documents
How to Replace Your PassportWhy you need it: To travel internationally; for identification purposes in place of a driver’s license or a nondriver’s photo ID.
Where to get a new one: If your passport has been lost or stolen, you must appear in person at a passport-processing facility to request a replacement. The U.S. Department of State’s website, travel.state.gov, has a list of locations, plus forms and instructions (or call 877-487-2778). If your passport needs to be renewed, you can do so by mail.
What you need to get it: Proof of U.S. citizenship (such as a birth certificate), proof of identity, two passport photos, and completed application forms. See the website for additional requirements for children under 14 and expedited requests. The fee for in-person renewals is $95 for a new book, or $70 for children under 16. Renewals by mail (adults only) cost $55 (plus an execution fee of $25).
How long it takes: About four to six weeks for regular service. Two weeks for expedited service, which costs an additional $60, plus delivery. Nongovernment expediting services, such as Passport Express (passportexpress.com) and Passports and Visas.com (passportsandvisas.com) are reliable and can get your replacement in one to three days, but they charge more than $199.
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