The U.S. passport has a validity of 10 years. One can renew passport either by mail (Form DS-82) or in person (Form DS-11). You can renew passport by mail using Form DS-82 if your most recent passport:
The Form DS-82 can be used, if your recent passport is submitted with your application, undamaged, was issued when you were age 16 or older and within the last 15 years.If any of these items cannot be applied to you, you are to apply in person. To apply by mail, you have to provide:
- fill out Form DS-82;
- submit your recent passport;
- certified copy of the legal name change document, based on marriage, divorce or Court-ordered name change (if pertinent)
- a photo (corresponding to photo requirements)
- include the fees
- mail your application
Even if your passport is not expired yet, you still can apply for renewal. Please note, some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip, so it is better to renew your almost expired passport before an international trip.
Form DS-11 is submitted by U.S. citizens when they need to receive first-time passport, replace lost or stolen passport, renew an expired passport or renew a passport issued to a minor age 15 or younger.
This processing can take from 4 to 6 weeks. There also exist an expedited service if you need your passport to be ready sooner and will take from 2 to 3 weeks.
To renew your passport you do not need to make any appointment, only if applying for expedited service.