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How to renew your American Passport in the US Embassy

The purpose of this here post is to help you out with renewing your american passport in a United States Embassy. I recently had to renew my US Passport and the current online info didn’t suffice so I was thinking that writing this post could be useful to future expat students that want to study Spanish in Argentina with Expanish.

Ok, so this is what you need to do. There’s a form you need to fill out and take it to the US Embassy. You could go there and fill it out when they give it to you, but I strongly suggest you download them from their site. Once you have it, print it out and fill it out.

Before knowing which form you need to fill out, you need to know what type of US Passport Aplication you are interested in. There are two types of applications:

  1. First Time Adult Applicants (age 16 or older)
  2. Minor Applicants (under age 16)
In this post I will be detailing First Time Adult Applicants. Minor Applicants must go with a Parent (more details on the above link).
You need to fill out the DS-11 form. How do you know if this form is for you? If you answer YES to any one of the following:
  • You have never been issued a US Passport OR
  • You are under age 16 OR
  • You were under age 16 when your previous Passport was issued OR
  • Your most recent US Passport was issued more than 15 years ago OR
  • Your most recent US Passport was lost or stolen OR
  • Your name has changed since your previous US Passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change
If the above does NOT apply to you, you may be eligible to apply for your Passport by mail. More info on this here.
Ok, so you’ve printed the DS-11 Form and filled it out. Now what? There are some other documents you need to take to get your US Passport renewed. Basically you need two things: proof of identity (a photo of yourself; details here), valid ID and proof of citizenship.
How do you prove to the US Embassy that you’re an United States Citizen? Present one of the following:
You will also need to present some Valid ID. You can show them any of these:
  • Previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Current Government ID (city, state or federal)
  • Current Military ID (military and dependents)
Once you’ve gathered all the required things (filled out DS-11 Form, Valid ID, 2 photos of you, and Passport Fee Money) you should ask for an appointment at the Embassy. Do NOT go to the US Embassy without an appointment!
Useful info on US Passport renewals:
  • US Passport Renewal Fee in Argentina: U$D 100 (you can pay in equivalent Argentine pesos or with credit card, check, etc.)
  • Estimated delay at the US Embassy: One hour. This varies on the amount US Citizens waiting in line.
  • Receiving the Passport: You can have it mailed to you for a fee by DHL (in Argentina) or you can go pick it up in person when it’s ready for retrieval.
Other misc info:
  • You don’t necessarily need to staple your 2 photos to the form. Just hand them in with the form.
  • You don’t necessarily need to fill out the flight details (location and trip date) if you’re not sure yet. Just explain it in person.
  • You should pay in US Dollars preferably since the exchange rate for foreign currency won’t likely be rounded in your favor.