Renewing your US passport
Ask the US Embassy

Q. I am a US citizen living in Jamaica. My passport has recently expired. What can I do?

A. This is a great question. First know that it is currently possible to return to the United States on a recently expired passport. Until December 31, 2021, it is still possible to travel on a passport which expired on or after January 1, 2020. See the following link for more details: travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html. It is always a good idea to renew a US passport well in advance as you can never know when it will be needed for urgent travel. Passports should also be renewed before they expire and before you make travel plans, in the event of unexpected delays. Be aware, as well, that many countries won't allow you entry if you have less than six months of validity on your passport. You can check the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html for specific countries' entry requirements.

Q. Are there any special procedures for renewing our passports?

A. As many readers are likely aware, the American Citizen Services unit of the US Embassy in Kingston presently has limited appointment availability due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, for example, social distancing and limitations on crowding. Normally, appointments are available within two to three weeks. All applicants must make an appointment and appear in person for their interview at the embassy in Kingston or the US Consular agencies in the Cayman Islands and Montego Bay. Information on passport applications for those living in Jamaica, including how to schedule an appointment for passport services, is available on the embassy's website at: jm.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/.

Q. Which form should we use?

A. There are two kinds of forms commonly utilised by US citizens to apply for a US passport. The correct form depends on whether the applicant is an adult and if the application is for a renewal:

Form DS-11: All US citizens must apply using the form DS-11 if they are applying for a passport for the first time, if they are under age 18, or if they intend to replace a lost or stolen passport. In addition, all applicants who use form DS-11 must submit:

• evidence of US citizenship (such as a US birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, certificate of naturalization, or consular report of birth abroad)

• proof of identity (We accept government-issued identification such as a passport, driver's licence, or voter registration card)

• a recent colour photograph (which shows a full-frontal view of the face, is 2x2 inches in size, has a white background, and is taken without glasses)

• fees (Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for current fees)

• form DS-64 (for applicants whose passports are damaged, lost, or stolen)

Form DS-82: This form is used only for passport renewal. All US citizens must apply using the form DS-82 if they are an adult whose most current passport is valid for 10 years and is still in their possession. The last passport must have been issued within the past 15 years, when the applicant was age 16 or older. Hence, all applicants who use form DS-82 must submit:

• current passport (submit both passport book/card if valid and you are applying for both)

• a certified copy of a marriage certificate or a court order if the applicant's name has changed

• a recent colour photograph (which shows a full-frontal view of the face, is 2x2 inches in size, has a white background, and is taken without glasses)

• fees (Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for current fees)

We would like to point out that it is now possible for many individuals using the DS-82 renewal to use an online payment option and skip the need to visit the embassy. If you are renewing a passport, you may be able to do it by mail. Please see our passport renewal web page (jm.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/adult-renewals/) to determine if you are eligible for online fee payment.

As a reminder, it is not possible to travel on a naturalisation certificate. If you are a naturalised US citizen, you cannot travel back to the United States on your certificate and will need a valid US passport in order to return to the United States. If you travelled to Jamaica without a valid US passport, you will have to apply for one at the embassy in Kingston, which takes up to two weeks to process.

The latest information on our operating status can be found on our website at www.jm.usembassy.gov or by visiting www.travel.state.gov. Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USEmbassyJamaica/ and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general consular questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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