Passport Awareness Month: Passport renewal tips!

September is passport awareness month, so we’ve come up with some more tips for renewing your U.S. passport to try to make the process a bit easier for you!  Just like last year, we’ve taken on board the most common errors we see with passport renewal applications here at the U.S. Embassy Dublin, and want to share our top tips.

We encourage all U.S. citizens and Irish-U.S. dual nationals in Ireland to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): https://step.state.gov/ .  This allows the U.S. Embassy Dublin to share alerts and messages with you via email, and to share information about our upcoming outreach visits nationwide – we may be visiting a location near you soon, which could save you a trip to Dublin!

Tip #1: BRING VALID I.D.!  If you are over 18 years old and applying for a U.S. passport in person at the U.S. Embassy, you are required to bring valid government- issued photo I.D. such as a driver’s license, foreign passport, photo Irish PPS card, etc.

TIP #2: WHEN DOES YOUR PASSPORT EXPIRE?  Keep a sticky note on your passport with a note of its expiration date – this is particularly helpful for children’s passports as they expire every 5 years.  Keep in mind when traveling, many European countries require at least six months validity remaining beyond your planned date of departure.  Furthermore, all U.S. citizens must travel to and from the United States with their U.S. passport only. This applies to children as well as adults

Tip #3: NO CORRECTION FLUID ON THE APPLICATION FORM!  If you complete your passport application forms by hand, and you make an error, simply put a line through it and write above it clearly, or complete a new form.  Do not use white correction fluid as this invalidates the application form, and we cannot accept it.

Tip #4: INCLUDE YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT!  It is important to include emergency contact details on your passport application form.  Please provide the information of a person who does not usually travel with you, who can be contacted in the event of an emergency.  The person can be located outside of the United States, simply fill this portion out by hand if the online form does not allow it.

Tip #5: PRINT APPLICATION ON TWO SEPARATE PAGES!  For our processing of the passport application forms, we require the application to be printed one sided, on two separate pages.  Please also check that the form you are using has not expired (check the OMB EXPIRATION DATE at the top right of the form).

You can find extensive information about applying for a U.S. passport on our passport services web-page.