Over the years, Linda and I have both renewed our passports a few times while living in the U.S. but this was the first time that either of us has had to renew since moving to Mexico.
It was fast and easy to do, but since the procedure differed a little bit from how we did it in the States (i.e. just mailing it in), I thought I would do a quick post on it. That way those readers who are interested can learn about how it works and I can easily find the information next year when it’s time to renew my U.S. passport.
If you’re outside of the U.S. (with the exception of Canada), you’re going to have to make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate or Consular Agency to renew.
We’re lucky because there’s a U.S. Consular Agency only 25 minutes north of where we live in Playa del Carmen. Linda contacted them to make an appointment and they subsequently emailed her all the procedures for renewal. Here they are in their entirety:
Warning- the next part is a little long and boring, so feel free to skip to the next section if you’re not that interested in the details at this time.
From the U.S. Consular Agency
Our public office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm, except for US and Mexican holidays. Our NEW office is located in Plaza Progreso in Playa del Carmen, on the 2nd floor. This is a newer commercial plaza on the Federal Highway in Playa del Carmen, that is just south of CostaMed Hospital.
Please fill out each form COMPLETELY before your appointment. Please make sure to write down your social security number and please note that in the mailing address you have to provide a local Mexican address.
In the permanent address box, page 2, you can list an address in the U.S. if you have one, or “same as mailing” if it is the same. Forms that may apply to your case are attached. If there is a line item that does not apply to your case please fill in the space with N/A so that it is clear to the adjudicating officer that you read the question and decided it did not apply to your case.
Once your complete application package has been accepted by our office, it will be sent to our supervisory post, the U.S. Consulate General in Merida for adjudication, and if approved, it will be electronically sent to the United States for further processing. In most cases total processing time is 2-3 weeks, so we recommend that you plan your travel accordingly.
Please see the Standard Adult Renewal Requirements requirements below:
· DS 82 – Application for Renewal for Eligible Individuals (Attached; Filled out and Signed before appointment)
· One US Size Passport Photo taken within the last six months (5cm X 5cm, color, front-facing w/ white background.You cannot be wearing glasses and you cannot be smiling in your photo (have a neutral expression)
· Most Recent U.S. Passport and a copy of the photo page.
If your passport is not currently valid, we will need another form of VALID, official ID (if available) and a copy.
· Passport Fee – $110 USD and if US Passport Card is also desired an additional $30 USD (Exact Change is required in Dollars or the equivalent in pesos, or payment by most major Credit Cards). The current exchange rate is 20 MXP to 1 USD, subject to change without notice.
· Prepaid Fedex envelope and a label (guia y sobre prepagados) with tracking number so your new passport can be sent to your home directly from Merida. FedEx may require customers to pick-up the package at their nearest FedEx location if the address is too remote.
To obtain the pre-paid waybill with envelope the customer must request the Kit Consulado. In Playa del Carmen, please go to the Fedex office located at Av 12 bis con av 20 norte esquina , attached to the ADO bus station. You can also get this prepaid label at the UPS office located in Calle 45 and Juarez (by the gas station). If you choose to get this service at UPS, provide a zip code for Merida, 97050, for the sender’s information. For the receiver’s information, please provide the address where you would like to receive your U.S. passport. WE CANNOT RECEIVE YOUR PASSPORT AT THE CONSULAR AGENCY
Actually Getting It Done
The day before the appointment, we went to Playa del Carmen to get Linda’s passport photos and the required prepaid envelope from FedEx. The photos were $300 pesos (about $15 USD) and the Fedex envelope was $502 pesos (about $25 USD).
The passport renewal fee was $110 USD.
On the day of the appointment, we arrived a little early — which we always do — but we were the only people in the place, so we were attended to immediately. We were done in about 10 minutes.
The passport arrived 13 days later via FedEx. Very impressive!
Let’s Wrap This Up
I really expected this to take longer and I was planning on using it as an excuse to save some money because Linda loves to travel. I could have said, “Honey, I would love to travel to [insert foreign destination] but unfortunately, we’re still waiting on your passport.”
I didn’t get to use that excuse even once, and yesterday I caught her looking at flights to Argentina. Thanks a lot, Uncle Sam.