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From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Renewing your US passport in France

I've been seeing a lot of expats in France on social media lately expressing frustration regarding their US Passport renewal process, so I thought I'd break it down step by step for any future renewers.

Major caveat here - this information is valid as of today, May 5, 2016. Things can change, so please verify the US Embassy in Paris website before sending in your application.

All normal adult renewal applications should be done by mail. If your application is not a normal renewal, it will have to be done in person (see the lost or stolen passport section below). 

Adult renewals
Adults who already have a US passport in their possession that was issued fewer than 15 years ago and after the age of 16, will need to send:
  • Your most recent US passport (don't worry, it will systematically be returned!)
  • 1 recent passport photo (2x2" or 5x5cm) with a white background
  • 1 self-addressed Chronopost envelope (1 per family)
  • The payment in the form of a chèque de banque (mandat cash are no longer accepted!)
  • Form DS-82, filled out on the computer, and signed and dated by hand
Lost or stolen passports
If your passport was lost, stolen, or issued more than 15 years ago, you'll need to appear in person at the US Embassy either in Paris or Marseille. You'll have to make an appointment online, and be sure to bring everything on the list above, plus the following:
  • Form DS-11 (filled out on the computer, not signed - you'll sign it at the Embassy) 
  • Birth certificate (or report of birth, naturalization or citizenship certificate)
  • Recent valid ID (original plus photocopy)
  • If your passport was lost or stolen, Form DS-64 (filled out on a computer and signed)
  • If your passport was lost or stolen, provide any photocopies you have of it
  • If your passport was lost or stolen, provide the original of the Police Report declaration
  • Payment can be made at the Embassy in dollars, euros or by credit card (no US or FR checks allowed)

Passports for Children
Children aged 15 or under have to follow a different process.  All applications, be it their first passport or a renewal, must be done in person, either at the US Embassy in Paris or at the Consulate General in Marseille.  An appointment is needed, and can be made online at the website.

For a child passport application, parents must submit the following documents. If you are applying for multiple children at the same time, you will need to provide the originals and photocopies listed below for each of the applications.
  • Form DS-11 (filled out on the computer, not signed - you'll sign it at the Embassy)
  • Child's birth certificate, or report of birth or naturalization or citizenship certificate (original + photocopy)
  • Both Parent's passports or IDs (originals + photocopies)
  • Notarized consent of Form DS-3053, if one of the parents cannot appear in person
  • The most recent US passport if the child already has one
  • 1 recent passport photo (2x2" or 5x5cm) with a white background
  • 1 self-addressed Chronopost envelope (1 per family)
  • Payment can be made at the Embassy in dollars, euros or by credit card (no US or FR checks allowed)
As a side note, for children's passports, the US Embassy staff understands it can be difficult for both parents to take a day off of work and travel to Paris, so they sometimes spend a day or two at the various American Presence Posts around France to allow parents to apply directly there. The APP offices are located in Rennes, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon and Strasbourg.  If you are interested in being informed of the next renewal day in your region, you can sign up for the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP) and APP-specific dates will be sent out to those living in that region roughly a month before they occur.

 *The official payment amount can be found at the bottom of this page. If you are applying for multiple family members at the same time, you can send in one mandat cash for the total amount.

Check back tomorrow, when I'll be posting about the top ten mistakes to avoid when sending in your passport application.  I'll also explain why Chronopost envelopes are needed, since that is another sore point for many fellow Americans.

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1 Comments:

Blogger shannon said...

Great idea on blogging about this! I've been seeing these comments as well. I honestly don't get a lot of them. I did my renewal in July 2014, and it was so straight forward and quick.

The only problem I had (besides spending ages at La Poste) was chasing down Chronopost. Checked online and it said they couldn't find my mailbox... okay... no one had ever had that problem before. Called them and was told that I had to go pick it up at the office in a zone industriel... not convenient at all. When I picked it up, they had marked that they called me which they never did. Lesson from that story, make sure to copy down the tracking number! If I hadn't, I never would have known where my passport was.

May 5, 2016 at 9:09 PM  

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