There are a few ways to renew a passport. A U.S. passport can be renewed in person, by mail or online. No matter how a passport is renewed, there is going to be a passport renewal fee involved and that fee does not change depending on the method of renewal. In calculating overall passport renewal expenses, what will make the difference is that method. The cheapest way to renew a passport is ultimately online.
Renewing by Mail
A U.S. citizen may renew a passport by mail if the passport was originally issued within the past 15 years, if the passport holder is 16 years old or older, if the passport can be submitted with the application and if the name on the document is accurate. To renew a passport by mail, download, print and fill out Form DS-82, called the Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail. Mail the form to the address listed there along with two passport pictures and the $110 renewal fee. Aside from the renewal fee, there will a cost for the envelope in which all of these documents are sent, along with the cost of postage. If the closest post office is not nearby, the trip will also cost gas money.
Renewing in Person
To renew a passport in person, download and print Form DS-82. You must then fill out this form and take it to the closest consulate or passport center and submit it, along with two passport photos and your previous passport. You must also pay your passport renewal fee at that time. The passport renewal fee is $110. How much you spend on gas or travel expenses such as bus, plane or train fare depends on the proximity of the nearest passport renewal center.
Form DS-82 can be submitted online as well. To do this, you will need to go to the State Department website and click the “Fill out Form DS-82 online” button on the “Passport By Mail: DS-82” page. You will then have to fill out all of the information required on the passport renewal application as well as any other directions that you are prompted to follow. Renewing a passport online incurs the same passport renewal fee of $110, but there will not be any extra expenses, such as travel or postage fees. This makes renewing a passport online the cheapest method.