renewing US passport by mail

General topics related to Living in Chile
thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:11 am

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:53 am
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:40 am
there's probably someplace I could go in La Serena that takes pictures. I just don't know if they're familiar with all the requirements for US passports.
You can bring the specs to one of the local shops and they should be able to comply with the specs but they are probably more familiar doing fotos for visa applications these days.
You're probably right. I don't think there are a lot of gringos here, needing to renew US passports.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

Jamers41
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:11 pm

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by Jamers41 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:54 pm

The last time I went to the US embassy (about a year ago for my infant daughter's passport) they didn't like the photo I brought because they said it was taken too close......so they just sent me to a photo shop right inside the Costanera Center a couple blocks away, because they apparently knew that that place was reliably good at following the picture requirements.........that's really what it's about, following the requirements (the photo size, colors selected, head size proportion, etc). And that was for a restless baby!

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:15 pm

Jamers41 wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:54 pm
The last time I went to the US embassy (about a year ago for my infant daughter's passport) they didn't like the photo I brought because they said it was taken too close......so they just sent me to a photo shop right inside the Costanera Center a couple blocks away, because they apparently knew that that place was reliably good at following the picture requirements.........that's really what it's about, following the requirements (the photo size, colors selected, head size proportion, etc). And that was for a restless baby!
I'll probably look for a local place that does passport photos. Then if they don't get it exactly right, I think I could scan it in, and make some adjustments. Then print out the fixed version. I have an old digital camera, that would work. But I can't find the memory card. And it's unfortunately an obsolete "xD-picture" card.

I'm planning to do this by mail, since I'm in Coquimbo. Does anyone here know what usually happens, if something doesn't meet the requirements (like the photo, prepaid DHL AWB, cashier's check, etc.)? Do they just ask you to mail in whatever it is they need?
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:45 am

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:29 pm
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:40 pm
Does anyone here know if a photo from one of those built-in laptop webcams, is good enough for a passport photo?
Be careful here but I did my own and was not rejected but YMMV.

Used a point and shoot digital cam and followed the instructions EXACTLY for dimensions and other criteria. Printed out in high quality setting on premium photo paper on my average ink jet printer.
Do you remember how sharp your printed photo was, or if it was at all grainy? The state.gov website says it can't be grainy, but I have no idea what they consider grainy. I ended up buying a new camera, and the pictures look really clear on my computer screen. But when I print them on my HP 2050 inkjet (on glossy photo paper), and look at them closely (maybe 6 to 8 inches away) they look like a bunch of speckles. They look pretty clear from about 12 inches away though. It's probably just the nature of inkjet printed photos, but I've never had to do it before.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:19 am

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:45 am
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:29 pm
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:40 pm
Does anyone here know if a photo from one of those built-in laptop webcams, is good enough for a passport photo?
Be careful here but I did my own and was not rejected but YMMV.

Used a point and shoot digital cam and followed the instructions EXACTLY for dimensions and other criteria. Printed out in high quality setting on premium photo paper on my average ink jet printer.
Do you remember how sharp your printed photo was, or if it was at all grainy? The state.gov website says it can't be grainy, but I have no idea what they consider grainy. I ended up buying a new camera, and the pictures look really clear on my computer screen. But when I print them on my HP 2050 inkjet (on glossy photo paper), and look at them closely (maybe 6 to 8 inches away) they look like a bunch of speckles. They look pretty clear from about 12 inches away though. It's probably just the nature of inkjet printed photos, but I've never had to do it before.
I did a little more research, and I think the important thing is viewing distance. So I measured it, and the pictures are pretty sharp at 6 inches. And they aren't too bad at 4 inches either. So any normal person shouldn't think they're too grainy, unless they're using a magnifying glass.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:20 am

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:45 am
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:29 pm
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:40 pm
Does anyone here know if a photo from one of those built-in laptop webcams, is good enough for a passport photo?
Be careful here but I did my own and was not rejected but YMMV.

Used a point and shoot digital cam and followed the instructions EXACTLY for dimensions and other criteria. Printed out in high quality setting on premium photo paper on my average ink jet printer.
Do you remember how sharp your printed photo was, or if it was at all grainy? The state.gov website says it can't be grainy, but I have no idea what they consider grainy. I ended up buying a new camera, and the pictures look really clear on my computer screen. But when I print them on my HP 2050 inkjet (on glossy photo paper), and look at them closely (maybe 6 to 8 inches away) they look like a bunch of speckles. They look pretty clear from about 12 inches away though. It's probably just the nature of inkjet printed photos, but I've never had to do it before.
I did a little more research, and I think the important thing is viewing distance. So I measured it, and the pictures are pretty sharp at 6 inches. And they aren't too bad at 4 inches either. So any normal person shouldn't think they're too grainy, unless they're using a magnifying glass.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

User avatar
eeuunikkeiexpat
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 7175
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Megalith of unknown origin near my digs, south V Region coast

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:21 am

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:45 am
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:29 pm
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:40 pm
Does anyone here know if a photo from one of those built-in laptop webcams, is good enough for a passport photo?
Be careful here but I did my own and was not rejected but YMMV.

Used a point and shoot digital cam and followed the instructions EXACTLY for dimensions and other criteria. Printed out in high quality setting on premium photo paper on my average ink jet printer.
Do you remember how sharp your printed photo was, or if it was at all grainy? The state.gov website says it can't be grainy, but I have no idea what they consider grainy. I ended up buying a new camera, and the pictures look really clear on my computer screen. But when I print them on my HP 2050 inkjet (on glossy photo paper), and look at them closely (maybe 6 to 8 inches away) they look like a bunch of speckles. They look pretty clear from about 12 inches away though. It's probably just the nature of inkjet printed photos, but I've never had to do it before.
Used a coat hanger to tie my mini tripod to, a Fuji XP70 point and shoot set to most maximum resolution, a white door as the background, took multiple shots with different lighting configurations, chose the best, enhanced (auto-brightened) and cropped them to gov size specs in image software, printed out at the maximum quality settings on my cheap Cannon ink-jet on quality glossy Cannon ink-jet paper, measured the head and other aspects to make sure they were within gov specs and used my average plastic paper cutter from the States for the final cutting. Looked identical to what I would have gotten at a so called "pro" shop.
Generally, just a SPAM KILLER. You are on your own in this forum. My personal mission here is done.

BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

--eeuunikkeiexpat

User avatar
eeuunikkeiexpat
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 7175
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Megalith of unknown origin near my digs, south V Region coast

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:27 am

I would not discount the option to travel for Santiago for the day as there seems to be many buses doing Coquimbo-La Serena-Santiago.
Generally, just a SPAM KILLER. You are on your own in this forum. My personal mission here is done.

BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

--eeuunikkeiexpat

User avatar
eeuunikkeiexpat
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 7175
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Megalith of unknown origin near my digs, south V Region coast

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am

Also Jetsmart was doing a promotion of $2000 base one-way LSC-SCL.
Generally, just a SPAM KILLER. You are on your own in this forum. My personal mission here is done.

BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

--eeuunikkeiexpat

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:44 pm

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:21 am
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:45 am
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:29 pm
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:40 pm
Does anyone here know if a photo from one of those built-in laptop webcams, is good enough for a passport photo?
Be careful here but I did my own and was not rejected but YMMV.

Used a point and shoot digital cam and followed the instructions EXACTLY for dimensions and other criteria. Printed out in high quality setting on premium photo paper on my average ink jet printer.
Do you remember how sharp your printed photo was, or if it was at all grainy? The state.gov website says it can't be grainy, but I have no idea what they consider grainy. I ended up buying a new camera, and the pictures look really clear on my computer screen. But when I print them on my HP 2050 inkjet (on glossy photo paper), and look at them closely (maybe 6 to 8 inches away) they look like a bunch of speckles. They look pretty clear from about 12 inches away though. It's probably just the nature of inkjet printed photos, but I've never had to do it before.
Used a coat hanger to tie my mini tripod to, a Fuji XP70 point and shoot set to most maximum resolution, a white door as the background, took multiple shots with different lighting configurations, chose the best, enhanced (auto-brightened) and cropped them to gov size specs in image software, printed out at the maximum quality settings on my cheap Cannon ink-jet on quality glossy Cannon ink-jet paper, measured the head and other aspects to make sure they were within gov specs and used my average plastic paper cutter from the States for the final cutting. Looked identical to what I would have gotten at a so called "pro" shop.
That sounds a lot like what I'm doing. Your camera is probably better than my Cannon ELPH 180, but your printer seems about the same quality. And the printing is the only part I'm worried about right now. So if yours worked, mine should be ok too.

I also emailed the embassy, and they said if there's a problem with the picture, they'll let me know right away. And I can just send another picture (I wouldn't have to resubmit everything else). So worst case, I should only lose a few days. If I delivered it in person, they would tell me right there at the window.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:57 pm

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:27 am
I would not discount the option to travel for Santiago for the day as there seems to be many buses doing Coquimbo-La Serena-Santiago.
My problem is, once I get off the bus I'd still have to figure out how to get wherever else I was going. Then get back in time, for the return trip. And I'm not a morning person, so I probably couldn't do it all in one day. So then I'd need to stay overnight, which would complicate things even more:( It would be a lot easier if it was a shorter trip, and my spanish was better.
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
Also Jetsmart was doing a promotion of $2000 base one-way LSC-SCL.
$2000 CLP? I'd still have to find my way from/to the airport, but that is really cheap (assuming it's pesos).
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

mem
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: renewing US passport by mail

Post by mem » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 am

I sent in a passport for renewal via dhl with a return awb. The website says 2-3 weeks to get the renewal. Does anyone have experience with mail in US passport renewals in terms of actual time it took to get it back?

Post Reply