Great news! The US Embassy in Costa Rica now offers the option to renew your passport by mail. You no longer need to go through the hassle of going to the US Embassy in San Jose and doing an in person appointment.
The process is fairly simple and quick. You are eligible to renew your passport via the Costa Rican mail service (Correos de Costa Rica) if you are renewing an adult 10 year passport. You must have your current passport in your possession, you are not eligible if the passport is lost/stolen/mutilated. Keep in mind that if you are eligible to renew via mail you will NOT be granted an in-person appointment.
First step is to pay the passport fee using https://pay.gov/public/form/start/607957567. Make sure to print the payment confirmation you receive via email and set it aside to include in the package that will later be sent to the embassy.
Step #2 is to fill out the DS-82 Passport application form online and print it out so that it can be added to the package for the embassy. This form can be found on :https://pptform.state.gov.
Next you must get an updated passport photo. For this step you may have to go to Liberia, since there isn’t always a good option in Playas del Coco. You will need one color passport photo, 2″ x 2″ on a white background. Feel free to contact me about which places offer this service.
Once you have paid the passport fee, completed the application, and had your photos taken, you will package all these items together along with your current passport and take it to the local post office in Playas del Coco. The Correos is located on the main road, 200 meters past the anchor, heading into town, on the right hand side.
At the Post Office/Correos you will pay a small fee to send the documents in a sealed envelope to the US Embassy. It will take roughly 5 business days for Correos de Costa Rica to deliver the shipments from/to the Embassy. The Embassy will take 15 business days to process and send your new passport to Correos de Costa Rica.
Don’t be surprised if you do not receive any notification from the Embassy, they will not communicate unless there is something missing or an error. Make sure to contact the Correos after 4 weeks to see if your passport has arrived, if not, continue to follow up. If after 6 weeks you have not received your passport or any notifications, please follow up with the US Embassy.
Renewing via mail sure beats having to take a trip to San Jose! If you need additional information or more details, check out the Embassy link https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/. Also feel free to contact me, I am here to help.
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