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Step-by-Step Guide for Renewing Your Canadian Passport

To the point Find out how to renew your passport in Canada with our step-by-step guide: form, photo, fee, passport application.

Need to renew your Canadian passport? Find out here about the steps you must take to successfully renew your passport. From sending in your application by mail to finding the proper form to understanding the conditions required to renew your passport, we’ll guide you through this procedure. You’ll also learn when to renew your passport before it expires and whether you can do it online.

What is a passport?

A passport is required to travel between countries and is a legally identifying document.

Luckily, passports are relatively easy to obtain as a Canadian citizen, though you should be wary of the expiry date. Once your passport expires or even a few weeks away from being expired, it is considered invalid and cannot be used for travel.

So, you’ll need to renew your passport quickly. You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally. Luckily, the process is straightforward and compiling your application shouldn’t take more than a few days. Here’s all you need to know about renewing your passport in Canada.

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When and why should you renew your passport?

In Canada, the question of “when and why” to renew a passport is particularly important. Ideally, a passport should be renewed before it expires to avoid any inconvenience when travelling internationally. Moreover, a full passport or one with incorrect information also requires renewal.

Renewal can be seen as a process of updating in line with the best practices and standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It also becomes necessary if the passport has been lost, stolen or damaged. Since March 31, the renewal process has been simplified, allowing Canadians home and abroad to renew an expired passport issued within the last 15 years.

Finally, renewal is also a way to benefit from new passport features, such as a more water-resistant version, offering greater durability.

Who can renew a passport?

If you’ve previously held an adult Canadian passport, you’ll most likely be able to apply for renewal.

Firstly, your current passport must either be expired or close to it. Due to the regulations regarding near-expired passports, you can apply to renew your passport up to a year before its official expiration.

However, children must re-apply for a new passport each time it expires. In Canada, only adult passports can be renewed, assuming you meet the requirements.

Even as an adult, you must meet a few requirements to qualify for renewal rather than applying for a new passport again. Firstly, if your passport has fully expired, it must have been issued within the last 15 years. So, even if it’s been years since you left the country or you don’t have plans to leave anytime soon, don’t wait too long to renew your passport so that you can deal with a simple renewal rather than a tedious new passport application.

Naturally, when applying for a renewal, you must also ensure you haven’t changed any essential personal information, such as your place and date of birth (which is rare). However, other information that can change, such as your legal name or gender, would also require a new passport application.

Finally, if you lose or damage your passport, you will likely need to apply for a new one rather than renew one. If either of these things happens to you, you can head to your local post office (or embassy, if it happens while travelling) as soon as possible to sort things out.

Overall, if you’re an adult with a pre-issued passport and meet all the above requirements, you should be eligible for a passport renewal.

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Criteria for renewing a Canadian passport

Several criteria must be met to renew a Canadian passport. The current passport must have been issued within the last 15 years and be in good condition, i.e. not damaged, lost or stolen. The applicant must be 18 or older and have a family member or relative who has known them for at least two years and can act as a reference or guarantor. This person must agree to include their name and contact details in the application.

Renewal fees range from $120 to $260, depending on whether you are applying from Canada or the U.S. and whether you are applying for a 5- or 10-year passport: when you apply for a Canadian adult passport, you can choose between a 5- or 10-year validity period. Once this period has elapsed or almost elapsed (between six months and one year before expiry), it’s time to renew your passport.

Even if it has yet to expire, you should renew your passport if its pages are full (good travel memories!) or if you need to update/renew your visa or residency information simultaneously.

How to renew your passport in Canada

To prepare your renewal application, you’ll need to :

  • Gather the necessary documents: your passport, a passport photo meeting current standards, and information about your identity and citizenship.
  • Check your eligibility: make sure you meet all the conditions for renewing a passport, e.g. the passport to be renewed has been issued within the last 15 years.
  • Prepare the application fee: passport renewal fees are not free, so arrange payment.

Here’s the step-by-step guide on renewing your passport in Canada.

Obtain and complete the application form

Firstly, you’ll need to fill out the application form from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which you can either download or print for free from their website or pick up at any Canada Post location near you.

To obtain this passport renewal application form, you have several options:

  • Online: You can download it from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Make sure you choose the right form for your situation (first application, renewal, etc.).
  • Post office: Canada Post offices also offer passport application forms.
  • Service Canada Centre: You can also pick up the forms near you at a Service Canada Centre.

Ensure you have the right form for your situation to avoid any delay in processing your application. The form differs depending on whether you are applying for a renewal (form PPTC 054) or your first passport demand (form PPTC 154).

Once you have the form, it’s pretty intuitive. All you have to do is enter all your information as it appears on the form. You can save as you go online so you don’t lose any work, or fill it in by hand if you’ve chosen to print or take a physical copy.

If you fill in the form physically, fill it in carefully, taking care not to cross out any lines or write outside the boxes provided. If you make a mistake, we recommend you start again with a new form to avoid any delay in processing your application.

Don’t forget to sign and date your completed form. Finally, check that you have filled it in correctly before sending it or presenting it in person.

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Locate your nearest Office or Service Centre

You can use the online search tools available on the Canadian Passport Program website to locate your nearest Service Centre. These tools allow you to enter your postal code, city or full address to find the nearest point of service. You’ll have access to waiting times, too.

Finally, if you need to make an appointment to renew your passport, you can visit the specialized eServiceCanada site to book an appointment online.
Passport offices and Service Canada Centres are generally closed on statutory holidays.

Moreover, depending on their busy schedules, some centers may prioritize people who need their passports within 48 hours. It’s a good idea to check waiting times before you go.
Here are some examples of where you can go to renew your passport:

  • Passport offices with express pick-up service
  • Service Canada Centre
  • Canadian government offices abroad

Get your passport photo

Alongside the form, you’ll need to submit an updated passport photo. You have to submit two copies of the photo, which must meet the following specifications:

  • The photo size must be 50mm wide and 70mm high.
  • Your face must be the photo’s focus, and your face height must be between 31mm and 36mm.
  • The photo can be black and white or in colour, but colour is recommended.
  • Do not wear any non-necessary accessories around your face. For example, head coverings worn for religious or medical reasons are allowed so long as they don’t obscure your face.
  • The photo should be clear, without any flash reflection, glare or shadow.
  • You can wear natural makeup, but your daily skin tone and features need to be untouched- you don’t want to look like a different person when you show up at the airport! Additionally, it’s safer to go with a more matte look- anything too dewy or highlighted may contradict the photo reflection requirements.
  • Do not smile or frown excessively. Keep your expression neutral.
  • Make sure you have a white background.

It’s best to head down to your local drugstore (such as London Drugs) or work with a professional photographer and tell them you need a passport photo. They’ll know exactly what to do. Photos taken at home may not meet the specific requirements adequately.

One of the two copies must be stamped and dated on the back by the photographer, and the stamp should include the studio’s name and address. You do not need to sign the photos yourself.

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Obtain guarantors/references

Guarantors are only required for new passport applications, so you can skip this step for a regular passport renewal.

Determine the passport application fee

Unfortunately, applying for a passport renewal in Canada is not free. You will have to pay a small fee to officially submit your application. To determine how much you’ll need to pay, here’s a quick guide to the basic costs:

  • 5-year adult passport: $120
  • 10-year adult passport: $160
  • Passport for a child less than 15 years old : 57 $

However, if there’s an emergency or you are on a super tight schedule, you can also pay extra to expedite your passport renewal, according to these prices:

  • 1-day passport pickup: $110
  • Express 2-9 day passport pickup: $50
  • Guaranteed 10-day pickup: $20
  • Weekend or statutory holiday service fees for an emergency or a trip during those dates : 355 $

If you need an extra-fast pickup, submit your application in person at a passport office. Finally, bring some extra cash just in case you need any of the following items, as well:

  • A true certified copy: $45
  • File transfer to a new/different passport office: $45

The embassy may request a true certified copy, so be prepared just in case. File transfer charges are required when you want to transfer your documents to any different passport office than the one you’ve worked with previously.

Send in your renewal application

You’ll need to submit your application and pay for your Canadian passport in person or by regular mail – unfortunately, you won’t be able to do this online. Once you’ve completed the renewal form correctly and gathered all the necessary documents, here’s how to proceed.


There are several places you can go. Service Canada Centres can be found nationwide, such as in Montreal (200 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, suite 103), or in Quebec City. You can visit a passport office with an express pick-up service, which can give priority to people who need a passport within 48 hours.

You can also pay the fee at any Canada Post or Passport Program office. You can pay with a debit card, credit card, prepaid card, money order, and certified cheque. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted if you pay by card.

Here are the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fee: ideal if you travel abroad! If you have to choose one, apply for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card (you’ll enjoy six annual complimentary visits to VIP Airport lounges).

By post

You can also pay for your passport application by post. We recommend sending your application by registered mail to ensure its security. Make sure you send your application to the correct address.

You can select and complete the payment option on your application form and enclose your payment details for a credit card or include exact payment of the applicable fee by certified cheque or money order payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Postal delivery times may vary, so please allow sufficient time for your application to arrive and be processed.

Select and complete the payment option on your application form, and include your payment details for a credit card or exact payment of applicable fees by certified cheque or money order payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Postal delivery times may vary, so please allow sufficient time for your application to arrive and be processed.

Remember to include photocopies of both sides of your identification, signed by your guarantor or signing officer.

Check that you’ve completed and paid everything correctly, submit your application in person or by mail, and voila! You’re ready to go. Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait for your renewed passport.

Current Passport Delivery Time

Currently, the deadline to receive your passport is:

  • 10 business days for applications submitted in person (Service Canada Center – Passport Services) or at a Service Canada Center
  • 20 business days for applications submitted in person at a regular Service Canada Centre, at a regular Service Canada outreach site

Add to that a few extra days for postage. The passport is usually sent by Xpresspost.

How to check the status of the passport application

Once submitted, the passport application can be tracked on the Government of Canada website.

Canada : New changes coming for passport renewal in 2023

The Government of Canada announced a series of measures to improve the image of the passport and the renewal process during the summer of 2023:

  • Passport holder information will be laser engraved instead of ink printed;
  • It will have a new cover with the outline of a maple leaf;
  • Complete online passport renewal, which makes it possible to pay for a passport and upload a photo safely and conveniently (for Fall 2023, but it seems unavailable yet).

For a new passport, the traditional procedure will remain in place.


The new and the old version will be available, depending on the date of your request. Regardless of the version, both of these documents are safe and reliable.

It is therefore not necessary to renew your passport in advance for it to be valid.


The new page with personal information will be made of polycarbonate. This will last longer and be less susceptible to water damage.


Receive your passport!

Once your passport is ready, you can choose to pick it up from your local passport office or directly to your address by mail. Once you receive it, make sure you sign it and write your address on pages 3 and 4, respectively. You’ll need it fully signed for international travel and don’t want to be stopped at the airport.

However, a parent doesn’t need to sign the passport of his or her child.

Once you completed this task, congratulations! Your passport is 100% renewed and ready. Now, all you have to do is store it in a safe place until your next trip.

Frequently asked questions

The government website provides Canadians with a help center, so don’t hesitate to consult it. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

When should I renew my Canadian passport before it expires?

We recommend that you renew your Canadian passport six months before it expires. This gives you a margin of safety for unforeseen travel and avoids admission problems to certain countries that require a minimum passport validity.

How do I renew my Canadian passport?

To renew a Canadian passport, fill out the application form available online or at post offices, provide passport-size photos that meet the required standards, and pay the renewal fee. Then submit your application in person or by mail.

Where can I find a Canadian passport renewal form?

The Canadian passport renewal form can be downloaded from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website or picked up at Canada Post and some Service Canada offices.

Can I renew my Canadian passport online?

Canada planed to introduce online passport renewal as of fall 2023, but the process is not yet available. Currently, applications must be submitted physically via passport offices or by mail.

Can I renew my Canadian passport at a walk-in center?

Yes, you can renew your Canadian passport without an appointment. However, waiting times may be longer, especially during peak periods. We recommend you make an appointment if you need your passport within one to two months.

What is the telephone number for your passport in Canada?

You can contact an agent Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time (9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Newfoundland), except statutory holidays, at toll-free 1-800-567-6868 or direct 1-819-997-8338.

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Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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