Home > Immigration - General, Passport > Passport Renewal at Indian Consulate in San Francisco – Basic Process

Passport Renewal at Indian Consulate in San Francisco – Basic Process

NOTE: After 21st May, 2014 BLS-India is no longer the service provider. The new provider is Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

NOTE: After 7th May, 2013 VFS is no longer the service provider. The new provider is BLS International. 

Note: Starting May 3,2012 The Consulate General of India, San Francisco, would no more, directly accept applications, either in person or through mail for passport related services.

Now you need to go through Website: www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa

i.e. the information mentioned below is kind of out-dated. They changed several things. So rely on the information provided at above website.

Check my post(07-Aug-2012): Indian Passport Renewal in US at VFS Global


I applied for passport renewal at Indian Consulate in San Francisco. Here I am going to explain the basic process and my experience.

I will go through the basic process and not any special case. Although this is what I followed with Consulate in SFO,  I believe it should be almost identical for other Indian consulates in US as well. Also I am going to explain for “Applying by Mail” but most of the thing should remain same

Note: Always check the Consulate’s website for current procedure and requirements. The process, links or information in this post can be out-dated.

Go to the website of Consulate General of India, San Francisco (www.cgisf.org). Look for link to Passport section.

Read the general instruction to get the feeling of the current basic process, required documents, fees, etc. You need to determine

Fresh Passport or Renewal of Passport :

The process is same whether you are applying for Fresh Passport or Renewing an passport that is nearing completion of 10 years from date of issue. Here is the basic process.

Note: If you are holding a Short-term validity passport i.e. issued under Tatkal which has validity of 5-years, the process is different. It is termed ‘Extension’ and not Renewal. I will talk about it at the end.

Step 1: Completing the online application (You can find the link to the online application here.)

Filling this form is not too difficult. Detailed guidelines for completing the online application can be found here. Read it carefully to avoid any mistakes.

Once you are done filling all the required information, click Save. If you missed any of the required fields or entered some characters(,$./ etc) you might be prompted for that. If everything is ok, you will be taken to next page where a ‘File No’ will be assigned to your application and you will be given option to select the appointment date. Select appropriate date if you are going in person. If applying by mail, you can ignore this and and click ‘Confirm the Appointment’. This will generate a 4 page printable PDF document. Save this to your computer and if you have printer ready, print the document.

So online portion is finished but you still have some information to complete on the printed copy.

Step 2: Filling remaining application by Hand

The information to complete the application can be found here. It’s the same page with information to complete online application. The information is mostly general and quite easy to understand. Fill it out and sign wherever required.

Step 3: Passport Photos

You will need two 2×2 inches passport photographs with requirement as mentioned here.

I got it at Costco (4.99+tax for 2 photos) but there you can find different other options here.

Paste one Photo in the box on page1 of the application. Paste second photo on the page 4 where it says Official Use.

I signed the photo as my appearance has changed that what I look in my current passport. There is also a requirement that you need to get that photo notarized if you look different in current photo and photo in current passport. More details ahead on notarizing.

Step 3: Collect Supporting Documents

Collect all the supporting documents as listed here. Note that they require color copies for Proof of Status.

I submitted color copy of US Driver’s License for proof of residence in US. I was little confused if I should also be providing the proof of residence for India. I got recent electricity bill, telephone bill and gas bill from India but I did not send it. My application is still in process. I will and update if they ask for it.

Note: Whether you  need a Police Verification or not, I would suggest you submit the Personal Proforma form and a letter stating that your police verification was done. Read my post on it here.

Step 4: Notarizing the photocopies and photograph

When you are applying by mail, you will have to get the photocopies for proof of status, residence, etc. notarized.

I found a notary off the craigslist. She charged me about $5/page. If you are in California you can check the license validity of a notary public here. Ask the person for their full name and License number.

I had to get my Passport photograph notarized as well, but she said since it was on page 4 of the application, she won’t be able to notarize it as single and she notarized entire application. Though she charged $10 for that.

Step 5: Fees

The fee for fresh renewal for me was $40. They accept cashier’s check or money order only. No personal checks.

Cashier’s Check: I checked with Bank Of America and they were charging $10 for a cashier’s check(any amount) if you are having a regular checking account. It was free if some preferred or something account. I think some credit unions have $5 and some offer free to their members.

Money Order: I got money order from USPS. Their charge is $1.10($0-$500). I actually got two MOs – $40 regular fee and $20 for overnight return mail.

Step 6: Applying by Mail

If you are applying by mail you need to take care of these 3 things:

a) You must send your Original previous and passport(s). Also photocopy of current passport even though you are sending the original.

b) All the photocopies should be notarized. Exception notarization of copies of passport is not required (since you are sending the original along).

c) You must send a pre-paid Self-addressed return mailing envelop (Express/overnight) with tracking. Or you can send a separate Cashier’s check or Money order of $20(this may change, so check their website) as return mailing fee.

I sent a M.O of $20.

I will update this on how my renewal goes. I know I have also to write about renewing a short validity passport. Thought will keep it for next post.

Update(02/23/2012): CGISF requested for additional form and information. I have written a new post for that, Passport Renewal at Indian Consulate in SFO – Police Verification and Porforma Form.


Hope this helps.

  1. shijo
    November 26, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Hi, My spouse passport is going to expire in six months. We wanted to renew her passport at indian consulate at SF. We have following complications,

    1. Her passport was done before our marriage, so the address in her passport is her parents home address.
    2. Her parents moved out of this house couple of years back.
    3. All her address proof (Adhaar card/Bank Statement ) is in parents (first) home address. She has no address proof in my india address.

    With above complications we are planning to renew her passport in my address. Please let me know how do we proceed in this case.


  2. raj
    December 31, 2015 at 12:30 am

    my son is having an Indian passport which gets expired in May 2016, can i renew the same here in San Francisco?

    • December 31, 2015 at 3:59 am

      What is his VISA status in US?

  3. Shemi
    August 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I sent the application directly to the Counslate General of India, San Francisco. Do you know how I could track my paperwork over there. This is sooo confusing.

    • August 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      I take it that it was a passport application…
      1: I think they will return your application and suggest you to go through vfsglobal.
      2: No, SFO Consulate doesn’t have any tracking on their website. Tracking is only available when you use vfsglobal.

  4. February 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hi, Did you get it renewed already? How did you check the status? The official phone line is never going through:-) Is there and Email to which you can send (and reliably receive a mail back) your query?

    • February 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Not yet renewed. They don’t have any online status check. I am going to contact them using their email option. Check the link I updated in the post under Resources. They say they will reply the email promplty provided, the question you are asking isn’t already answered in their FAQ section.

      Yes, the phone isn’t going to work. I tried that couple years back and they have a very small window when their phone line is open for customer queries.

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