Renewing your Carte de Sejour is a bit like applying for your original long-stay visa (at the Consulate in the US).
If you remember your first Carte de Sejour (not to be confused with the first RENEWAL which is what this post is about), completed within three months of first arriving in France, you were required to complete a medical exam at the nearest OFII office. For the renewal, you can apply at your local Prefecture. No medical exam is needed, however you will need to have your letter from the OFII showing that you passed the medical exam the year before.
To apply for the renewal, visit your local prefecture within three months of the expiry of your original Carte de Sejour. Take a ticket, wait in line, and inform the representative that you need to make an appointment for your renewal. The representative will give you a list of the required documents and go over it with you. Afterward, you can make the appointment online. (I'm guessing you can also find the requirements on the website and just make the appointment without first going over the list with someone at the prefecture. We live just down the street from our local prefec so it was easy for us to walk down there.)
Here is what you will need, though keep in mind, they can (and often do) ask for additional paperwork. They want to see the original and have a photo copy and a CERTIFIED FRENCH TRANSLATION of ALL documents in English. They will give you your originals back (your birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.) They will keep the photocopy and the certified French translation.
Completed Application Form- It's short and not difficult.
Your Passport with photocopy of your ID page and ALL PAGES that have a stamp in them.
Your birth certificate and translation.
Marriage certificate and translation.
Chidren's birth certificates and translations.
Proof of address- utility bill, etc.
Proof of income- bank statements, pay stubs, letter from sending organization and translation, etc.
Copy of your original Carte de Sejour. (It's in your passport but we made an extra copy.)
Letter from OFII showing you passed the health screening at your original appointment the year before.
The person at the prefecture doesn't actually approve your application. They take all your documents and put them in a folder to be submitted. They give you a temporary receipt (below) showing that you have submitted all your paperwork. In case an official asks, this is what you would show them.
We were told we may need to wait up to 2 months for approval but actually waited closer to 5 months. During that time one may or may not receive a request in the mail asking for additional documentation. We did not. Unlike the 1st carte, which is a stamp in your passport, the 2nd is an actual card, like a driver license (see photo below). We had to pay 106 euros for the card when we picked it up, payable in timbres fiscaux. You're notified by a letter in the mail saying you can visit your local prefecture to retrieve the card.