An Emergency Passport Office or an Expediting Company?

emergency passport
by TijsB

If you’re in a real hurry to get your passport, you have two choices: use a private passport expediting company or go to an emergency passport office. Each of these choices has pros and cons, and it’s important to consider how these relate to your own situation so you can make the best choice. Here, then, is a quick run-down of the advantages and disadvantages of each option:

 

Emergency Passport Offices

 

An emergency passport office, also called a Regional Passport Agency office, is a special passport office that is able to issue passports usually within 24 hours. There are currently 21 of these offices scattered throughout the country, and the government is in the process of constructing more of them to keep up with demand. See What to Bring to An Emergency Passport Office for more details.

 

There are several advantages to using an emergency passport office:

 

No extra fees, other than the $ 60 expediting fee you pay for expedited passport service.

Same-day service is available in many locations.

 

However, there are also some disadvantages:

 

There are only 21 emergency passport offices in the country, so if you aren’t located near one getting there can be a hassle.

You can’t walk in-you have to make an appointment by calling 1-877-487-2778.

Limited office hours mean that if you work during the day, you will likely have to take time off to go.

Taking time off work and traveling can incur their own expenses.

Passport Expediting Companies

 

Private passport expediting companies are private companies that submit your application on your behalf, directly to the Department of State.

Using a reputable expediting company has the following advantages:

 

No appointment needed-just go down to a post office, library or other location that accepts passport applications, have your documents sealed and mail your application in.

No need to travel or take time off work.

The best expediting companies offer real-time tracking of your application and personal service to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Processing times can be as short as 24 hours.

 

The most common disadvantages to using an expediting company are as follows:

 

Cost: Expediters charge for their services. The sooner you need your passport, the more you can expect to pay.

Processing times can be as short as 24 hours but the need to ship the application means that it may take more than 24 hours to get your passport back, even with the fastest shipping options available.

 

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.

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Passport Renewal in Washington, DC

Depending on how quickly you need your passport renewal processed, there are a few different passport renewal possibilities. Let’s take a look at the different options that Washington, DC residents have for renewing their passports so that you can determine which option is the most appropriate for your situation.

 

The first option is simply to send in your passport renewal form by mail. You can apply for passport renewal by mail as long as you have not lost your current passport or had it stolen, it is undamaged, it is less than 15 years old and as long you have legal records to support any name change requests.

 

To renew your passport by mail, use passport renewal form DS-82 and send it in along with your old passport, 2 passport photos, and supporting legal documents if your name has changed since your last passport was issued. Also send a check for the associated fees.

 

Renewing your passport by mail means that you’ll have to wait a while for your passport. If you don’t request expedited processing, it’ll be about 6 weeks. If you do request expedited processing and pay the additional $ 60 fee, it’ll be about 3 weeks.

 

But wait a minute…this is Washington, DC, where the entire Federal government is headquartered. Surely you can get a passport in Washington in less than 3 weeks, right? Actually, yes you can, as long as you can show that you’ll be leaving the country in the next 14 days and don’t have one. Just make an appointment at the Washington, DC passport agency office, located on 1111 19th Street, N.W.

To make an appointment, call 1-877-487-2778.

 

If you can’t make it down to the passport agency office but you need your passport in a hurry, your final alternative is to use a private passport expediting company to submit your passport application for you.

 

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.

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How to Get a Child Passport

Kids need passports just like adults, but getting them can be something of a challenge. The Department of State has issued a special set of rules and procedures for children under the age of 16, and it’s important to be aware of the extra steps you’ll need to take before you apply. Here’s what you need to know to get a child passport:

 

Photos

 

You’ll need one passport photo to submit with your child’s application. As long as your child is old enough to understand instructions and you can bribe him to be still and not make faces, this shouldn’t be a big deal. For infants, however, child passport photo requirements can cause a good deal of consternation. First of all, the child has to be awake for the photo, looking at the camera and not crying. Second, neither the parents’ arms, a chair, nor any other means of support can be visible in the photo.

 

Fortunately, you don’t have to levitate the little darling- just place baby on his back on a plain white bed sheet, and pray he cooperates.

 

Documents

 

When you apply for a passport on behalf of your child, you must do so in person at a post office or other passport acceptance facility. You’ll also need the following documents:

 

Proof of identity for you, like a driver’s license. Bring both an original and a plain photocopy.

Proof of your relationship to the child, like the child’s birth certificate, an adoption decree or a court order giving you guardianship.

Evidence that the child is a US citizen, such as a birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

Proof that both parents are okay with the child being issued a passport.

The easiest way to prove parental consent is for both parents to mosey on down to the passport office. However, if this is not possible, one parent can go with a notarized “permission slip” from the other parent giving consent.

If you have sole custody of your child, you may bring one of the following: a copy of the other parent’s death certificate, a copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption decree with only your name on it, a court order awarding sole custody to you or permitting you to travel overseas with the child, or a court order declaring the other parent incompetent.

A copy of passport application for DS-11, which you will fill out on behalf of your child.

 

Once you’ve gotten everything together, simply go to the post office, pay the required child passport fees and the passport agent will send your child’s paperwork to the Department of State for processing. The new passport should arrive in about 6 weeks for regular processing and about 3 weeks for expedited processing.

 

 

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.

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