All United States (US) citizens who wish to travel outside of the US must have a valid passport. The federal government is responsible for issuing passports, and the process begins usually at a US Post Office. Applicants are required to complete certain application forms and to pay certain fees. On average, it takes up to six weeks for issuance, whether it’s for an initial, replacement, or renewal. It’s possible to speed up the process for an additional fee, which will lessen the wait time to two – three weeks instead of the typical six week average. However, for some that’s too long and they want or need it sooner. There are several private passport expediting services companies available to make it happen.
First time adult applicants must complete Form DS-11. Adults applying for renewal must complete Form DS-82. Documentation of citizenship must be presented, and two identical photos are required.
The federal government establishes the application fees, which are subject to change. Currently, the rate for a first time adult application is $ 135. Renewals for adults cost $ 110. And extra, optional $ 60 passport expedited fee is charged if the applicant needs a quicker processing and delivery turnaround. And if you opt for the overnight delivery, you can expect to pay another $ 15.
A number of private service providers have entered the market, available to assist people who can’t or would rather not deal with the application process themselves. Sometimes it’s more convenient to pay someone else to do the work. Many of these companies can be found in advertisements on the internet.
Some private expediting service companies offer a range of delivery schedules, and charge varying fees accordingly. For example, if you want your passport within 24 hours of submitting all required information, you might expect to pay $ 300, in addition to the government fees noted above. If you can wait between eight and 14 days, you might pay only $ 100 in addition to the government fees.
There are other categories of services which these private companies provide. For example, they also assist in applications for children under 16, for people who have changed their names, and for those who merely need additional pages in their currently valid passport. The fees will usually vary with the service requested.
As when considering doing business with service providers in any field, it can be useful to ask questions and look for references. In a competitive market, sometimes it pays to shop around and compare. And it’s almost always a good idea to be cautious when providing personal identifying information to anyone you don’t know.
Finally, remember that if you are a US citizen planning a trip out of the US, you will be required to have a valid passport. You can apply at the post office, which handles applications on behalf of the federal government which has authority to issue passport expedite. You might also consider hiring a private company to assist you, particularly if you need to get your passport quickly.