How to Get a Rush Passport

The wheels of bureaucracy move slowly, and that is never more true than when you’re waiting for a passport. Or at least, that’s how it seems when you’re about to leave the country and your passport has not yet arrived. Generally speaking, you should aim to apply for your passport at least 2 months in advance, since it takes 6 weeks or longer to process a passport application and you want to have a little bit of a cushion in case something goes wrong.

 

However, if you don’t have that much time, there are ways to speed up the application process and get rush passport processing. Let’s take a look at the options available to you:

 

Rush Passport Processing

 

One option is to order rush passport processing from the Department of State for an additional $ 60. If you’re applying in person for a new passport, simply let the passport agent know that you need your application expedited and include the $ 60 fee in your payment to the State Department. If you’re applying for a renewal by mail, include the extra $ 60 in your total and write “Expedite” on the envelope.

 

For faster processing, the government “strongly suggests” overnight delivery both to and from the passport facility. The cost for overnight delivery to the passport facility will vary depending on which company you send it through. The cost to have your new passport overnighted to you once the State Department has processed it is $ 12.72 – again, just add this cost to your total.

 

Ordering rush processing with overnight shipping will cut the time needed to receive your passport to about 3 weeks.

 

Regional Passport Agencies

 

If you have plans to leave the US within the next two weeks and you still don’t have a passport, call 1-877-487-2778 to make an appointment at a passport agency office.

As of May 2011, there were 24 of these offices in the US open to serve the public. A regional passport agency office can issue a passport within 24 hours, but in addition to the other documents needed to apply for a passport, you’ll also need to bring a copy of your itinerary showing that you plan on leaving the country with 2 weeks (4 weeks if you also need a visa in your destination country).

 

You will need to pay the expedite fee for each application you submit at the passport agency office.

 

Private Companies

 

With only 24 passport agencies in the entire US, many parts of the country are obviously under-served. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an agency located conveniently to you, you may not be able to make it in during their usually limited office hours. Private expediting companies allow people who otherwise would not be able to obtain emergency passport services to rush passport applications for processing is as little as a day.

 

To use one of these companies, you simply send your paperwork to them and they will take it to the Department of State for you. Once your passport has been issued, the company sends it back to you, generally using an overnight carrier.

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

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If you are traveling abroad and have lost your passport or if you are afraid that it has been stolen and you need pass port replacement, by following a few steps, you can have a new passport in your hand and be ready to travel again. By working with the United States Consulate office in the country you are visiting, you can be heading back to your travels rather quickly. Remain calm and you will find you will be able to think more clearly and get through the process quickly.

There a couple of different ways you can find the consulate office. You can ask for help at the hotel where you are staying. They will likely be able to point you in the right direction. If not, the information is available on the Internet by visiting the U. S. Department of State. If Internet access is an issue for you, you might consider contacting a family member or friend that is back home and is able to go on the Internet and look it up for you.

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The officer will also as you to provide some form of proof of your identity. Try not to worry if your paperwork with this type of information was lost or stolen with your passport. There are other ways that the consulate can confirm your identity. If you are traveling with others, they may be interviewed. He may allow you to call family members or close friends in the US so that he can speak to them. Another option that the officer may use is to review your previous passport application.

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You will be asked to pay the usual fees to the consulate for the replacement. In the event that all of your money was stolen with your passport or if you were a victim of a disaster and you do not have the money, you will be issued a passport with limitations so that you can return to the United States. You will then have to reapply and pay the fees for a new one.

The consulate operates during normal business hours and is closed evenings, weekends and holidays. The officers that are available during these times are there only to handle the most extreme emergencies. They cannot assist with your passport needs. If you are not able to wait until the next day that they will be open for regular business, the officers may be able to help you in other ways that will allow you to return to the United States.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you are traveling, do not panic. Contact the US Consulate office and provide them with as much information for the US passport application forms as they need and they will issue you a pasport replacement, usually in a timely fashion.

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