We’ve all been there – a fantastic trip on the horizon, but the realization that your passport is not in order arrives too late. Maybe it’s expired, perhaps you’ve never had one before, or you just realized you need one for your upcoming travel. Whatever the reason, you’re in need of a quick solution. If you’re up against the clock, here’s how to expedite your passport application:
1. Gather Your Documents:
First things first, gather all the necessary documents. You’ll need proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate, a photocopy of a valid ID, a passport photo, and the required application forms. The forms can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
2. Use an Expedited Service:
The quickest way to get your passport is to use an expedited service. For this, you need to apply in person at a passport agency or center. You can make an appointment by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778. Expedited service usually takes 4-6 weeks, but it can be as quick as 72 hours in certain situations.
3. Provide Proof of Urgent Travel:
If you’re traveling within two weeks or need to obtain a foreign visa within four weeks, you’ll be allowed to schedule an appointment at a passport agency or center. You must bring proof of your imminent travel to the appointment to be allowed to expedite your application in this way.
4. Use a Passport Expediting Company:
If you can’t make it to a passport agency or center, consider using a passport expediting company. These companies charge a fee to handle the expedited passport process on your behalf. They can often get passports processed in as little as 24 hours.
5. Pay the Expedite Fee:
Be prepared to pay the expedite fee, which is over and above the standard passport application fee. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, this fee is $60.
6. Apply Early Morning:
If you’re heading to a passport agency or center, try to go early in the morning. This will give you the best chance of getting your application processed the same day.
Remember, while it’s possible to get a passport expedited, it’s always better to apply well in advance of your trip. The normal processing time for a passport is 10-12 weeks, so plan accordingly to avoid the extra stress and cost of last-minute applications.
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