Most travel experts tell you to apply for a passport at least a couple of months before you plan to leave the country, and that’s definitely the safest way to go. However, depending on how much time and energy you’re willing to put into the endeavor, you may be able to acquire one much more quickly than that.
If you apply for your passport by mail or at the post office and don’t request any sort of special handling, you can expect to get it back in around six weeks, depending on the State Department’s workload at the time. Be sure you read the application instructions carefully, as mistakes can delay your passport.
If regular processing takes too long, the Department of State does offer an expedited processing option for an additional $60 charge. If you pay the $60 and spring for overnight delivery to and from the passport office, you should have your passport in about three weeks’ time.
If that still doesn’t cut it, you can get your passport even more quickly by making an appointment at one of the country’s 24 regional passport agency offices. These offices issue emergency passports only, so in order to make an appointment you must have already booked a trip out of the country that leaves in the next 14 days.
However, if you also need to get a visa for your destination country, you have a little bit more leeway and can make an appointment within four weeks of your travel date. Once at the office, you should have your passport within 24 hours provided you brought all of the required documents.
Of course, with only 24 offices serving the entire country, visiting a regional passport agency in person is extremely inconvenient for many people. Office hours tend to be limited, so people who work during the day have to take additional time off. Plus, depending on where you live, it could take hours to get to the nearest office, or you might even have to take a plane.
An expediting service like RushMyPassport is a worthwhile investment because you don’t have to make an appointment or travel. Just go to the nearest post office, get your documents officially “sealed,” and send them to us. We personally deliver them to the Department of State, then FedEx your passport right back to you, often in as little as 24 hours. Plus, we take you through the application process one step at a time, so you can avoid making common mistakes that might slow down your passport.
Need to get a passport quickly? Contact us today!