If you’re traveling internationally, you will need a passport to board your flight. But do you need a passport before making flight reservations?

U.S. law requires all travelers, regardless of citizenship, age, or destination, to hold a secure document such as a passport to depart the United States by air. While it is not required to have a passport to make flight reservations, it is strongly recommended.

While you may be able to book your airline ticket without your passport number, you must have a valid passport in hand before you arrive at the airport. If you don’t have a valid passport, you will not be permitted to board your flight.

If you find yourself without a valid passport you have options, such as renewing or applying for a new passport. If you need one quickly, you may also elect to expedite your passport to ensure you have it prior to your flight.

How To Get A United States Passport

The process to obtaining a U.S. passport can be overwhelming at a glance but doesn’t have to interrupt your travel plans. While there are several different passport applications depending on the situation, the process to get a passport is largely the same.

For more information on eligibility and how to get started on getting a passport, click from the list below.

Do You Need A Passport Before Making Flight Reservations

How To Get An Expedited Passport

If you need a passport quickly, it is important to understand how soon you’re traveling, and how quickly you’ll need your passport to ensure its delivery prior to your trip. If you’re planning to leave the country sooner than later, you’ll likely need some type of expedited passport service.

Current routine processing for passports currently takes up to 8 weeks.  If you want to get your passport in time, it’s important to choose the right expediting method from the start.

Expedited Passport Service at the Post Office or Passport Acceptance Facility

One way to speed up the process of getting a passport is by requesting standard expedited services at the post office or another passport acceptance office.

You’ll pay a $60 expediting fee in addition to your regular application fees. If you want overnight delivery, you’ll also pay an extra shipping fee. Expediting at the post office generally gets you service within 3 weeks, and is not guaranteed.

In addition, if there are any problems with your applications or documentation, your passport could possibly be delayed.

Expedited Service at a Regional Passport Agency

There is another way to obtain a new passport, and that is to schedule an appointment with a Regional Passport Agency. However, there are some requirements you must meet.

You must be departing for your international travel within 8 days or less, or if you’re leaving next month and need to get a visa before you travel. In this situation, Regional Passport Agencies will typically get your passport to you within 8 business days.

However, these appointments can be hard to obtain because there are only a handful of regional passport agencies serving the entire country, so you may have to travel to get to one near you. Additionally, passport agencies often have limited operating hours.

If you work during the day and can’t get time off, this may not be an option for you. At a Regional Passport Agency, you’ll pay the same additional $60 expediting fee you’d pay if you were applying for passport expedited service at a Passport Acceptance Office.

Using a Passport Expediting Company

If you need a passport sooner than a Passport Acceptance Office or the post office, but you can’t (or don’t want to) go to a regional passport agency, it may be worth considering using a private passport expediting company.

A registered passport expediting company will take your application to the Department of State, where it will be processed in as little as 7 business days. The company will then ship your new passport back to you, usually overnight.

Not only does using an expediter slash the time needed to receive a United States passport, but it also lessens the chance of errors that could delay your application.

If there’s a setback at the passport office, the expediting company can inform you immediately so that corrections can be made, and your passport can be on its way to processing and back to you in time for your trip.

Expediting Your Passport with RushMyPassport.com

If you need a passport quickly, but don’t have the time or patience to go to a passport agency, RushMyPassport can help.

With services ranging from new passports, passport renewalschild passports, or replacing a lost or stolen passport, our team of registered couriers and our team of passport advisors nationwide will help get your passport fast.

Get started today to find out why RushMyPassport is the most convenient way to get a passport in a hurry!