Trying to figure out how to get a passport in San Diego? It’s harder than it sounds.

California is one of the most well-traveled states, and San Diego is its second-largest city. In this busy metropolis, passports are in high demand. Here’s how to get a passport in San Diego in 2017 without losing your cool.

Where to Apply (If you aren’t in a hurry)

How to get a passport in San Diego? It depends on how long you can wait.

Most passport acceptance offices can get your passport application processed in 4 to 6 weeks for regular service.

For an extra $60 fee, they can also expedite your application so that you get it in 2-3 weeks. The San Diego County Clerk recently began offering this type of expedited service. 

Need it faster? Jump to How To Get a Passport in a Hurry in San Diego

However, there are only 9 passport acceptance offices within city limits. Here’s where you’ll find them:

Passport Offices In San Diego

  1. Carmel Mountain Postal Store
    11251 Rancho Carmel Dr.
    San Diego, California 92199
    Phone: (800)801-9801
    Walk-ins: Yes, from 11am-3pm Tuesday-Friday
  2. College Grove Postal Store
    3426 College Ave
    San Diego CA 92115
    Phone: (800)801-9801
    Walk-ins: No
  3. Otay Mesa Carrier Annex Post Office 
    2960 Fern Avenue
    San Diego, CA 92154
    Phone: (800)801-9801
    Walk-ins: No
  4. Rancho Bernardo Postal Store
    16767 Bernardo Center Drive
    San Diego, California 92128
    Phone: (800)801-9801
    Walk-ins: No
  5. Riverfront Carrier Annex
    2600 Camino Del Rio North
    San Diego, California 92108
    Phone: (800)801-9801
    Walk-ins: No
  6. San Diego City Clerk
    202 C Street
    San Diego, California 92101
    Phone: (619) 533-4000
    Walk-ins: No
  7. San Diego CO Clerk of the Board of Supervisors 
    1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402
    San Diego, California 92101
    Phone: (619) 531-5500
    Walk-ins: Yes
  8. SDSU International Student Center
    1261 Canyon Crest Drive
    San Diego, California 92115
    Phone: (619) 594-3800
    Walk-ins: Yes
  9. University City Retail Post Office 
    3298 Governor Drive
    San Diego, CA 92122
    Phone: (858) 453-6142
    Walk-ins: No


Make an appointment to get a passport in San Diego.

As you can see, only 3 passport offices in San Diego take walk-ins without an appointment. It may seem like a hassle, but you’re actually better off getting an appointment. Wait times at the walk-in locations are significant.

For example, according to the San Diego County Clerk’s office.

Depending on customer volume, your wait time may be more than two hours (particularly around holidays and school breaks).


Passport Offices Outside of San Diego

For more options, head to the suburbs.

There are 34 passport acceptance offices within 50 miles of the city center. Some take walk-ins, but most do require appointments. To find the offices closest to you, search by zip code here.

Want to skip the line? You may be able to renew your passport by mail. Find out if you’re eligible here: Can I Renew My Passport By Mail?

Documents Required

It may seem unfair, but making an appointment and waiting in line does not guarantee you will get your passport.

For that, you need the right documents to prove your identity and your US citizenship. There are special procedures for children under the age of 15 as well. Check out the links below to find out what you’ll need:

How to Apply for a New Passport

How to Renew Your Passport

Passport Replacement Services

How to Get a Child Passport

Please note that some passport offices, like the San Diego County Clerk’s office, require you to make copies of your proof of citizenship ahead of time.

How to Get a Passport in a Hurry in San Diego

How to Get a Passport in a Hurry in San Diego

Need your passport in less than 3 weeks? You can submit your application at the San Diego Passport Agency. For the same $60 expedite fee, you can get your passport in 8 business days, or sooner if you have an emergency or immediate travel needs.

To get a passport at the San Diego Passport Agency, you’ll need all the documents listed above, plus proof of international travel (usually an itinerary).

That’s the good news. The bad news? The San Diego Passport Agency is appointment-only.

Here’s where they’re located and how to get in touch:

San Diego Passport Agency
1 Columbia Place
401 West A St, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (877) 487-2778 or make an appointment online here.
Walk-ins: No

The San Diego Passport agency is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

How to Get a Passport in San Diego Through an Expediting Company

How to get a passport in San Diego through an expediting companyBut what if you need your passport in less than 3 weeks, but you can’t make it down to the San Diego Passport Agency? In that case, consider using a third-party expediting service like RushMyPassport. Our passport couriers hand-deliver your application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.

What’s the catch? Well, if you’re applying for a new passport, replacing a lost or stolen passport, or getting a passport for a child, you will need to appear at a passport acceptance office in person to have your application sealed. But you don’t have to go to the agency, and sometimes having more options makes all the difference in the world.

Plus, you’ll get a handy checklist written in plain English to ensure you have everything you need before you go down to the acceptance office.

Eligible to renew by mail? You can skip the passport office altogether and get the same super-fast processing times, much faster than the 2 to 3 weeks it would take if you expedited it on your own.

Ready to get your new passport? Check our quick, convenient passport services and see how we can make it easier to get a passport in San Diego!

Photo Credit: By D Ramey Logan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link