Realizing that you’ve waited too long to apply for a passport is like being stuck in a bad dream. Terror and chagrin slowly mount as you realize the magnitude of your error. Unfortunately, since it’s not a dream, you can’t wake up.
Good news: there’s no need to panic!
Yes, the passport application process usually takes weeks, but there are ways to order a passport at the last minute.
Using a Passport Agency
One way to get a passport quickly is to apply at a regional passport agency office. These agencies are operated by the Department of State and issue passports on site. Processing time varies depending on which agency you go to. However, they will generally get your passport to you within 24 hours to 5 business days, depending on when your departure date is.
Now, here’s the catch: you can’t just walk into a regional passport agency whenever you feel like it. These offices are open by appointment only, and they have limited operating hours as well. Much like a doctor’s office, just getting an appointment doesn’t mean that you’ll be seen at that time. You still have to take a number and wait in line.
Also, passport agencies are only in major cities. That means you might not even have one in your state, so you’ll have to budget travel time and expenses in as well as time off work.
How to Get an Appointment
To use a passport agency, just call the National Passport Information Center to find the nearest location and make an appointment. To qualify for an appointment at most passport agencies, you must have a confirmed travel itinerary that takes you out of the country within the next 14 days. If you also need to get a visa for your destination, you become eligible for a passport agency appointment within 4 weeks of your departure date.
Be on time… if you’re more than 15 minutes late to your appointment you’ll have to make another one. Bring all of the documents you’d normally need to apply for your passport or passport renewal as well as a copy of your itinerary to prove your eligibility.
Using a Private Expediting Company
Private expediting companies like RushMyPassport give you the same fast service you’d get at a passport agency office without all the hassle. Yes, it costs an additional service fee, but using an expediter has the following advantages:
- Less hassle: They deal with the State Department for you, so there’s no need for you to make an appointment or wait in line.
- No need to take time off work or spend gas money to get to a passport agency.
- When you use RushMyPassport, you get the benefit of an experienced guide to walk you through the application process and a handy, easy-to-follow checklist showing all of the documents you need.
- Applying for a passport can be a confusing process, but using an expediting company simplifies the procedure and reduces the chance of mistakes.
- You get your passport fast!
If you are applying for your first passport or are otherwise required to turn in your application in person, you can still use an expediting company. You’ll just go into a post office or other passport acceptance facility with your new passport photo and all of the necessary paperwork, and have your documents “sealed” by the passport acceptance agent. Then, you send them into the expediting company, and the company will hand-deliver them to the Department of State for priority processing, often in as little as 24 hours.
Need to order a passport at the last minute? Contact us today!