How long does it take to get a passport? Longer than it did just a few weeks ago. Will you get yours on time? And if you’re in a hurry, can you get it any faster?
As we previously reported, the State Department has been expecting a record number of passport applications to come in starting this year. This flood of applications could increase passport processing time through 2018.
And now, it begins. Last week, the State Department raised the passport processing time to 6 weeks for regular processing and 3 weeks for passports expedited through the post office. Prior to this, expectations were 4 to 6 weeks for regular processing and 2 to 3 weeks for expedited processing.
Wait times are likely to get even longer as more applications pile up. According to ABC Eyewitness News, “Some passport offices estimate, within a year, the wait time for a passport renewal could jump to as much as 10 weeks or more.”
You can check current wait times here on the Department of State’s website.
How to Get a Passport Quickly
What if you can’t wait that long? It’s always best to play it safe and apply well in advance. Still, procrastinators and last-minute travelers take heart: There are ways to “cut in line” and get your passport in a hurry. Here’s how.
Expedited Passports At A Post Office
If you have enough time, you can simply pay the $60.00 expedite fee and use the post office to expedite your application. Here’s how:
- Pay the extra fee.
- Write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the envelope if you’re mailing your application from home. Remember, you can only apply by mail if you’re applying for a passport renewal and meet certain qualifications. Otherwise, you’ll need to apply at a post office or another passport acceptance office.
- Processing time is listed on the Department of States’s website. Currently, it takes 3 weeks door-to-door.
Expedited Passports at a Passport Agency
If you need your passport more quickly, find the nearest regional passport agency and make an appointment. There are 28 of these offices scattered around the country; we’ve compiled a directory so you can find the closest location to you. The additional $60 expedite fee still applies.
At a passport agency, you can get your passport in 8 days or less, depending on how urgently you need it.
Currently, you are eligible for a passport agency appointment if you are leaving the country in 14 days or less, or if you need to get a foreign visa within the next month.
Using a Passport Expediting Company
Can’t make it to a passport agency, or just don’t want to deal with the hassle? Get VIP treatment with a passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. We hand carry your application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as one business day with no need to travel to a passport agency.
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