After losing everything in a natural disaster, it’s a tremendous burden to have to put your life back together again. Important documents are lost, your life is in complete and utter turmoil, and insurance doesn’t cover everything even if you’re lucky enough to have it.
Under those circumstances, having to pay $135 to apply for passport replacement is like adding insult to injury. To help, US Representative Bill Owens of New York just introduced a bill allowing the Secretary of State to waive passport replacement fees for people who live in a county that has been declared a federal disaster area and who have lost their passports in the disaster. Some parts of New York recently experienced terrible flooding, and a waiver of passport fees was requested by many of Owens’ constituents and county clerks alike, according to the Adirondack Daily Dispatch. Essex County Clerk Joe Provoncha told the paper of his own experiences trying to help the people he served after the disaster:
“[The Department of State] said, ‘They’re going to have to pay the full amount for replacement, and I was infuriated…This wasn’t a situation where someone went swimming and left their passport in their pocket. If they had completed the appropriate forms, they should be able to come into our office and get the replacement passport free of charge.”
In a statement, Rep. Owens noted that New Yorkers often travel across the northern border, which now required a passport due to stricter border controls put into place in the decade after 9/11.
“As New York begins to rebuild … it is critical that we provide all the support available to New Yorkers to get their lives back in order. Many New Yorkers in our district frequently travel to Canada for business or pleasure, and they don’t need to be hit with a $110 passport replacement fee during financially trying times.”
There’s no telling whether or not this bill will pass, of course, but it would be a nice thing for people afflicted by natural disasters if they didn’t have to pay a hefty passport application fee on top of everything else.
For more about what you need to get your passport replaced, see “Passport Replacement Services.”
Also, keep in mind that getting a replacement passport can take at least 6 weeks if you apply for regular service, and at least 3 weeks if you pay the additional $60 for expedited service from the Department of State. If you need your passport more quickly, you can either make an appointment at a regional passport agency office, or avoid the lines, hassle and potential need to travel by choosing a private expediter like RushMyPassport.
We personally deliver your passport application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.
Contact us today for fast, professional passport replacement help!