Starting in May, the number of passport offices in your area may become fewer. As reported on local Maine news website, “The State Department will no longer allow offices that process vital records like a birth certificate or marriage license to process passports or passport cards.”

In Maine alone, 25 passport acceptance facilities will be forced to stop accepting passport applications as of May 1st, 2011. The new regulations are designed to make passport fraud and identity theft more difficult.

Fortunately, neither post offices nor libraries handle birth certificates, marriage certificates or similar records. So, if your local post office or library accepts passport applications, they should be able to continue doing so. You can always find a list of the passport acceptance offices close to you by looking online at the US Department of State’s website.

Of course, it’s important to make sure that you’re applying at the right type of passport office to meet your needs. Passport acceptance facilities offer two types of service: routine service and expedited service. Routine service generally takes at least 6 weeks, and you should allow at least 8 weeks. Expedited service costs an additional $60 and gets your passport to you in about 3 weeks.

If you need your passport more quickly, your options are to either to visit a regional passport agency office or to use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. There are only 21 passport agencies in the entire US right now, so depending on where you live you may find that a passport agency office is much less accessible than a passport acceptance office. If that’s the case, a private passport expediting company is probably going to be more convenient for you.

We deliver your application directly to the Department of State, resulting in processing times as low as 24 hours! Plus, you don’t have to make an appointment like you would at a passport agency and you’ll have access to a passport specialist to walk you through the process.

Can’t get to a passport agency office? Let us help!