When you apply for an emergency passport, whether it’s at a Passport Agency office or through an expediting company, the Department of State requires you to prove that you do in fact have an emergency. When you make an appointment at a Passport Agency office, you must bring a hard copy of your itinerary to show that you will be leaving the country within the next 14 days. If you’re using an expediter, you must include proof of travel in the package you send to the company.

For most trips, the State Department will only accept one of the following documents:

  • A copy of your airline reservation, or a printed email confirmation if you’ve purchased an electronic ticket.
  • A reservation with a travel agency
  • If you’re traveling on business, a letter on company letterhead describing the dates you plan to leave the country and what you’ll be doing on your business trip. Someone else at the company needs to sign your business letter, even if you’re the CEO.

But what if you’re visiting our neighbors to the north or south? The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires most travelers to carry a passport or a passport card for land travel to and from Canada and Mexico, but if you’re driving, you obviously won’t have a plane ticket to present at the passport office. Increasingly, travelers tend to book their trips independently, without relying on a travel agency. Does that mean you’re out of luck if you need an emergency passport for a road trip to these countries?

No. In this case, the Department of State will accept one of the following alternate documents:

  • Confirmation that you’ve booked a room at a hotel in Canada or Mexico. Your name must be listed in the reservation.
  • If you’re just crossing the border for a day trip for a wedding, funeral or other event, you can present your invitation to the event as long as it has the event address and your name on it.
  • If you’re the freewheeling, rambling type and you don’t have any of these documents, you can write a letter describing what you plan to do in Canada or Mexico, how long you plan to stay, where you’ll be staying and verifying that you will be driving across the border. You must get the letter notarized.

If you’re using RushMyPassport and you have any questions at all about what you can use as proof of travel or about the expediting process itself, feel free to give us call. We’re here to help!