If you are applying for a new passport or replacing a passport that’s been lost or stolen, you are required to submit your application in person. Where do you go to do that? The answer depends on how fast you need your passport to travel.
Passport Acceptance Offices
Most people are able to submit their applications at a passport acceptance facility. This is by far the most accessible type of passport office; there are usually several acceptance facilities located in each city or town. These passport offices are usually hiding in plain sight, inside your local post office or library. Your county court clerk may also be a passport acceptance facility. Sometimes, colleges with international study programs also have these passport offices on campus.
At a passport acceptance office, you’ll meet with a passport agent to submit your application. You may also be able to get your photo taken at the office, but check first because not all acceptance offices offer this service.
The turnaround time for an application submitted at an acceptance office is about six weeks. Expedited service is available for an additional $60 charge; however, this only cuts the expected processing time down to three weeks.
For faster processing, you must chart a course for a different type of passport office.
Regional Passport Agencies
Regional passport agencies are branches of the Department of State that have the sability to issue emergency passports, generally wihin 24 hours if you have all of your documents in order. However, only people who really need an emergency passport are allowed to use them. You are eligible to make an appointent at a regional passport agency if you are planning to leave the country within the next two weeks, or you need your passport to apply for a travel visa within the next four weeks. Proof of imminent travel is required in addition to the standard documents you would present when applying for a passport.
There are a few characteristics that make regional passport agencies an inconvenient alternative. First, they are open by appointment only- you can’t just walk in. Second, there are only 24 of them serving the entire United States, so you may not have one nearby. Third, they tend to be open limited hours, with some locations making your local bank look like a 7-11 in comparison.
One easier way to get a passport in a hurry is to use a private company like RushMyPassport. We hand-deliver your application right to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours and no need to visit a passport agency office. If you are required to apply in person, just submit your paperwork to be “sealed” at one of the more numerous and accessible acceptance offices.
Let us help you get your passport quickly and easily, today!