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FAQ - General Questions

What is a passport?

A passport is an officially recognized government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship, permitting a citizen to travel abroad and to re-enter the United States.

How long does it take to get a passport?

Regular processing through the Post Office takes on average 6 weeks. Expedited Service through the Post Office takes 2-3 weeks for an additional $60. Same day service is available by scheduling an in person appointment at one of 25 regional passport agencies across the country.

By using a passport expediting service, no appointment is necessary and it saves you a trip to the passport agency. Processing times ranges from 1 -12 days depending on speed of service selected.

It says I need to appear in person, isn't that what you are doing for me?

If you are NOT using a third party expeditor, that is correct.
IF you ARE using a third party expediting service, such as, you ONLY need to visit a Passport Acceptance Agent located within your local post office or county clerk. This is necessary for the Acceptance Agent to verify your identity (DO NOT sign the application until you are in front of the agent!) The agent will seal the appropriate documents into an envelope. It is this envelope that you will send to us for expediting.

To find a Passport Acceptance Facility near you.

If I order Same Day - 24 hour processing, will I get my passport today?

Same Day Service means your passport will be processed in 24 hours. You need to account for shipping your new passport back overnight.

[Example: If you send your documents to us on Monday, we will receive them on Tuesday morning to submit for processing. Tuesday afternoon we ship your new passport to you for Wednesday delivery. In select cities, you may pick up your passport Tuesday afternoon or elect same day delivery to receive Tuesday night.]

With your service, how do I get my photos to you?

If you are using our service, your application and photos are sent via overnight shipping.

How long is my US passport valid?

If your US passport was issued when you were 16 years old or older, your passport is valid for 10 years. If your US passport was issued when you were 15 years old or younger, your passport is valid for 5 years.

I was adopted and don't have a birth certificate?

You must submit the adoption paperwork and if you are a parent applying for an adopted child's passport, you must submit identification that you are the adopter on the adoption papers.

Do I need a passport to go on a cruise?

Most major cruise lines strongly recommend that all guests travel with a passport. Passports make it possible for you to fly back to the U.S. from a foreign port should there be an emergency. A Passport also allows you to fly from the U.S. to and between foreign ports should you miss your scheduled port of embarkation.

Where can I get a copy of my Birth Certificate?

There are a couple of ways you can get a certified copy of your birth certificate.
1) Call or go to the Vital Statistics office in the State or county where you were born. Usually you can go to that office and present ID to get a certified copy or they can overnight a copy to you.

2) If you have had a passport before, even one that is lost or expired, you can request a file search by the Department of State. This option is an additional charge of $150 but will not delay the processing of your passport. 

3) For expedited certificate services you can use VitalChek's express certificate ordering service.

What if I don't have a driver's license for proof of identity?

Unfortunately, if you do not have a primary form of ID such as a driver's license, military ID or State ID card you will not be able to secure a US passport.

Is there any way my passport application can be denied or rejected?

Passport applications may be denied or rejected for several reasons. The most common reason is missing the necessary documents – proper Birth Certificate, proper photographs or correct fee. Also, passports will be denied for the following reasons: outstanding child support, outstanding felony/criminal warrant (not including civil infractions or parking tickets), or a prior felony conviction that prohibits international travel. Please be advised that the Department of State has the right to request additional documents at its discretion.

What is the Letter of Authorization listed on the checklist?

The Letter of Authorization authorizes passport hand couriers to act as your representative when submitting your passport application. The United States Passport Agency requires that you sign this letter before it will release your new or updated passport.

What is a passport card?

The passport card is a wallet-size travel document that can be used to travel from the United States to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land and sea but not air. It is most convenient for those who live close to the border and travel frequently by land or sea. It cannot be used for travel to any other destinations or for any air travel outside of the U.S.

I submitted my application to the passport agency directly. Can you help me?

Unfortunately, if you have submitted an application directly to the US Passport Agency, we are unable to assist you. You must call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778

Can I use my Military Passport to go on vacation?

Your no-fee military passport can only be used when traveling overseas in discharge of your official duties. For personal travel, you must use a regular-fee tourist passport. If you need a passport quickly, please inquire about our military discounts.

How do I claim US Citizenship if my parents were naturalized?

If you claim US Citizenship through the Naturalization of your parent(s), submit the Certificate(s) of Naturalization of your parent(s), your foreign birth certificate, and proof of your admission to the United States for permanent residence.

Am I guaranteed to get the passport if I use your service?

We guarantee that we will submit your application for expedited processing. However there are circumstances out of our control which can delay or suspend your application. Examples other than weather include: owing child support or back taxes, having travel restrictions due to a felony or not having the necessary identification.

By using our service, we are notified right away if there is an issue and are able to correct it. When using standard post office processing, it takes 3 weeks to be notified by mail.

I was born abroad and became a naturalized citizen, can I get a US Passport?

Yes, you must submit your original naturalization certificate with your application. Your documents will be returned by the agency with your new Passport.