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Expedited Passports

Many travelers may choose to expedite passport requests when applying for their travel documents. This is because applying for a passport can be a time-consuming experience. The application process can take between four to six weeks to complete not including the time required to gather the necessary documents. If there are delays in the mail or a backlog of applications, then it may take even longer. Requesting an expedited US passport can shorten the waiting time significantly.

There are multiple expedited US passport service options from which to choose. Applicants can request that their passport is expedited through the United States Department of State at various speeds, depending on the situation. They can also use a third-party expedited US passport service to acquire a passport even faster. The sections below describe how an applicant can expedite a passport and the options available to do so.

How to Expedite Your Passport Application

The Department of State can provide an expedited U.S. passport in two to three weeks for applicants who request it. An expedited passport will arrive one or two weeks sooner than a passport would through the standard application process. However, applicants must pay the expedite fee of $60.

To expedite your passport application for a first-time passport, complete the normal application process. Bring your documents, including Form DS-11, your passport photo, your proof of identity, your proof of citizenship and photocopies of both, to a passport acceptance facility. Note to the agent that you are seeking an expedited US passport and mark it clearly on your application envelope. Include the expedite passport fee in your application payment. Your passport will be processed and mailed to you in two to three weeks.

If you already have a passport and need to renew it, then you can still expedite your request. To expedite your request for a renewed passport by mail, add the $60 fee to your application payment. Clearly mark your envelope with the word ‘EXPEDITE’ on the outside. The processing center will expedite your passport when it receives the renewal application.

If you are wondering how to expedite your passport application faster, then you can pay for one-to-two-day application delivery service. This will expedite the mailing process as well as the application processing time. However, this option is only available for applicants requesting a passport book. You cannot request expedited mail delivery for a passport card. All passport cards will be mailed in First-Class.

Request expedited US passport application delivery at the passport acceptance facility when you apply. You will be charged an additional fee that varies depending upon your location. You can also request one-to-two-day delivery for receiving your passport. To receive your passport with one-to-two-day delivery, add a $15.89 service fee payable to the Department of State. This can shorten the waiting period by as much as a week.

Expedite Your Passport in Person

If you must travel in the next two weeks or require a foreign visa in four weeks and need to get a US passport fast, then you still have options. The State Department can expedite your passport in eight business days if you apply at a passport agency. This requires locating the passport agency in your state. Most states have only one passport agency. The only exception is California, which has passport agencies in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The Department of State has a full list of passport agencies available online.

To expedite your passport at a passport agency, call your nearest agency and make an in-person appointment. To make an appointment, you must have proof of impending travel plans within two weeks or a foreign visa needed in four weeks. This can include a plane ticket, a hotel reservation or other tickets affirming your travel. You cannot schedule an appointment earlier than two weeks for a passport or four weeks for a foreign visa.

Arrive at your appointment 30 minutes early to go through the security screening process. Bring your appointment number to the front desk to verify your arrival. Bring all your passport application documents, including your proof of travel and method of payment, to your appointment. An agent will meet with you to walk you through the process. When you pay your fees, include the additional $60 expedite passport fee. A passport agency can accept all major credit cards and debit cards, cash, checks or money orders. After submitting your application, you will receive your expedited US passport in the mail in eight business days.

Expedite Your Passport for Emergencies

In most cases, the absolute soonest you can get a passport expedited is in eight business days. The Department of State can issue same-day expedited passports but this is available only for life-or-death emergencies. That means situations where an immediate family member is dead, dying or seriously injured and you must join them in less than 72 hours. The Department of State runs an after-hours phone number for passport applicants attempting to expedite a passport in less than 72 hours.

If you are seeking an expedited US passport in a life-or-death emergency, then you must supply proof of the emergency. This can be in the form of a death certificate that has been translated, a statement by a mortuary or a signed letter from a medical facility. In addition to your proof of emergency, you must present all documents typically required for a passport application. This includes your form, citizenship and identification documents if relevant, passport photos and passport fees. Expedited passport fees are not waived for life-or-death emergencies. However, there are no additional fees for same-day processing.

The Department of State will not expedite your passport through same-day processing if you are not facing a life-or-death emergency. Instead, you have the option to acquire your passport within eight days by making an appointment at a passport agency. If you do require your passport faster, then you can recruit a third-party passport service. A third-party service can expedite your passport and deliver it to you in as little as one business day after applying.