Need a passport in a hurry? Friends just invite you last minute on a trip? Sheikh just invite you to his yacht? You’ve got a few options – and your world is going to be a lot easier if you live somewhere close that you can go to make the process a lot quicker.
What do you need for a US passport?
- Form DS-11, which you can obtain from the post office, or online, or fill out an online application for.
- One of these forms of evidence of US citizenship.
- You’re going to need one of these forms of a valid ID. In person you’ll need a photocopy of it as well.
- You’ll also need a passport photo. These are sometimes required for visas as well! I would recommend picking up a passport holder to protect your passport, as well as put some other interesting things into. In mine I keep these photos, plus vaccination and shot records. Just remember to take your passport out before handing it over to immigrations – they seem to be annoyed at having to remove it themselves, which they will always do.
What’s this cost? Currently we’re at $110 passport and $25 processing fees as of this writing. There is an option for $30 to get a passport card, but it does not work for air travel. I see no need for it myself.
What if you need a US passport fast?
For an additional $60 (per passport) Expedited Service can be provided. As of today the following processing times are noted:
|Routine Service||~6 weeks|
|Expedited Service||processing in 8 business days, but ~3 weeks door to door|
|Expedited Service at Agency||8 business days upon receipt|
Overnight delivery is an additional $20.66 (per passport.)
What if you need a US passport immediately?
Well, hopefully you live by a Regional Passport Agency. Head over to one of them if you are expecting to leave in less than 2 weeks or need to pick up a foreign visa in less than 4 (although that’s probably pretty rare). You’ll need everything above, plus an appointment, and proof of travel as well.
If before 2pm, I believe it is possible to even pick up one the same day; after 2pm, more likely after. Surely this depends on current backlog and demands – YMMV unless you are truly in an emergency. Note this is the same service that notes above an 8 day processing time.
Anyone able to help you through this process?
You can consider trying to use a private service such to arrange the logistics and coordinate with agencies to grease the wheels and try to do things as quickly as possible. The service is not inexpensive although does offer concrete times to receive your passport. Note these are their processing fees in addition to the government fees. As of 4/25/16:
|24 Hour Service: 1 Business Day||$349|
|Next Day Service: 2 Business Days||$299|
|Priority Service: 3 – 5 Business Days||$249|
|Rush Service: 6 – 9 Business Days||$169|
|Standard Service: 10 – 12 Business Days||$99|