Expediting a passport seems to be the new norm for many of us. With the way the world has been for the past few years, it’s not uncommon for many people to have last-minute travel plans, only to realize that their passport is expired or lost.

From the outset, this may sound like a problem that’s easily fixed, but Passport applications can take a long time. What’s worse is that many government facilities work even slower than the deadlines they provide, which makes the process drag on even further. But there’s a fix – expediting a passport.

If a traveler needs their passport as soon as possible, they will need to expedite their application as soon as they can. Unsure how expediting a passport works? This guide will cover it all!

Expedite A Passport

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Tradition Passport Processing Time

When someone applies for their passport, they’re usually given a five to seven-week processing time. Currently, the standard processing time is 8 to 11 weeks! Day one, the first day of the time frame, is not when an applicant sends in their application. Day one starts when the U.S. State Department receives the passport applications.

This also doesn’t include how long it will take the U.S. State Department to return the passport to the applicant’s delivery address. As a result, even though the official processing time is five to seven weeks, the process can take more than ten weeks.

So if a passport is needed for a set date, you need to factor in at least 8 to 11 weeks for processing. And the eleven weeks do not account for any backlogs, shipping issues, or other things that could cause delay.

If you need a passport quicker than eleven weeks or don’t have eleven weeks before you travel, you must apply for an expedited passport.

This service places a passport on the “priority” list. This, in turn, ensures it is processed faster than everyone else’s.

Process To How To Expedite a Passport

You can expedite a new passport by visiting an official passport acceptance facility and submitting the required documents along with the application and processing fee. If you already have a passport and renew, you can apply online. 

In most cases, you need to have a reason to request an expedited passport. The U.S. State Department will not process passports faster if the traveler doesn’t have legitimate grounds for the expedition. How fast an expedited passport is processed depends on the reason provided.

There are usually four tiers of processing time for an expedited passport:

  • Regular:  The standard is five to seven weeks. In this case, the authorities do not ask for the reason for the expedition. The passport, passport renewal, or replacement is processed along with the rest of the expedited passports.
  • Faster: Passports are processed faster than the five to seven-week category. Typically, this is for travelers who have made last-minute travel plans or lost their passports.  
  • Even Faster: Passports are processed in less than two weeks. To be eligible for this, the traveler has to show proof of their travel plans for their application to be accepted.
  • Immediate: Most people think that there’s no way to get a passport processed faster than a week, but that’s not the case. Under extraordinary circumstances, the government can process a passport within 24 hours. However, immediate is strictly reserved for emergency cases. Sometimes called the “life or death” category. This category is only available for people with a family member outside of the country borders with their lives in danger. Or in cases where someone has passed away overseas, the applicant is needed to handle post-death formalities. It’s also worth mentioning that unless you can go in person on the same day, you still need to send the expedition request three days before the travel date.

Expedite A New Passport

How To Expedite A New Passport

New Passport Applies When:

  • This is your first time applying for a passport.
  • You have a valid passport, but your legal name has changed.
  • The traveler’s passport was issued to them when they were under 16. 
  • A passport has been damaged, lost, or stolen.

All first-time applicants, children under 16 and applicants who have lost their passport or had it stolen must apply in person.

To replace a lost or stolen passport, you must apply in person and submit Form DS-11 in addition to Form DS-64. 

When you apply for a brand new passport, you must decide if you want a passport book or a passport card. If you are traveling from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, you can choose a passport card.  However, a passport card will not work outside of these regions. It is best to apply for a passport book from the get-go.

Applying Via Mail

  1. Complete the new passport form DS-11. Use the Governments checklist to avoid making a mistake that could slow down the procedure.
  2. Send your application and check for payment. Use Priority Mail Express with the U.S. Postal Service via trackable mail. This way, you can track when your application arrives.
  3. Decide if you want one- to two-day return delivery of their passport for an extra $17.56.
  4. Remember to write “expedited” on the envelope and mail in your application. 

Applying In-Person

Appointments are tough to get. In most cases, appointments are reserved for emergencies only. Or for international travel in the next five business days.

  1. Passport agency appointments must be scheduled over the phone by calling 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY.
  2. Make a free appointment. You can do this at passport agencies or acceptance facilities.

    Note: None are accepting walk-in services and all require advance appointments. Facilities that accept appointments are post offices, clerks of court, libraries, and local government offices. And, all facilities accept different payment forms. You will need to determine the payment forms accepted before you attend your appointment.

  3. Complete the new passport form DS-11. Use the Governments checklist to avoid making a mistake that could slow down the procedure.
  4. Attend the appointment with all the required documents, including the correct payment form.
Expedite A Passport Renewal

How To Expedite A Renewal Passport

Some countries require travelers to have at least six months of validity on their passports when applying for a visa or entering their country. Travelers should apply for a renewal passport at least six months before their existing one expires. Ideally, nine months is safer, given the current backlog and delays.

The easiest way to renew an existing passport is online; however, you will still need to mail in your current passport.

  1. Complete the new passport form DS-82 online. Use the Governments checklist to avoid making a mistake that could slow down the procedure.
  2. Send your application form of payment and expiring passport. Use Priority Mail Express with the U.S. Postal Service via trackable mail. This way, you can track when your application arrives.
  3. Decide if you one- to two-day return delivery of their passport for an extra $17.56.
  4. Remember to write “expedited” on the envelope and mail in your application. 

How To Expedite A Child Passport

A “Child Passport” is a passport for minors under 16.  The child has to visit a passport acceptance facility or regional agency for these passports in person.

A child’s passport requires the consent and attendance of both parents. If one parent cannot make it to the appointment, a consent form or evidence of why they can not be present is necessary. 

  1. Passport agency appointments must be scheduled over the phone by calling 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY.
  2. Make a free appointment. You can do this at passport agencies or acceptance facilities.

    Note: None are accepting walk-in services and all require advance appointments. Facilities that accept appointments are post offices, clerks of court, libraries, and local government offices. And, all facilities accept different payment forms. You will need to determine the payment forms accepted before you attend your appointment.

  3. Complete the new passport form DS-11 or the renewal form DS-82. Use the Governments checklist to avoid making a mistake that could slow down the procedure.
  4. Attend the appointment with all the required documents, including the correct payment form.

Passport Expedited Fees

  • The fee for expediting a passport is $60. There’s also a same-day delivery fee of $35.
  • If you use a third party to expedite a passport, you will also have to pay fees for their service.

Expedite A Passport

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Expedite A Passport

How long does it take to get a passport expedited?

5 to 7 weeks, unless it’s an emergency.

How long does it take to get a passport in 2022?

8 to 11 weeks minimum if not expedited. 

Is there any way to expedite a passport?

Yes, you can pay an additional fee, follow the guidelines above and expedite the process by a few weeks. 

Can you get a passport in 30 days?

Only if it’s an emergency.

How fast can you get a passport right now?

It all depends on the circumstances. It’s possible to get one in less than five days, but the events would have to be extraneous.

How much does it cost to expedite a U.S. passport?

It costs an extra $60 to expedite a new or renewal passport.

Can you expedite a passport after applying?

No, you have to select expedite upfront and pay for it before you apply.

Closing Thoughts

Even though you can expedite a passport, the process can be strenuous and incurs additional costs. Give yourself ample time to apply for a new passport or a renewal. Most importantly, follow the guidelines to accept your application with no errors.

Looking for more travel hacks?  Start here:

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