To many people, traveling is not an everyday thing. That means, getting a passport is never a priority. In such cases, when the chance to travel comes, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Nobody wants to turn down an international trip, but what happens when you don’t have a passport? Or perhaps you're a frequent traveler, but got caught up with work and missed the fact that your passport had expired, yet your next travel is scheduled in just a few days.
Regardless of the case, the reality is that you need your passport sooner than yesterday. If you go through the usual post office procedures, there is an average wait of six weeks to get your passport processed. Not so bad for someone who has a couple of months to prepare. However, it’s different when you only have a few days to prep for your travel. Relax! There is still a solution for you that will allow you to get expedited passport services.
Getting Your Passport Fast
If you have not been able to get your passport processed sooner, then it means you’re caught up in the last minute rush. Not to worry, with Expedited Passport Services, there is a way to make your international trip work. Here are step-by-step tips to get you on your way with a new valid passport.
Determine When You Need Your Passport
If you’re traveling in a week or so, it’s important to let the post office know how soon you need the passport and get their assurance for delivery. The reliable services of the passport office have made it easier for people to get passport services for more than 20 years. With their expedited services, it has become possible to get super-fast turnaround—even same-day service. This makes them a good option to consider even before settling for agents.
How soon you need the passport will definitely affect the rates you will be charged. Apart from paying the usual processing fees, with expedited passport services, you will be required to pay some premiums on top of that to accelerate the processing.
Gather Necessary Documents to Expedite Your Passport
It’s important to know what documents you need to help process your passport. If you’re a first-timer, or you cannot renew your passport by mail, then these are the documents you will need:
- Proof of identity. Here you could use any photo ID approved by the State Department. These could include your state ID, passport card, previous U.S. passport, driver’s license, certificate of citizenship, government ID card, military identification, or certificate of naturalization. You need the original as well as a photocopy of both sides of the document.
- Proof of citizenship. You can submit your certified birth certificate, previous U.S. passport, certificate of citizenship, certificate of naturalization, or the Consular report of birth abroad.
- Passport photo. Ensure that it meets all standards for an official passport photo. It must be recent (within the past six months) and 2″ x 2″ in size.
- Passport application form. When applying in person for an expedited passport, you need form DS-11.
- Passport fee. The passport fee covers your application for the passport book, execution (acceptance), and expedite fees. You can also include a passport card, which can be used only for land or sea travel between the U.S. and either Canada or Mexico.
How to Apply by Mail
Depending on your case, some situations may allow you to go through the facilitation process by mail. For instance, if you already have a passport, form DS-82 allows you to renew by mail. In that case, you will need a recent U.S. passport (card or book), one passport photo, and the renewal form DS-82.
If Your Passport is Stolen
In the case of a lost or stolen passport, you will be required to submit everything that is required in applying for a new passport, as well as form DS-64, which is a statement disclosing your U.S. passport has been lost or stolen. Be sure to check out our suggestions for what you can do if you lose your identification while on a trip.
Passports for Children
If you need a passport for anyone under age 18, the child must appear in person at the post office. For children under age 16, both parents must accompany the child. To get your child's passport, you must show proof of identity, the child’s proof of citizenship, your relationship with the child, application form DS-11, one passport photo, and the passport fees to cover for the passport book and/or card, execution, and expedite fees. Passports for children under 16 are valid for five years, while passports for anyone 16 and over is for ten years.
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