How to Obtain a New Passport
Let’s face it. Getting a new passport is a daunting task in most countries around the world. Things are however better in the U.S. compared to most countries. This is simply because the U.S. has different passport application services that cater to the needs of different types of passport applicants.
Regular passport applicants (those who aren’t in a hurry to get a passport), follow the routine passport application procedure that takes 4-6 weeks or slightly longer during peak travel periods. You just need to fill out and submit your passport application form alongside supporting documents and passport application fees.
In case you are in a hurry i.e. you are traveling urgently, you need a passport for newly born travel etc., there are other options for you to take to get expedited new passport services. Below is a more in-depth discussion on how to obtain a new passport in the U.S. depending on your needs.
Applying for a Passport Routinely
It takes between 4 and 6 weeks for passport application forms to be routinely processed in the U.S. Although the forms are usually processed in time, there are occasional delays sometimes which drag the process beyond 6 weeks. Some of the main factors causing such delays include; peak travel periods and additional document requests.
To obtain a passport routinely in the U.S., you must first of all complete the appropriate passport form. The second step is gathering the necessary supporting documents. The third and last step is submitting the application form, supporting documents and passport application fees.
When renewing your passport, requesting for name changes, corrections on errors made or requesting for visa pages to be added, applications can be sent via mail. New passport applications or replacements of stolen, lost or significantly damaged passports must be submitted via a passport office.
Applying for Expedited Passport Service
As mentioned above, this service is for individuals who can’t wait for 4-6 weeks to acquire a new passport. Choosing this service reduces the waiting time by half i.e. 2-3 weeks only. The process for applying for expedited passport service is almost similar to that of a routine application i.e. you need to complete the passport application form, gather the necessary supporting documents and lastly, submit the form and supporting documents.
The only difference is you have to include evidence of your tight travel plans plus pay a $60 dollar expedited service fee. You also need to use a faster traceable delivery method and indicate “expedite” on the face of the envelope to reduce the waiting time further. You can also add an overnight delivery fee.
Urgent passport expediting service
This is undoubtedly the fastest way to get a new passport in the U.S. To follow this route, start by submitting a passport application to your respective regional passport agency requesting speedy processing. You can authorize a 3rd party to submit the application on your behalf (i.e. a registered courier company like Fastport Passport) or do it yourself (not advisable for obvious reasons). Urgent passport expediting can take a day if you choose a reputable courier company.