Archives: Rush My US Passport

24 Hour Passport

If you’ve got a big international trip coming up and suddenly realize that there is an issue with your passport, don’t worry – 24 Hour Passport services are here to help. Whether you suddenly realize that you don’t actually have the passport you’ll need to board your international flight or your existing passport expired without you realizing it, it doesn’t actually matter – your entire trip is now in jeopardy if you don’t act fast.

The standard processing time for a United States passport application is between four to six weeks, which can be extended dramatically during the peak travel season and the warm summer months of the year. Luckily, there is an alternative – 24 hour passport service providers exist for exactly this type of occasion.

The Benefits of 24 Hour Passport Services

The biggest and most immediate benefit to 24 hour passport services is that you can get your US passport in your hand in as little as 24 hours depending on how fast you act and the area of the country where you live, meaning that you won’t have to worry about a thing when you head off to the airport to board your flight. This is ideal for people who have a trip coming up in the next few days and need to make sure that everything goes off without delay.

According to the State Department, there are currently 28 different passport agencies located around the country that can provide travelers with 24 hour passport services. In addition to all of the documentation that is normally required for passport applications, two additional requirements apply in this situation:

  1. You will need to call the National Passport Information Center and make an appointment. You can do so at 1-877-487-2778 FREE. You can call 24 hours a day to set up your appointment but the actual appointment itself will need to be made during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
  2. You will need to provide documentation regarding when you will be traveling, where you will be going, how long you will be staying there, etc. Your proof of travel plan will need to show that you will be traveling within 14 days or 30 days if a visa is also required.

Note that you will also have to pay a $60 expedite fee for this service. The passport agency that you submit your documents to will then determine how to best get your passport to you in time for your big trip.

Registered Passport Couriers

Registered passport couriers exist for one reason and one reason only: to help make sure that your next important trip isn’t delayed due to any type of issue with your United States passport or due to processing problems. While it is true that the standard processing time for a United States passport application is between four to six weeks (or longer during the peak summer travel and the winter holiday travel seasons), there is still a very effective way to get your documents in hand before you head off to the airport.

Expedited Passport Couriers

Expedited passport couriers will come to your home and collect all of your documents personally. They will then take your documents to the passport agency, submit everything on your behalf, wait for processing to complete and return to you with your United States passport in as  24 to 48 hours. While this is an way to get your passport situation taken care of, many people still don’t pursue it because they don’t  understand what these companies are or how they work.

Passport Expediting Explained

A private passport courier is not affiliated with the United States government or the regional passport agencies in any way, though these hardworking individuals do work closely with these organizations on a daily basis. In order to be a passport expediting service, a private company must register with the passport agencies in order to collect all of your documents and submit them on your behalf without requiring you to be there in person.

This registration is not something that is handed out to just anyone – there are strict requirements that a private company must meet in order to do so, meaning that anyone that does have the appropriate registration is most certainly a company that you can trust with such personal documentation.

The fee structure for registered passport couriers normally requires an additional fee to be paid to the private company on top of the fees that you will have to submit in order to properly process your passport with the passport agency. While this is a more expensive way to get your important travel documentation in hand ahead of your big trip, its success rate is very high and ultimately it will be a small price to pay for knowing that your trip can go forward without any type of significant delay.

How to Get a Expedited Passport

Looking to get a expedited passport? U.S. passports are valid for 10 years from the date of issuance for adults, 5 years for those under age 16. If yours has expired, is set to expire or you’ve never had a U.S. passport before and wish to travel internationally, it’s time to either renew or apply for a brand new passport.

Once a passport expires, you have five years from its date of expiration to renew it. After this five year period, the steps for receiving a new passport must be taken.

Applying for or renewing a passport is not hard to do; however, with standard service, it does take some time. Receiving your new passport can take 6 to 8 weeks to receive through the standard mail channels.

However, if travel plans are sooner than this time frame, an expedited passport may be required. Fortunately, there are ways to receive your passport much sooner than 8 weeks, and in some cases as little as 24 to 48 hours.

Using a Passport Acceptance Agent

Passport Acceptance Agents are government workers who assist citizens in receiving their passports. They review applications and materials before accepting them to help ensure success in issuance. There are thousands of agents across the U.S.; a full list can be accessed by clicking here.

Seeing a Passport Acceptance Agent in person is required when:

  • The applicant is under age 16.
  • A new passport is required for someone over 16 years of age.
  • A replacement passport for one that has been stolen, lost or damaged is needed.

If the passport application will be processed via standard mail, you will receive your passport in 6 to 8 weeks. Expedited passport mail service is available for a fee, and you’ll receive your passport in 2 to 3 weeks.

The following items are required for application:

  • Completed, unsigned application
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
  • Official U.S. ID. Driver license or military identification.
  • Any other required document(s) for your case.
  • Passport photo.
  • Checkbook to pay the fees for the Acceptance Agent service and U.S. Dept. of State.

The Fastest Passport Service

If 2 to 3 weeks is still not fast enough, you can enlist the services of a passport expediting business. Contact them directly for details. Inform your Passport Acceptance Agent you will be using this service, and they will hand you your completed application packet in a sealed envelope.

Be sure to turn this envelope over to your passport expediting company as soon as possible, as you will have only five business days once it is sealed. Also, do not open the envelope for any reason, as doing so will invalidate its contents and you’ll have to start the process all over again. Note: Some passport expediting services may be able to save you the step of going to an acceptance office in person; ask the company for details.