Where to Apply for a U.S. Passport
Obtaining a United States Passport is not difficult, where to apply for a passport? but you will want to assure you have the proper documents in hand, and the rules differ for adults and children under the age of 16. Requirements may vary for renewing a passport, or for obtaining a replacement if yours has been lost or stolen. Although you cannot apply online, visit this site for the forms and all pertinent information. No matter what your situation, following specified procedures and gathering all required documentation in advance will simplify the application procedure.
All U.S. passports are issued by the Department of State, but there are more than 9,100 registered passport agents in communities across the country to accept required documents, witness your signature on the application, and forward the entire package for processing. Fees are standardized and non-refundable, paid in addition to the actual passport fee.
Search online by zip code to find a registered acceptance agent in your community; they are commonly located at a post office or local courthouse. Passports are issued and returned to you within three to six weeks. You will pay an additional fee for a photo, which you may bring with you. Some registered agents are equipped to take photos, but it is wise to check in advance. This is the least expensive way to obtain a passport if you have plenty of time.
Where to Find a Regional Centers
A second option, in emergency situations, if your international travel is planned within two weeks, or if you require a foreign visa within four weeks, is to visit a Regional Passport Agency. Located in 26 cities throughout the country, an appointment is required, but you may schedule your appointment by phone 24-7 through a centralized number. You must show definitive proof of your travel plans, however, and be prepared to explain your situation.
You will pay an additional fee for expedited service, but if you have all necessary documentation with you at your scheduled appointment, you will be issued your passport the same day.
A private passport expeditor can also handle your application with minimal hassle, but you will pay an additional and sometimes steep fee for the service, depending on timing. There are a number of firms licensed by the government as authorized expeditors who will process your documents and “walk the application through” with quick results, sometimes in as little as 24 to 48 hours. If you live far from a regional passport agency, and timing is a concern, a private expeditor may be your only option. You may submit via overnight delivery service and your passport will be returned to you the same way.
The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs provides complete information about passports and foreign travel.