While the ideal scenario with emergency passport scenarios is not to require them at all, there may come a time when you require an expedited passport. Take the time to check the validity of your passport and those of your family members the moment you consider a trip abroad; you’ll be far more relaxed by renewing an expired passport so that you have it in plenty of time for your trip. However, if a travel deadline is imminent, fortunately you do have options for rapid, efficient emergency passport services.
Expedited passport service can be requested by mail or in person; it costs an additional $60 plus any required delivery costs. You should receive your expedited passport in about three weeks, but it can be acquired even sooner if an urgent need can be demonstrated. Exceptions would be if you’re a first-time passport applicant, your most recent passport has been lost or stolen, or it was issued over 15 years ago; in these cases, you must submit Form DS-11 in person at an authorized acceptance facility.
All citizens are eligible to request expedited services for first-time applications, renewals and amendments of existing passports, although first-time applications as well as replacements for lost or stolen passports should be taken care of in person. You should also:
• For mailed expedited passport renewals, submit Form DS-82 and write “EXPEDITE” clearly in block letters on the envelope.
• Include payment as a personal check or money order made payable to the United States Department of State; never send cash.
• Use a secure package such as a Tyvek envelope so that the contents of the mailing are protected from the elements while traveling through the delivery system.
• Use a traceable/trackable delivery method to mail your passport application and personal documents.
Using an Authorized Passport Acceptance Facility for Expedited Service
An expedited first time passport or the replacement of a lost or stolen one is most efficiently acquired at an in-person acceptance facility. Locate the authorized acceptance facility nearest you and find out the type of payment required. You’ll receive the fastest service at a designated U.S. Department of State Passport Agency. There are 28 of them around the U.S. An appointment is required, and most require proof of travel within two weeks.
Passport Expeditor and Courier Services
There are also private companies that can provide expediting and rush delivery service for you. Some are registered at passport agencies and can submit your expedited passport application on your behalf. Be sure and verify that the expeditor you choose will be able to meet your deadline at a price you’re comfortable with.