If you have an important international trip coming up and suddenly find that your United States passport is not in order, don’t worry: you have a number of options available to you that will get your document in hand to make sure your trip goes off without delay. One of these options will involve the National Passport Center, an organization that exists for this exact purpose.
What is the National Passport Center?
Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the National Passport Center is an organization that accepts and processes United States passport applications from citizens who have an urgent need for an expedited passport service. If you are scheduled to travel internationally within the next two weeks and if you do not need to obtain a visa within 28 days, you are eligible to make an appointment with the National Passport Center to have your processing taken care of as quickly as possible.
Who Needs the National Passport Center?
Note that the only people who need to use the National Passport Center are those who are traveling within the next 14 business days. All other people will either need to apply for a new or renewed passport in person at a local Passport Application Acceptance Facility, or they can submit their application for renewal via the United States Post Office.
Expedited Passport Services
If you are eligible for expedited passport services but do not live anywhere near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, all hope is not lost. You can submit your application for a passport via a local passport expediting service who will handle the rest of the process on your behalf. After filling out the necessary forms, collecting all required documents and paying the fee, a passport expediting service will take everything on your behalf and can return with your new United States passport in as little as 24 to 48 hours depending on the exact area of the country where you live.
Note that if you plan to visit the National Passport Center in person, the only option available to you is to receive your new passport in book format. No special passport cards will be issued. It’s also important to understand that passports are issued in accordance to the travel plans of applicants. If you don’t need your passport for 14 days and someone who arrived after you did needs theirs in 7 days, their application will be prioritized.
Depending on the nature of your trip, you can also get same-day passports issued from the National Passport Center in certain unique emergency situations.