The role of the Passport Acceptance Agent is to assist Americans in getting passports. They are government employees specifically trained to review passport applications in detail. There are thousands of Passport Acceptance Agents across the U.S. located in post offices, public libraries, clerk of court offices and other government facilities, as listed here:
Passport Acceptance Agents can provide application forms and assist with standard application processing. They can also help with applying for a new passport and replacement passport if it is ever stolen, lost or damaged. They can also assist with procuring passports for children.
Passport Acceptance Agents will verify applicant identity as well as ensure your application packet is ready for processing. They will then seal it into an official envelope, or “execute the application.” After this time, the envelope may only be opened by personnel from the US State Department.
A Passport Acceptance Agent’s help is required for the following services:
- Lost, stolen or damaged passport replacement
- Passport application for a minor aged 15 or younger
- First-time application for a new passport for persons over the age of 16
Some Passport Acceptance Agents require an appointment in advance in order to meet with them. At the meeting, applicants should bring:
- Completed, unsigned passport application. There will be forms at the Acceptance Facility, but it is advisable to complete it ahead of time.
- Proof of United States citizenship. This can take the form of your original birth certificate or a certified copy.
- I.D. Valid, official identification is required, such as your driver’s license or a military I.D.
- Passport photo. Some acceptance locations can take your photo, but having photos ahead of time is advisable.
- Any additional required documents.
- Two checks. There will be one payment required for the execution fee and one for the United States Department of State.
Passport Processing Options
Your passport application may be processed by mail. This typically takes 6 to 8 weeks with standard processing. There is also an “expedited mail” option that takes 2 to 3 weeks.
Faster still is using the services of a Passport Expediting Company, which can speed up the process to as little as 24 to 48 hours. If this service will be utilized, the Passport Acceptance Agent should be notified. You will then be given the sealed envelope to hand over to your Passport Expediting Company.
Take care not to open the packet or tamper with the seal, as doing so will invalidate your application. Also, your packet should be submitted to the State Department within no more than five business days from the date that it was sealed. It is best to turn the envelope over to the Passport Expediting Company right away to ensure that it will be submitted in time to meet this deadline.