How to Avoid the Most Common Passport Expediting Problems

The last thing you need when you’re preparing for a last-minute trip is to experience passport expediting problems. When you need to get your passport quickly to prevent a delay in your travel plans, there’s no time for mistakes. Avoid some of the most common problems with these tips.

Complete all paperwork appropriately

The forms you need to complete and submit will vary depending on several factors including the status of your last passport (i.e. lost, stolen, damaged), your age and whether or not you have ever been issued a passport.

So, it is important that you complete the forms that are required for your individual situation. In addition, be sure to complete all of the forms appropriately. If you forget to sign a form or leave even one field blank, your passport application cannot be processed. Carefully review all of the forms before submitting them, so you don’t experience any passport expediting problems.

Provide Proper Documentation

In addition to your passport application and some other government forms you may be required to complete, you will need to provide several other documents with your application, so it can be processed. The documents you will be required to include will depend on a variety of factors. Some of the more common documents that are required for passport expediting include a birth certificate and passport photo.

According to the U.S. Government, if you provide a birth certificate as evidence of citizenship, it must be certified and include the full names of the applicant’s parents. To prevent passport expediting problems, your passport photo must also adhere to the guidelines issued by the government.

It must be a 2 x 2, color photo taken within the last six months in front of a white or off-white background. You must be facing forward and your eyes must be open. A photo of your profile will not be accepted. For additional details and examples, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Appear before a passport acceptance agent

In some circumstances you may be required to appear before an acceptance agent to have your identity verified and the signature of your passport application (Form DS-11) witnessed.

To prevent passport expediting problems, you must appear before an acceptance agent if:

  • This is the first time you have applied for a passport
  • You are younger than 16 years old or your last passport was issued when you were under 16
  • Your most recent passport was lost, stolen or damaged
  • Your most recent passport was issued more than 15 years ago
  • If any of these situations apply to you, you must appear before an acceptance agent and have your identity verified before you send your application to the expediting service.

    Send the appropriate fee

    When you are having your passport expedited, there are fees charged by the government in addition to the normal application and processing fees. You will also be charged a fee by the expediting service. Make sure you include all of the appropriate fees with your application to prevent passport expediting problems and avoid delays in receiving your passport.

    Show Proof of Travel

    If you are having your passport expedited, you may be required to provide a copy of your itinerary that includes your departure date in order to obtain an expedited passport. If proof of travel is required, you must include a hard copy of your itinerary. An electronic version will not be accepted. If you only have an electronic version, print it out and submit the hard copy with your application.

    Provide Authorization

    You must authorize a passport expediting service to submit a passport application on your behalf. A signed authorization form acknowledging your consent to have the expediter submit your application for you must be included with your application to prevent passport expediting problems. If it is not included, the expediter will not be permitted to submit the application on your behalf causing a delay in the process.

    Review Your Passport When it Arrives

    When you receive your passport, it is important that you review it to make sure all of the information is correct. This includes your social security number, the spelling of your name and address, your birthdate, etc. If you notice an error, you should let the passport expediter know immediately, so they can begin working to resolve it. Don’t wait until you’re at the airport. You don’t want to be standing in line to board your plane when you realize your name is misspelled.


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