US Passport Agency: Federal Information Guide

The US passport agency is responsible for processing passport applications and issuing passports to U.S. citizens. When you apply for your passport by mail or at a passport acceptance facility, it generally takes the passport agency four to six weeks to process an application.

For a $60 fee you can request expedited processing and receive your passport within two to three weeks. However, these processing times are estimates. It is possible that it will take longer to receive your passport if demand is high when you apply.

If you are traveling in less than two weeks and can’t wait the normal processing time, you can apply at one of the 24/25 regional passport agencies the government has established to issue same day passports to citizens with urgent travel plans.

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What You Can Expect

Passport applications are accepted at regional passport agencies by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment at a US passport agency, by calling the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) at 1-877-487-2778.

There are only 24/25 agencies throughout the country, so there is a good chance it will be crowded when you arrive. You will have to stand in line and wait to submit your application.

When it is your turn, a representative will review your application materials, ensure you have provided all of the required information and submit your application for processing. Typically, when you apply at a regional passport agency, your passport is issued the same day.

What You Need to Bring

When you apply for your passport at a US passport agency, you will be required to submit an application form and supporting documentation. The form and documentation you need to submit depends on several factors.

If you are eligible to submit your passport application by mail, you must provide the following information when you apply at a passport agency:

  • Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mai
  • Your current passport
  • Passport photo
  • Passport Fees
  • If your name has changed since your last passport was issued, you will also be required to provide legal documentation of your name change

If you are required to apply for your passport in person, you must submit the following when you apply at a US passport agency:

NOTE: There are additional requirements for minor passports. If you are applying for a minor’s passport, see the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs website for additional information.

Passport Agency vs. Passport Office

While a passport agency can be a lifesaver if you live near one, it is not a practical option for most Americans since there are so few agencies throughout the country and they are located in major metropolitan areas.

To help facilitate the application process and provide an alternative to those who do not have access to a regional US passport agency, the U.S. Department of State has designated more than 9,100 post offices, clerks of court, public libraries and other government offices as passport offices that are authorized to accept passport applications on its behalf.

If you cannot get to a passport agency, you can apply at a passport office in your area. However, you cannot get your passport the same day you apply at these facilities.

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What To Do If You Need Your Passport Quickly

If you can’t wait the normal processing times to receive your passport and you can’t travel to a US passport agency to obtain your passport, there is another way you can get your passport quickly. You can have a professional expediting service like Easy Passport service apply for your passport on your behalf. When you have urgent travel plans, an expediter can help you get your passport in as little as 24 hours. So, how does it work?

If you are eligible to apply for your passport by mail, simply fill out form DS-82 and send it with your supporting documentation to the expediting service. If you are required to apply for your passport in person, you must appear before an acceptance agent, who will verify your identity and witness you sign form DS-11 before you can send your application materials to the expediter.

The acceptance agent will put your signed application form and supporting documentation in a sealed envelope that you will provide to the expediting service. When they receive your application, they will deliver it by hand to the U.S. passport agency for processing.

When your passport has been issued, a representative from the expediting service will pick up your passport and overnight it directly to you. A professional expediter can help ensure you have your passport when you need it, so you do not have to delay your travel plans.

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