Where to Get a Passport
When the time comes to apply for a passport, one of the first things you probably wonder about is where to get a passport. There are several ways you can submit your application, including by mail, at a passport acceptance facility, at a regional passport agency or to a professional passport expediting service, like “easy service.” Where you submit your application will depend on several factors including whether or not you have a passport, the condition of your existing passport, your age, how quickly you need your passport and a few others. Let’s explore the passport information required for each option.
You can submit your application by mail only if you already have a passport that is undamaged and can be submitted with your application. Your current passport must have been issued less than 15 years ago, and you must have been 16 or older when it was issued. In addition, if your current name is different than the name on your passport, you must be able to legally document your name change.
The choice you make about where to get a passport will determine what forms and documentation you are required to submit. When you apply by mail, you must send form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail, your current, undamaged passport, a passport photo and the applicable fees. If your name has changed since your last passport was issued, you will also be required to submit legal documentation of your name change.
Passport Acceptance Facility
If you are not eligible to renew your passport by mail or you are applying for your first passport, you can do so in person at a passport acceptance facility. If you’re wondering where to get a passport at an acceptance facility, there are more than 9,100 across the country, so finding one in your area should be easy. When you apply at one of these facilities, you will be required to submit form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport along with proof that you are a U.S. citizen; a current, valid form of identification; a photocopy of the front and back of your identification; the applicable fees; and a passport photo.
The average time it takes to process a passport application is four to six weeks. For a $60 fee, the government will expedite your request and your application will be processed in approximately two to three weeks. However, these times are only estimates. It can longer when application volume is higher. The choice you make about where to get a passport will not impact how quickly you receive your passport when you apply by mail or at a passport acceptance facility.
If you are traveling in less than two weeks and can’t wait the two to six weeks it normally takes for a passport to be issued, you can apply at one of the regional passport agencies located throughout the United States. You must make an appointment to submit an application at a passport agency. When you apply at one of these agencies, you will usually have your passport the same day you apply. However, there are only 24/25 in the country making this an impractical if not impossible option for many U.S. citizens.
Professional Passport Expediter
If you need your passport quickly but can’t get to a passport agency, you may be wondering where to get a passport expedited. A professional passport expediting service like “easy service” can submit your application and get your passport for you in as little as 24 hours if you have urgent travel plans. Professional passport expediters are licensed by the U.S. Department of State to hand deliver passport applications to the U.S. passport agency. When you place your order with a passport expediting service, a representative will send you a checklist of all of the documents you need to provide, so your passport can be issued. When the expediter receives your application materials, they will contact you to review them with you and ensure your application is complete so there are no delays. After your application has been reviewed, a representative from the expediting service will submit it to the U.S. Passport Agency on your behalf. When your passport is issued, the expediting service will pick it up and overnight it to you. The choice about where to get a passport is yours, but working with a passport expediting service can save you time, so you can focus on more important things like preparing for your trip.
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