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      How to Get a Passport Faster – Ways to Speed Up & Expedite the Process in 2024

      Phil Dengler
      How to Get a Passport Faster

      Passport processing times remain long. With the pandemic behind us, a record number of people are traveling overseas, and many of them are applying for a new passport or renewing their expiring one. Here are steps to take to get a passport faster and expedite the process.

      Current Passport Processing Times

      Here are the current passport processing times as of August 2023.

      • Routine: 10 to 13 Weeks
      • Expedited: 7 to 9 Weeks (costs an additional $60)

      Unfortunately, the expedited option is not even that fast, and it will cost you an additional $60.

      Additionally, take mailing times into consideration.

      • Time to Mail Application to Passport Center: Around 2 Weeks
      • Time to Receive Printed Passport in the Mail: Around 2 Weeks
      • Total Mail Time: 4 Weeks
      The Vacationer Tip

      You can decrease mailing times by purchasing Priority Mail Express when sending your application and paying $19.53 for 1-2 Day Delivery when getting your printed passport mailed to you.

      Check Your Current Application Status First

      Those with pending passport applications should check their status before doing anything else. In some cases, your passport may be delivered well in advance of your next international trip.

      See our How to Check Your Passport Application Status Online for a full tutorial on how to do it.

      Ways to Get a Passport Faster

      I recommend applying for a passport at least six months in advance of international travel, with nine months being an even better time. Additionally, some countries will not let you in if your passport expires less than six months after your arrival or exit date. Ultimately, you should not wait until the last minute.

      Since that does not always happen in the real world, here are steps to take to expedite the process.

      Pay for Expedited Processing and Expedited Mailing

      The U.S. Department of State recommends paying for expedited processing if your travel date is less than 13 weeks from the date of your application, but I think you should play it even safer. I recommend those with international trips planned within the next six months to purchase expedited processing as well as expedited mailing.

      As previously detailed, expedited processing costs an additional $60 and takes 7 to 9 weeks (compared to 10 to 13 weeks for routine processing). You should also purchase Priority Mail Express when mailing your application. Additionally, I recommend paying the $19.53 fee for 1-2 Day Delivery of your new passport. That drastically cuts down on the estimated total of 4 weeks for the standard mailing of your application and new passport.

      If you’ve already applied or renewed with routine processing, you can call 1-877-487-2778 (1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY) to upgrade to expedited processing.

      Contact Your Congressman or Congresswoman

      Get Passport Faster Contact Congressperson

      Photo: norcross.house.gov/passports

      Those traveling within 14 days should reach out to your local congressman or congresswoman. They can inquire about your passport’s status and potentially speed things up.

      Use Congress.gov to find your local representative. Some senators and representatives now even have a dedicated passport assistance page on their website.

      For example, one of my local New Jersey congressmen is Representative Donald Norcross. His website features digital forms and contact information solely to expedite passports for New Jersey residents.

      Your local congressperson likely has a similar dedicated page. If not, you should still contact them because they can probably still help you.

      Attempt to Schedule an In-Person Appointment

      Unfortunately, in-person appointments are hard to come by these days, and that is true even for those who qualify. If possible, do not let it come down to needing an in-person appointment. If you did, here is what you need to know.

      In-person passport appointments are only available to the following groups.

      • Urgent Travel Service (international travel within 14 calendar days)
      • Life-or-Death Emergency Service (international travel within 3 business days due to a qualified life-or-death emergency)

      Ultimately, in-person appointments are for emergencies where you need to get your passport as soon as possible or you may miss your international trip.

      Here are a few things to know about the Urgent Travel Service.

      Urgent Travel Passport Processing Times

      Screenshot: travel.state.gov

      • If you have not yet applied for your passport and are traveling within 14 days, call 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an in-person appointment at a local passport agency or center.
      • If you have already submitted your application and are within 14 days of travel, you should also call 1-877-487-2778. If you are within 6-14 days of travel, they will attempt to speed up your application without you having to go to an agency in person. If you are within 5 days of travel, they will attempt to schedule you at a local passport agency or center.
      • Even if you qualify for the urgent travel service, you are not guaranteed an in-person appointment.
      • Do not call that number to expedite your passport processing unless you are within 14 days of travel.

      Here are a few things to know about the Life-or-Death Emergency Service.

      Life or Death Emergency Passport Appointments

      Screenshot: travel.state.gov

      • You are traveling internationally within the next 3 business days for a qualified life-or-death emergency.
      • Qualified reasons include the death of an immediate family member, an immediate family member who is in hospice, or an immediate family member who has a life-threatening illness or injury.
      • The appointment must be within 3 business days of travel, but you can schedule the appointment up to two weeks in advance.
      • Call 1-877-487-2778 (or 202-647-4000 after hours, on weekends, and federal holidays)
      • Even if you qualify for a Life-or-Death Emergency Service, you are not guaranteed an in-person appointment.

      Can a Third-Party Passport Service Expedite the Process?

      I do not recommend using a third-party passport service. While they can submit your passport application for you, they do not have extra tools to expedite processing. Instead, use the tips outlined above to get your passport faster.

      At best, you pay them money and you get your passport at the same speed you would have had you applied yourself. At worst, they take your money and slow the process down.

      FAQ

      How do I get my passport faster?

      Here are a few ways to expedite the passport process.

      1. Pay for Expedited Processing and Expedited Mailing
      2. Contact Your Local Congressperson
      3. Schedule an In-Person Appointment at Your Local Passport Agency or Center (must be traveling internationally within 14 days)

      Can my congressperson help me get my passport quicker?

      Your local senator or representative may be able to inquire about and expedite your passport application. Use Congress.gov to find your local congressman or congresswoman. You should be traveling internationally (and ready to provide evidence) within two weeks before contacting your congressperson.

      Can I apply for my passport in person to get it quicker?

      Only those qualifying for an Urgent Travel Service or Life-or-Death Emergency Service may attempt to schedule an in-person appointment. Even those who qualify may not be able to secure a time slot because of high demand.

      The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

      While there are ways to get your passport faster, you should not let it come down to that. Apply or renew as far in advance as possible for your next international trip. If it is within six months of your trip, pay extra for expedited processing and mailing. If it is within 14 days of travel, either call your local congressperson or try to schedule an in-person appointment by calling 1-877-487-2778. When applying, make sure your passport picture is acceptable and all of your required documents are current.

      Further Reading:

      Phil Dengler The Vacationer Bio

      By Phil Dengler

      In addition to being a co-founder of The Vacationer, Phil Dengler is also the head of editorial and marketing. Previously, he ran a popular holiday deals website where he was a trusted source for all things Black Friday. With The Vacationer, Phil combines his knowledge of deals with his love of travel to help you plan the perfect vacation.