Passport Agency FAQ
A US passport agency processes same day passports for American citizens
who have scheduled trips to international destinations with departure
dates within 14 days or 28 days if the passport needs to be submitted
for a visa application. The information below will provide you with
answers to the most freuqently asked questions about expediting
passports at regional agencies in the United States.
Where are passport agencies located?
U.S. passport agencies are located in several major cities
within the United States. The Department of State has opened more
agencies in the state of Vermont and in the cities of San Diego,
California; Atlanta, Georgia and El Paso, Texas in recent years. The
newest agencies open are located in Minneapolis, Tucson and San Juan,
What is the difference between a passport agency and a passport office?
A passport agency is a processing center that serves as an
issuing agent of new passports, renewals, name changes, corrections,
etc. A passport office
, also known as a passport application acceptance facility, has agents that administer an oath and receive application form DS-11
for new passports. Passports are not issued at these offices.
How long does it take the US passport agency to process an application?
The State Department
claims that standard processing of passport applications is "normally"
completed within 4 to 6 weeks. Requests for expedited service are
processed and sent by regular US Mail "ordinarily" within 2 to 3 weeks.
These are only estiimates and, depending on the demand at the time you
apply, could be completed more quickly or more slowly.
Why does it take the US passport agency so long to process a passport?
There has been a dramatic increase in US passport processing
since the 90s. The total number of passports processed annually
increased from a little over 10 million to more than 15 million between
2005 and 2015. The US passport agency had a difficult time keeping up
with the demand. Only in the past few years has greater effort been
made to attend the large number of applications that are submitted
annually. Yet, there is still much that needs to be done.
What has the US passport agency done to compensate for the increase in passport applications submitted?
The US Passport Agency created the National Passport Information Center
The NPIC is a call center that operates as an automated scheduling
service for the regional agencies and has representatives that respond
to inquiries. Instead of fielding calls, more time could be spent
processing passports. This has helped a little but it is still very
difficult to get through and appointments are frequently available only
after the applicants scheduled departure date.
If you need your passport in a hurry and you prefer a guaranteed service, you can apply through a professional express passport expediting service
Bob Tedeschi applied at a US Passport Agency. This is what he had to say about the experience.
"I spent an entire day sitting in lines in a hot, cramped passport office
in Stamford, Conn., since moved to South Norwalk. (Editor: The
Connecticut agency has returned to Stamford.) The office, an hour's
drive from my home, was one of the few in the Northeast that provided
last-minute service for those who call at least a few days ahead for an
appointment. The lines moved at a pace that made those at the
Department of Motor Vehicles look fast. In retrospect, given the amount of work I missed and the aggravation, I would've paid $150 for an online service."
Bob Tedeschi, New York Times Travel Section
Click the link to apply online for expedited passport courier services
Where can I find a US Passport Agency accepting appointments?
If you need your passport urgently, generally
than 2 weeks, you can contact the nearest US Passport Agency that
serves your state by choosing from the list below. You will find
contact information as well as a map and directions.
List of Regional Passport Agencies
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Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers
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