How Can I Identify a Reliable Passport Expeditor?
Hundreds of passport couriers, travel document specialists, and tour agencies offer fast track passport expediting services. With so many options, it is difficult to know who to entrust with a task that could ultimately determine whether or not you get your passport in time for your trip.
U.S. Passport Service Guide has been reviewing expediting companies for more than a decade. We know what to look for in reputable companies and how to choose a reliable service provider. Here are 5 criteria you should use to guide your decision:
A Well-Established Company
When you absolutely must get your passport fast, you need an experienced courier. The year a company was founded is easy enough to find: Often it's right on the website. If that doesn't work, you can look at sites like LinkedIn or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Occasionally, some online business directories like Manta will have this information. Of course, you can also find it in our directory of passport expeditors
Registered with Regional Passport Agencies
According to the U.S. Department of State, "Courier companies are private companies, some of which are registered at our passport agencies
and are allowed to submit passport applications on behalf of customers." Not all expeditors are registered. If you have a choice, opt for one that is.
Offices in Multiple Cities
Each company can submit a limited number of applications each day. Expeditors with multiple locations have a better chance of getting your application expedited. If one agency is too busy, they can redirect your application to another. This gives you a greater chance of getting your passport as fast as you need it.
Good BBB Rating
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates businesses according to several factors. This includes the number of complaints and how many of them go unanswered or unresolved. They also review advertising practices.
It is almost impossible for a company to have zero complaints. Those that do are usually new or expedite a very small volume of applications. A courier with no complaints listed may have less experience than you want.
Expeditors that service a lot of customers are more prone to receive complaints. The problem is not having a few complaints but having many complaints. Worse, yet, is a company that does not respond to the negative complaints.
You will find the details of each complaint on the BBB site, and see the company's response. As far as the BBB is concerned, earning a good rating means the expeditor acts quickly and resolves complaints fairly. This is a good way to gauge how a passport expediting company approaches its customer service.
Positive Customer Reviews
Most passport expeditors can transport paperwork to regional agencies reliably. What makes a company stand out is excellent customer service. A great company maintains a commitment to providing the best possible customer experience. It starts with the first contact and continues until the passport arrives safely in your hands.
The Internet makes it easy for you to discover what customers are saying about any expediting service. You can search sites like RipOffReport.com and Yelp.com. You can also check forums and other travel-related sites for customer feedback.
Note, even legitimate companies can suffer a few bad reviews. However, those that have a majority of negative reviews should stand out as big warning signs. Avoid those that don't take time to respond to complaints.
Having trouble finding information about a company? Getting mixed results on names? Struggling to find reviews, either positive or negative? Try these search tips:
- Enter "company name" (in quotation marks) to do an exact-match search for the name.
- For specific information, enter the company name PLUS whatever you're looking. It might be "BBB" for the BBB page or "reviews" or "founding date".
- You can also search for specific information on an expeditor's website. To do that, type "site:url" followed by the keyword. Here is an example. This would give you results for passport renewals on our website.
site:us-passport-service-guide.com passport renewal
Not sure where to start looking for passport expeditors? Don't have the time to do the research? Don't fear! U.S. Passport Service Guide has done it for you. Visit our directory of expedited passport services to access important information about registered couriers.
There are many good companies. One we highly recommend is Fastport Passport. They meet all the requirements listed above.
Fastport Passport has more than a decade of experience expediting passports. They have offices and representatives in New York, Florida, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Texas. The company has earned an "A" rating with the BBB and has hundreds of 5-star reviews on Yelp, TrustPilot and other third-party review sites.
Now that you know what a courier does and how to find one that is reliable, visit "Is expedited passport service worth it?" to compare the costs and benefits of applying yourself versus using a registered expeditor.
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