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How to Apply for Expedited Service at a Regional Passport Agency

Long lines at the New York Passport Agency in the Greater New York Federal Building at 376 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014-3621

Regional passport agencies are located in several major U.S. cities. These agencies are the only viable option for U.S. citizens who need to obtain a passport in 2 weeks or less, or a passport and entry visa in 4 weeks or less.

If this describes your situation, you can travel to any of the 26 regional passport agencies on your own, or get help from a passport expediting service that will make and attend the appointment on your behalf.

Step-By-Step Guide to Getting a Passport at a Regional Agency

Acquiring a passport from a regional passport agency requires applicants to follow a specific set of steps:

1. Schedule an appointment

The first step to getting a new passport fast is to schedule an appointment at a regional agency. You can do this by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

The center's automated appointment system operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, customer service representatives are only available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST.

2. Assemble the proper documentation

Next, you need to take your completed passport application form with you to the appointment. Do not mail it!

You also need to be sure to have your required supporting documents - these are the same materials you would need to present at a passport application acceptance facility. These documents include proof of citizenship, proof of identity, a copy of your identification document, and a passport-style photo.

3. Arrive on time

You should arrive for your passport agency appointment no more than 15 minutes early. You will need your Social Security card or your appointment confirmation number.

Upon entering, you will have to pass through a security checkpoint, which includes metal detectors. You will then be directed to the appropriate location.

Your appointment will be verified at the check-in desk. You will receive a numbered ticket with the current waiting time. When your number appears on the monitor, you will go to the appropriate window.

4. Wait for your new passport

Even if you finish your application submission process quickly, you will be required to return at a later time to pick up your new passport.

Some applicants wrote to inform us that they were able to get in and out of a regional agency in less than 30 minutes. Others took several hours to complete their submissions. Much depends on the regional agency where you will be applying and the current volume of applications that the agency has to process.

How long is the wait?

Ultimately, the time it takes for you to get your travel document at these regional passport locations will depend on the nature of your travel plans and the current volume of submissions.

Passport applicants with urgent, life-or-death emergencies are given priority. So, while it is possible to receive a passport only a few hours after applying, be prepared to wait until the following day or even several days before it is ready to pick up. If you had to travel a distance to the agency, you may need to budget for additional costs, like food and accomodations, while you wait.

Using a Passport Expediting Service to Visit a Regional Agency for You

Don't have ability, time, or willingness to visit the regional agency yourself? There are reputable passport expediters that can handle the legwork involved in the steps listed above. These travel document experts provide support filling out forms, compiling supporting documents, making appointments, and getting your documents to and from a regional passport agency.

Not only can these services cut down on potential application processing delays caused by missing or incorrect documentation, but they can also save you time.

The best expediting services have multiple locations near multiple regional agencies. This means your application can be routed to the regional agency with the earliest appointment availibility and shortest wait times. This puts regional agency locations within reach that you might otherwise not have ben able to consider on your own.

Are passport expeditors the better choice for you?

While these services come at a cost, they often wind up being more time- and cost-efficient than traveling to a regional agency on your own.

Ultimately, the choice is yours based on how fast you need your passport and how easily you can get to the nearest regional passport agency.

Learn more with our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.

FAQ about Expediting Passports at a Regional Agency

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions submitted by our readers. If you still have questions about the process, please read through the list below for more specific information.

Q: If my regional passport office is a great distance away and I need a passport within the next two weeks (I'm a new applicant). Will I be able to obtain it without going to the agency in person?

- Annette (Goshen, KY)

A: Besides the regional agency in New Orleans, there are agencies in Atlanta and Chicago. Still, they are all quite far from Goshen.

The only way to obtain a passport within 2 weeks or less without visiting a regional passport agency is to authorize a registered expediting service to submit the application for you.

Note, authorizing an expediter to submit a new passport application for you still requires you to appear before a passport agent. You can do this by visiting the nearest application acceptance facility in Kentucky.

Inform the agent that you plan to mail your application and supporting documents to a registered expediter. Be sure to include a letter authorizing the expediting service to submit your application at the regional agency in the sealed envelope.

The agent at the application facility may try to persuade you to request expedited services directly with the Department of State. In your case, this is probably too great a risk. It can take several weeks for even an expedited application by mail.

Q: How can an expedited passport application take longer than usual?

- Hunter (Coventry, VT)

A: Routine processing currently takes 6 to 8 weeks and expedited processing currently takes 2 to 3 weeks.

There are many reasons why expedited service can take longer than normal. Incorrect payment, incomplete applications, incorrect passport photos, or unacceptable documents can also result in delays.

Processing times can increase just prior to and during peak travel periods such as winter holidays, spring break and summer vacation.

Changes in passport requirements often result in an increase in the number of applications and, as a consequence, an increase in processing time. Major international events or disasters can also be responsible for increasing the time it takes to get a passport.

The fastest way to get a passport is to apply at a regional passport agency or, if you can't get there yourself, have a passport expediter submit your application for you.

Q: How can I have my passport done in one day? My previous application was reported lost and I need to get a passport immediately.

- Javier (Miami, FL)

A: Usually it is necessary to schedule an appointment at a regional agency in order to submit an application. However, in emergency cases such as yours, you can visit the Miami agency and explain the situation when you arrive. For more information about the agency, visit our guide to the Miami Passport Agency.

If you are unable to visit the passport agency for some reason, you can request the assistance of a professional passport expediter.

Q: I am traveling on July 29 to Nassau, Bahamas and need to get a passport.

I tried using the automated appointment system and the next available appointment is on 7/30 at 8:30AM, which is too late for me. How do I get a passport expedited in 3 days visiting a regional agency? What can I do?

- Taylor (Cherry Hill, NJ)

A: We recommend you visit the Philadelphia regional agency without an appointment. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to submit your application if you do this but many have. We have never heard of an American citizen in need of an expedited passport in such a short period of time being turned away; that said, going as a walk-in is always a risk.

If you arrive at the regional agency when it opens tomorrow and are allowed in, then you should get your passport the same day. If you are not allowed to submit the application, then you would still have time to submit it through a professional expediting service.

If you prefer not to take the risk of visiting the Philadelphia agency without an appointment, you can complete the expediting process through a private expediter

Q: If I go to a regional agency, will I walk out with my new passport?

- Rachel (Oklahoma City, OK)

A: It is possible to leave the processing center with your passport but there is no guarantee. Much depends on the number of applications the agency receives that day and how urgent they are. Life and death emergencies have priority over tourism travel.

Be advised, It can take more than a week for a passport application to be processed through a regional agency depending on demand and your documented travel plans.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
4. How can I identify a reliable passport expeditor?
5. Is expedited passport service worth it?

Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

In a Hurry? Get Reliable Expedited Passport Courier Service:Expedite My U.S.Passport Now!
About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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