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Are Passport Expediting Services Legitimate?

Passport Service brings smile to woman traveler

When it comes to travel, there few things more nerve-wracking than needing a passport at the last minute. A registered passport expediting service is a legitimate option to cut down on the stress and waiting associated with getting a passport.

There are plenty of reputable sources (including this site!) that stand by the service passport expeditors provide to thousands of travelers each year. But don’t just take our word for it; USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the L.A. Times have all written positively about the benefits and convenience passport expeditors are able to deliver.

It is important to remember that the only way to get a passport is through the U.S. Department of State. This means travelers’ options are limited. Reputable passport expeditors work through the same legal channels as individual applicants, but their experiece and connections allow them to secure a client's passport in as little as 24-48 hours. Compare that to the alternatives:

  • Routine applications take a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks to process. For last-minute travel, that simply will not do.
  • Expedited applications require an additional fee, but cut the wait down to approximately 2 to 3 weeks. It’s faster, but still a longer wait than many last-minute travelers can afford.
  • Expediting in person at a Regional Passport Agency requires some extra legwork, but can save some serious processing time. Yet, it could still take over a week to receive your passport.
  • Emergency applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, but there is no guarantee of your application being processed faster than any other in-person applicant at a Regional Passport Agency will be.

Despite the fact that a passport expediting services are the fastest way for most travelers to acquire a passport, they have plenty of skeptics and critics.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.

That said, negative impressions of passport courier services usually stem from one of three sources:

Skeptics who don’t understand why travelers would not handle the process themselves

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the loudest detractors to passport expediting services come from those whom have never actually used a passport expediting service (welcome to the internet).

In most of these cases, the arguments posed by these naysayers argue some variation of “Why wouldn’t you just apply in person yourself?” They believe passport expeditors and couriers simply collect a fee for transporting the fruits of all your efforts –completing passport applications, getting passport photos taken, and gathering the appropriate documents- to and from a Regional Passport Agency. The cost, in their opinions, doesn’t match the service.

This may sound logical, but the reasoning is flawed.

It’s true. You can apply for an expedited passport yourself. However, there are a lot more steps involved in getting a passport than just delivering your paperwork from Point A to Point B and having a U.S. Passport delivered back to you.

For one thing, the distance to the nearest Regional Passport Agency may be prohibitively far for many Americans. Even if you are able to secure an appointment, getting an expedited passport in person has other costs:

  • loss of your time
  • transportation costs
  • missing a day or more of work
  • loss of vacation time
  • room and board expenses (especially if the nearest Regional Passport Agency requires a day’s travel or more)

Add to that, any mistakes in your documentation or application can result in costly delays in getting your passport - or even an outright denial. Passport expeditors eliminate these costs (which often surpass the expeditor’s service fee) while also optimizing turnaround time and safeguarding against application errors.

The combination of these factors should determine whether a passport expediting service is worth the cost to you, not blind speculation.

For more on how to compare the costs and benefits of applying yourself versus using a registered expeditor, visit our guide, "Is expedited passport service worth it?"

Clients of passport expeditors who did not receive their passports on time

As with any service, occasionally customers are disappointed when they do not receive the results they expected. Rush passport services are no exception.

One important thing to remember is that even though passport expeditors are typically able to lean on their experience and relationships to get passports faster than an ordinary citizen off the street, they are still bound by the same limitations as in-person applicants.

Common reasons for delays include:

  • incorrect paperwork
  • passport photo issues
  • lack of proper documentation
  • high volume of applications

The good news is most reputable passport expeditors are all-too familiar with these delays and can help prevent many of them before they occur.

To be fair, bureaucratic delays are real. There is no way to guarantee the exact processing and delivery times for a passport application.

When considering negative reviews of passport expediting services or the passport expediting process in general, be sure to read between the lines to determine if the delay was because of the expeditor’s service or an applicant’s error. If it’s the former, consider looking elsewhere. If it’s the latter, look for feedback that is more meaningful.

Clients of passport Expeditors who did not receive their passports at all

Scam artists do their best work when people are their most vulnerable and there is something valuable on the line. Needing a passport quickly checks both those boxes.

While there are plenty of reputable passport expeditors with years of successful experience and thousands of satisfied customers, there are also frauds ready to steal the identities of those who, in a moment of weakness, hand over their applications and identifying documents without researching who is receiving them.

Thankfully, frauds are the exception and not the norm. To be safe, stick with verified, trustworthy passport expediting services. Their businesses depend on being reliable, honest, and dependable – they are not going to risk damaging their reputations by stealing your identity or mishandling your application.

For more on how to tell the difference between reliable passport couriers and fraudulent ones, check out or guide, “How Can I Identify a Reliable Passport Expeditor?


As long as you do your due diligence to evaluate your options, a Passport Expediting Service can be the fastest way to get a passport in as little as a day.

Ready to get started but don’t know where to begin? Check out our complete guide to selecting a 24-hour passport expediting service.

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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