Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Can I drive there and have my name changed on my passport?

by Jeannie
(Zeeland, Michigan)

Question: A group of us are leaving for Mexico in 4 weeks. Three of the girls have passports in their maiden names. Can we drive down there and have their names changed on their passports instead of sending them away and paying the $60 expedite fee?

Answer: Regular passport processing takes 4-6 weeks so you must expedite the name changes if you want to get the passports in time for your trip. Whether you send the request by mail or submit the application at a regional Passport Agency, the $60 fee will have to be paid for each passport. Note, you can only visit a regional agency if your trip is within two weeks or less. Expedited services by mail takes 2-3 weeks. Also, if the names were changed more than one year ago, the girls will have to apply for a passport renewal. There are additional requirements and fees for this service. If the person was a minor when she received her current passport, she would have to apply for a new passport.

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DID passport office lose my marriage certificate?
by: Deana

Question: I sent my marriage certificate to the passport office to change my name, and have yet to get it back from the passport office. It is the ORIGINAL, as this is what they require. WHERE IS MY DOCUMENT?!

Answer: Hello, Deana. If you just received your new passport, the supporting documents should already be on its way to you. Documents sent with a passport application are sent in a separate mailing.

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Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

UPDATE: Mailing delays and high demand are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility.

Standard service may take between 10 and 13 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 7 to 9 weeks excluding mailing times on the front and back end. Current mailing delays are significant. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC.

A registered expedited passport courier can often assist in obtaining a passport as quickly as the same day. You can learn more about this service here.

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