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

Can someone apply for a passport for me?

by JB
(Lancaster, PA)

Question: My work schedule doesn't permit me to apply for a passport in person during their business hours, however I have all the paperwork together and ready to submit. Can I have someone turn the papers in for me to apply?

Answer: If you are applying for a first-time passport, you must appear in person. You cannot send someone to apply for you. The reason for this is because you must take an oath and sign the application form in the presence of an authorized passport agent.

There are 3 passport application acceptance facilities in Lancaster where you can apply. None of them are open on Saturdays but the first one is open during lunch hour. The passport offices are listed below.

Lancaster County Prothonotarys Office
50 N. Duke ST
Lancaster, PA 17608

Lancaster Main Post Office
1400 Harrisburg Pike
Lancaster, PA 17604

Lancaster Public Library
125 N. Duke ST
Lancaster, PA 17602

If you cannot appear during the operating hours of the passport offices listed above, there are several locations you can apply in Philadelphia that are open on Saturdays. Click the link below for a list.

Philadelphia Passport Offices

If you are applying for an expedited passport renewal, then you can authorize someone to appear at the regional processing center for you. Click the link below to apply for this service.

Expedited Passport Renewal Service

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How can I get a passport remotely?
by: Anonymous

Question: Can I have my friend apply for my passport for me, even when I'm unable to make it to a local office in person? If not, how can I get my passport while away from home?

Answer: You need to appear in person at an acceptance facility to take the oath and sign your application in the presence of a passport agent. If you are out of state, you may apply at a local acceptance facility. You just need to present an additional ID with the rest of your application requirements.

Expedited passport
by: Anonymous

Question: Do I have to use a courier service or can I have a friend bring application and forms needed for expedited passport?

Answer: You can have a friend submit the application in your behalf. You just need to provide your friend a signed letter authorizing him/her to apply in your behalf and proof that you need to travel in 2 weeks or 4 weeks if you also need a visa.

If you are applying for a renewal, you may mail the form and other requirements for your friend to submit to a regional passport agency.

If you are applying for a first time passport, you need to go to a local acceptance facility first where an agent will witness your signature and seal your application packet. Inform the agent that you will have a third party submit your application at a regional agency so he/she will not seal the authorization letter with the rest of the requirements. Once this is done, you can mail the sealed packet to your friend with the letter and proof of immediate international travel.

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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 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 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:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

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 at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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