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Finding the Right Proof of Travel to Expedite Your Passport

US Passport and Airline Tickets
Passport and airline tickets by alexeys/DepositPhotos

If you make plans to travel outside of the United States on short notice but do not have a passport, you will be required to find a Regional Passport Agency and apply for expedited passport service. These agencies and processing centers only attend to people who have documented plans to travel within fourteen days and do not have a passport (the threshold is extended to four weeks if a visa is required, also).

If you find yourself in a rush to get a passport expedited at one of these passport agencies, there will be certain documents you will need to present at the processing center to prove that your travel plans are legitimate. Without this evidence, you may find that you do not qualify for expedited service.

There are different types of proof of travel that are accepted for each of the three methods of travel – land, sea, and air. Ensuring you have the correct documentation will increase your odds of getting a passport quickly.

Travel by Air

Travel by Air

If you will be traveling by air, there are several different options that are considered acceptable proof of travel:

  • Flight itinerary e-mail – This is the most common proof of air travel people use. In most cases, simply printing the flight's confirmation email provides all the essential flight information the passport agency will need to verify your trip.
  • Original tickets or boarding passes – Bringing a hard-copy of the tickets for your flight(s) will satisfy the passport agency's proof of travel requirements.
  • E-tickets – A photocopy or printout of your electronic ticket is just as acceptable as an airline-issued paper ticket.
  • Private air charter - If you are flying by a private plane, you will need to show the private air charter documentation on official letterhead as your proof of travel.

Travel by Land

Travel by Land

When traveling by land to Canada, Mexico, or Central America by bus, train, or car, your proof of travel can be one of the following three:

  • Hotel reservation confirmation – You can provide a copy of your hotel reservation confirmation that includes where you will be residing in the county you are traveling to as well as the dates of your stay.
  • Tickets to an event - Providing tickets to an event during your stay in the country you plan to visit is considered viable proof by the passport agency.
  • Official letter - If you are traveling for business or an organization, have them provide you with an official document outlining the key itinerary details of your trip. The letter should be on official letterhead.

Download Example Letters:

Business Letter | Organization Letter | Personal Letter

Travel by Sea

Travel by Sea

For those who are traveling by sea there are two ways you can show proof of imminent travel to the passport agency depending on the type of sea travel you have chosen:

  • Cruise itinerary e-mail - For those who are taking part in a cruise that docks in foreign countries, you can provide the passport agent a copy of the e-mail that shows your itinerary.
  • Private charter plan - If you are traveling on a private boat or yacht, you will need to provide the documents that show the boat charter plan.

Making the Right Choices for Your Passport Application

Whether you are traveling by land, sea, or air, you will need to provide sufficient evidence of your imminent travel plans in order to obtain an expedited passport at a regional agency. If for some reason you do not have these forms of proof, you should contact the nearest regional passport agency and discuss your options before making the trip there.

Note: The above documents are only required for those who need to expedite passports within two weeks or within four weeks if a visa is required regardless of how you plan to travel.

For those who choose to request expedited service by mail or require only standard processing, proof of travel is not required to obtain your passport. That said, expect at least 3 weeks turnaround time for expedited service by mail or 6-8 weeks for a standard, non-expedited application.

Not sure if you have the proper time or documentation for your last-minute trip? Opting to hire a registered passport expediting service can prove especially helpful. These professionals are able to lean on their unique skills and experiences to not only ensure your application paperwork is in order, but also help you get your passport quickly. In many cases, a registered passport courier can help you get a passport in your hands within 24-48 hours!

Click here for expedited passport courier service in 24 to 48 hours

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