Important Due to Covid-19, processing times have been exteneded to 10-12 weeks for routine service and 4-6 weeks for expedited processing.

Third Party Passport Service for Hand Carry Applications

5 American passport booksAmerican citizens who are unable to hand carry applications to a regional agency, can authorize passport expediters, or any other third party, to do so on their behalf. The third party authorized by the applicant to accomplish this task can be a family member, friend, travel agent, or a registered expedited passport courier service.

The letter of authorization includes the applicant's name, date of birth, place of birth, and signature. It also includes the name of the person or courier that is being authorized to submit the application. When using a passport expediter, the company's name, address, and telephone number should be typed at the top of the authorization letter. See the two examples shown below.

The authorization letter, completed Form DS-82, and supporting documents can be given directly to the third party if you are applying for a passport renewal. If you are applying for a new passport, you first need to have the passport application executed by an application acceptance agent. In this case, one authorization letter must be given to the agent to place in the sealed envelope with Form DS-11. The sealed envelope and a second authorization letter would then be given to the person or courier who would take them to the regional agency.

For minors - if both parents are appearing at the acceptance facility with a child and both parents sign the DS-11 form, each parent must submit their own letter of authorization to be placed in the envelope and another letter from each to be given to the third party.

It is important that you inform the agent that you plan to expedite the passport through a third party. There are more than 8,000 acceptance agents in the United States. Not all agents are completely knowledgeable about all of the passport regulations. If the agent does not want to return the envelope to you, ask him or her to refer to the Hand Carry Procedures section of the Passport Agent's Reference Guide.

Be aware that some agents may try to convince you that having a third party submit the application at a regional agency is not necessary, especially if you plan to use an expediter. Understand that expedited service by mail takes approximately 3 weeks if you use two-way express mail and there are no delays in the process. Get the facts about passport expediting couriers before you make your decision.

Letter of Authorization

Please read the information below carefully before completing the Letter of Authorization.

IMPORTANT: An individual's personal information cannot be released by the U.S. government to another party without the written consent of the individual under the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5USC552a). As a result, an employee at a U.S. passport agency cannot discuss the details of your passport application with a third party without your written consent.

Letter of Authorization for Individual

Letter of Authorization for Third Party

Click to download the Letter of Authorization for Third Party

Letter of Authorization for Passport Courier

A Letter of Authorization is also required if you opt to enlist the help of a passport courier service. The letter of authorization can follow the format of the letter above, but it must include some very specific details to be considered valid:

  • The date(s) authorization is being given
  • The name of the courier or passport expediting service company
  • Declare that the indicated party has permission to retrieve the passport(s) on behalf of the applicant(s)
  • The exact name(s) on the passport(s) being retreived
  • Signitures for each party whose passport is to be retrieved
  • Birth certificates for any minor whose passport is being retreived
  • IDs for anyone over the age of 18 whose passport is being retreived.
  • The passport number(s) of the passport(s) being received
  • A photo ID for the authorized courier
  • A copy of the signiture of the authorized courier

Failure to include all of these details will result in the courier not being able to retrieve your passport(s).

In most cases, a reliable passport expediting service should check to be sure this form is included in your application materials and that you completed it correctly. That said, it is ultimately your responsibility as the applicant to be sure proper authorization is in place.

For more on passport expediting services, click the links below.

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