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What Does a Passport Application Acceptance Agent Do?

Passport application acceptance facility in post office.American citizens who apply for a new passport at a passport application acceptance facility will submit the completed form and supporting documents to an authorized agent. The agent has a specific role and set of tasks to complete in order to correctly execute the application process.

There are literally thousands of locations where citizens of the United States can apply for passports. Unfortunately, not all the agents at these locations are properly prepared for the task. Recently, we received a report of an agent who forgot to sign an applicant's form. This delayed the process by several weeks.

Understanding the responsibilities of the passport application acceptance agent will enable you to verify that the process is completed correctly and, thereby, avoid delays.

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The principal task of the acceptance agent is to execute the passport application and to ensure that the application form and supporting documents are correctly submitted and enclosed in the envelope.

The agent will verify that the photo you submit is your true likeness and that it meets all the passport photo requirements. Then, the document you submit as evidence of U.S. citizenship will be screened to ensure that you have provided an acceptable document.

Next, the agent will record the identification document you present on the application and review the form to make sure you have provided all the required information.

After collecting the passport fees, the agent will administer an oath and witness your signature on the form. If you sign the application prior to arriving at the acceptance facility, you will be required to fill in a new form.

The agent then signs the application and affixes the passport office's authorized seal or stamp on it. Finally, the agent ensures that the sealed envelope is mailed to the proper address unless you request to have it hand delivered.

In order for the agent to return the sealed envelope to you, evidence of imminent travel within 14 days or within 30 days if a visa is required must be presented. The objective is to obtain the executed application so that is can be submitted for expedited passport service at a regional agency by a third party.

If you need to obtain a passport quickly but are unable to visit a regional agency, you can authorize someone to submit the application for you. This can be a friend, family member, travel agent, congressional representative, expedited passport courier service or any other designated individual.

Besides the sealed envelope, the individual will need a signed authorization letter. A copy of the authorization letter must be taken with you to the passport office and presented to the application acceptance agent to be included in the sealed envelope.

Once the agent has returned the envelope, you can send it to the third party that will be submitting the application on your behalf.

Now that you know what a passport application acceptance agent does, you are better prepared to apply for a new passport and avoid possible problems when submitting the application form. Some acceptance facilities accept walk-ins but most require you schedule an appointment.

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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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