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

Where to get a passport if the regional agency is too far away?

by Annette
(Goshen, KY, USA)

Question: If my regional passport office is a great distance away and I need a passport within the next two weeks (as a new applicant), will I be able to obtain it without going to the agency in person?

I am 51 years old and hoping to travel to Quebec after the Christmas holidays for a brief visit. I did not realize until a few days ago that I would need a passport to do so. I have never applied for a passport previously and am more than willing to expedite the process in any way possible. Since I have not applied for a passport in the past, is it mandatory that I go to a regional office in person? (In checking this web site, I noted that my regional office is in New Orleans - and I am in Kentucky - so that would not be a possibility, although I had heard that Chicago might be another possibility for me.)

I would appreciate any and all information which could be provided to me. Thanks so much!

Answer: Besides the regional agency in New Orleans, there are agencies in Atlanta and Chicago. Still, they are all quite far from Goshen.

The only way to obtain a passport within 2 weeks or less without visiting a regional passport agency is to authorize a registered expediting service such as Rush My Passport to submit the application for you.

Note, authorizing an expediter to submit the application for you still requires you to appear before a passport agent. You can do this by visiting the nearest application acceptance facility in Kentucky.

Inform the agent that you plan to mail your application and supporting documents to a registered expediter. Be sure to include a letter authorizing the expediting service to submit your application at the regional agency in the sealed envelope.

The agent at the application facility may try to persuade you to request expedited services directly with the Department of State. While you may get your passport in less than 2 weeks using this method, there is no guarantee. Estimated time for expediting a passport application by mail is 2 to 3 weeks.

Click the link below to complete the online application for expedited passport service in as little as 24 hours.

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Return to Passport Expediting FAQ.

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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 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:

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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