Important: Processing times recently changed for both routine and expedited passport applications.

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 website, 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 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. This can take several weeks by mail.

Current application processing times

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UPDATE:

High demand and mailing delays are impacting how long it takes to get a passport.

  • Standard service is currently taking between 7 and 10 weeks.
  • Expedited service is currently taking between 3 to 5 weeks.

NOTE: Processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Need to get a passport faster?

More Passport & Travel Information

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.