Expedited Passport Information

Expediting the Passport Application Process

To travel outside of the United States, a citizen will need a passport. They may get these from the US Department of State, via the various agencies they have all over the country. When applying directly to the Department of State, a passport application may take a month or longer from the point that the application is turned in to the point at which the passport is delivered to the holder. There are instances where people may wish to travel immediately. These can range from family emergencies in other countries to discovering that a passport is missing only a short time before a trip outside of the country. In such instances, they may not be able to wait a month to receive their passport. The best option is to expedite the passport application. An expedited passport application may allow the traveler to receive their passport in as short a time as 24 hours.

Expedited Passport Applications
Passport applications are not just for people who have never held one before. In some cases they may have owned a passport more than five years previous and allowed it to expire. The person whose previous passport is more than five years past the expiration date is in the same situation, legally speaking, as the person who has never had one before. Other reasons a person may find themselves needing a new passport include the fact that their present one has expired and they need a renewal. The application for a passport renewal is different from that for a new passport and will necessitate turning in the old one. Other reasons for applying for a passport include the fact that the present one has been lost or stolen. In the case of a lost, stolen or damaged passport the passport holder will have to supply a statement regarding the passport along with the other elements of their application. In all of these instances, the applicant may opt for an expedited passport application in order to speed up the process and to be able to travel.

Places to Get Expedited Passports
Travelers who wish to expedite their passport application may opt to apply for an expedited passport at any one of the State Department’s agencies, or they may instead choose any of the many passport expediter services available. There are passport expediters in major cities across the country and many expediters offer their services via the Internet for even greater speed in getting an application processed. Internet passport expediters can process an application in as little as 24 hours. In either case, the applicant will need a few vital pieces of documentation. They will need to be able to prove their identity and citizenship.

Applying for an Expedited Passport from the State Department
The applicant will need to download and print a DS-11 passport application form from the State Department’s website. They will need to fill it out correctly with a blue or black ink pen. They will also need to have two recent passport-sized photographs to accompany their application. They will need copies of their birth certificate or certificate of citizenship in order to prove that they are United States citizens. In the cases of passport renewals, the old passport will suffice as proof of citizenship.

Drawbacks to applying via State Department Agencies include the fact that wait times at these agencies can be long and made even longer if paperwork is not filled out correctly.

Using the Services of a Passport Expediter
A passport expediter will still need the above documentation, but many services provide a skilled and experienced agent to help applicants with the process. These agents will ensure that the applications are filled out correctly. Furthermore, the applicant may be able to fill out much of the information in online forms, and handle the application process online.


Renew an Expired Passport

If your passport is expired, it is practically the same process as applying for your first passport with only a few changes in steps.

The easiest way is by mail. If your current passport is not damaged and can be sent with your application, you were 16 years or older when the prior one was granted and the passport was issued in the last 15 years and in your current legal name (provide documents if you changed your name), then mailing is the best way. If you cannot provide the above documents, then you must get your expired passport renewed in person.

The correct form to fill out would be form DS-82. Form DS-82 is the renewal form and it can be sent by mail as long as you are currently in the United States. Please note that there will be delays in processing if any of the following have occurred: Your most recent passport has been mutilated in any way, altered, or damaged, the envelope that you used was not of adequate size to hold all documents required, if you are behind on child support payments, and the use of a non-standard form of traceable delivery.

If you have to apply in person, then you must fill out for DS-11. Ensure that you provide your social security number with this form. If you do not include it, there will be a possibility that your request will be delayed and even denied altogether. Once the DS-11 form has been filled out, you will have to provide evidence that you are a citizen of the United States before the renewed passport or card will be sent out. This will include previously used passports, a birth certificate, a birth certificate from another country, naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship and pay the fee of $95. That fee is for the passport book and passport card. If you just want the passport or the card it will be $80 and $15.

The normal processing times for standard delivery are roughly 5-7 days long and it can be tracked online also at the website. They are sent out via 1st class mail, and unfortunately cannot be sent out with overnight delivery so prepare just in case you need the passport urgently. If you do need it urgently, there are other options. As long as you are eligible, you can schedule an appointment at a one of the 24 regional passport agencies within the United States. Of course, if any of the aforementioned delays are present, the time it will take will increase.

Payments accepted are normal Credit Cards, checks, Money orders/Cashier’s checks, bank drafts and debit cards. Some facilities do accept cash payments, but ensure that you have a backup just in case. No cash payment through the mail. If the passport is for a minor, the photo must be a 2×2 that was taken in the last 6 months and both parents either must be present during the passport issuing, or the second parent must have a notarized document signed that states that they approve the passport for their child along with the DS-82 signed form.


Passport Fees

You want to travel abroad. Maybe your company is sending you to close out a deal overseas; maybe you want to do some sightseeing on a personal vacation; or perhaps you want to take the family on a little adventure to Canada to see the unspoiled wildlife, or drive down to Mexico to escape the winter cold.

Whatever your reasons for traveling internationally, you’ve probably started doing a little research on obtaining you U.S. Passport. You’ve looked at what requirements you need to meet, what information you need, and where in your area you can go to apply for a passport. You know what you need to do to go in, fill out your U.S. Passport application, and present the necessary paperwork so you can get out without so much as a mild headache.

What many people don’t know is how much it actually costs to get a U.S. Passport.

When it comes to a standard U.S. Passport (the DS-11 version), the price will depend on which “package” you are getting. If you do not currently have a passport, or are aplying for the very first time, you have a few options.

 Adults Getting A Passport For The First Time

The typical U.S. Passport Book – the one you usually see people presenting at airports to get stamped – are $110 with a first-time processing fee of $25. There is also the option of getting a U.S. Passport Card, which is $30 with a $25 processing fee. The most popular option (in order to have identification backup in case you lose one or the other) is to get both the U.S. Passport Book, as well as the card. This will cost $140 with a one-time processing fee of $25. Most people will tell you that the last option just makes more sense, because you will have two forms of identification while traveling.

 Renewing A Passport

 If you are renewing your U.S. Passport, you won’t have to present as much paperwork (usually, mailing in your old passport with the renewal request will suffice), and you won’t have to pay as much as first-time applicants. To renew your U.S. Passport Book, it costs $110. For the Card, $30. For both the U.S. Passport Book and Card, it will cost $140. The processing fee that applies to first-time applicants is waived in this case.

Children/People Under 16 Years Of Age

 Not everyone who travels is an adult. Students taking trips abroad, and children going on family vacations or visition people internationally also need passports.

For a person 16 years old and younger, the fees for getting a U.S. Passport are slightly less than listed above, but they come with the same options. For someone in this age group, a U.S. Passport Book will cost $80 plus a one-time processing fee of $25. For the card by itself, the cost is $15 plus the $25 fee for processing. As with the listing for adults, there is an option (again, this is the one that’s recommended) for both the U.S. Passport Book and the Card. This will run for $95 plus the $25 processing fee. These charges and fees also apply to minors who are renewing their U.S. Passports.

 Optional Passport Services

 In addition to getting a U.S. Passport, there are other services you can get, and which have very nominal fees attached to them.

Overnight Delivery – This makes certain that once your application has been processed and your U.S. Passport is ready to be shipped, it will be overnighted to your address. The cost for this service is $12.72.

Expedited Service  - A typical U.S. Passport application takes roughly 6-8 weeks to process, once the application leaves your hands. Getting expedited or “rushed” serivce will cut down this waiting time to 2-3 weeks, and is well worth the $60 fee to get your travel plans arranged.

File Search – This is a rarely used service, but if you need to verify a previous U.S. Passport or consular birth in another country, a written request will get you the information you seek. This service costs $150 per request, and will be waived in the case of your U.S. Passport getting lost or stolen.

Adding Pages – If you are a globe-hopping, jetsetting traveler, you might find the pages of your U.S. Passport filling up with stamps from various countries. If you anticipate this happening to you, you can have additional pages included in your passport for $82.

Name Changes/Informational Errors

 You may find that throughout your globetrotting days that your name may legally change due to divorce or marriage, or perhaps getting a degree that adds some extra letters onto your name. Also, it should be noted that even the U.S. Bureau of Cunsular Affairs is not infallible. Sometimes clerical errors do occur when printing one’s name, address, or date of birth on a passport. If any of the situations in this section should occur, you can have your U.S. Passport information updated, free of charge.

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of what it costs to get a U.S. Passport, you should have no problem planning for your next big trip abroad!