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.


Passport Name Change

Changing your name on your passport is a necessary step if you have changed your name any time recently. If you plan to go abroad, it is very important to remember the fact that if you have had a name change in the recent past, but your passport still uses the old name; you could very possibly run into some serious trouble.

Also, it is very important to ensure that you do this in a timely manner in case you must leave the country for a family emergency, or a business trip. If left unchanged from the prior name, it may be close to impossible to reach the destination that you need to get to.

There are three different scenarios that you may have come into that would be cause for a need to change your name on your passport.

The first scenario is if you received your passport less than a year ago and since then you have had your name changed legally due to a court order or you got married. If this is the case, then you should mail in your current valid US Passport, the (DS-5504) form, which is the actual application for any sort of changes to a passport whether it be a name change or some form of data correction or a limited passport book used for replacement. You will also need the original or certified copy of your marriage license or certificate or the government issued document that shows evidence of any court order with a legal name change under either state or federal law. It may be required that you submit one recent color photo.

The great thing about a simple name change within the last year is that is free of charge unless you require the expedited service. Please use a traceable form of mailing and use a mailing packaging that is of suitable size and provides adequate protection for the documents inside.

When it comes to the photo requirements, they must be printed on photo quality paper and be 2 x 2 inches, or 51mm x 51mm in size. It must have been taken in the last 6 months taken in plain view without any sort of obscurities that would prevent your identification. You should wear your normal daily clothes along with any needed hearing aids, glasses etc. Hats are not permissible unless it is for religious purposes. Regardless though, the entire face must be visible and there may be no shadows casted on top of your face, for whatever reason.

The second scenario is if your passport was issued more than 1 year ago and since then you have had your name changed legally due to a court order or you got married. If this is the case, then you must mail in your current valid US Passport, the completed form (DS-82 as opposed to DS-5504) which is the actual application for a passport. You should NOT use DS-5504. You will still need the original or certified copy of your marriage license or certificate or the government issued document that shows evidence of any court order with a legal name change under either state or federal law. It may be required that you submit one recent color photo if you need to update the photo on file.

You are for the most part applying for a brand new passport. Due to the fact that you are filling out for DS-82, you must be pay the renewal fee involved with getting a new passport which is $140 for the passport and card, $110 for just the passport book, and $30 for just the passport card. Again, please ensure that you use a traceable form of delivery.


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.


Renewing My Passport

Renewing your passport is a relatively straightforward process that is much easier than applying for your first passport. For obvious reasons, you aren’t going to be able to use the same passport for your entire life, this would pose a huge security threat to anybody traveling abroad, and the fact of the matter is that renewing it is a simple process that should stir up any sort of reservations for the people that have to do it. This is especially true if you are turning 18, where it is expected of you to renew your passport, just like your driver’s license. This is because people under 18 have their own special type of passport, and when you turn 18 you are no longer eligible to use it, so it is then time to graduate to the full normal passport everyone else uses.

It is possible, and easiest to renew by mail if your current passport is not damaged and can be sent with your application, was issued when you were 16 years or older, issued in the last 15 years and in your current legal name (provide documents if you changed your name).If you cannot provide the above documents, then you must get your 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. The fee itself is $95 for the passport book and passport card. If you just want the passport or the card it will be $80 or $15 respectively.

Payments accepted are Credit Cards, checks, Money orders/Cashier’s checks, bank drafts and debit cards. Some facilities accept cash payments, but ensure that you have a backup just in case. No cash payment through the mail. Remember to take into consideration that if you are paying by mail, it could be a while until they get your payment- but once they do they are generally pretty quick about it.

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.


Passports for Children

Renewing a child’s passport is a little more complicated than that of a regular passport for anybody over the age of 18. The reason for this stems from child abduction laws. The heightened security is to protect the child since if it was possible to easily obtain a new passport; an abducted child would easily assume a new name and never be found. These laws have made it much safer, but also at the same time a little more time consuming.

Based on the fact that renewal is for the protection of the child, when they need their passport renewed, it must be done with the parent present, in person. It cannot be done online or through the mail for minors under the age of 16. Any child under the age of 16 must have a parental consent form filled in addition.

The first thing that you need to do is fill out the DS-11 from the official website. This is the actual application for the child’s passport and should be completed by hand. You should not sign the application until you have been told that it is ok by an Acceptance Agent when you arrive in person. After that, it is expected of you to have ready your social security number for the child. If you do not include it, there will be a possibility that your requests will be delayed and even denied.

Once the DS-11 form has been completely filled out, you will have to provide evidence that the child is a citizen of the United States. You may use previously issued passports, a birth certificate, a birth certificate from another country, naturalization certificate, adoption decree, a court order that claims custody, a court order that claims guardianship, or a report of a birth abroad.

Unlike an adult passport, a child’s passport cannot use secondary evidence as much a regular adult passport. There are a lot of reasons behind this, but the main one being that since children grow so quickly, it would be a huge inconvenience to those looking at the passport to see a 4 year old photo of an 8 year old. When it comes to the photo, it must be a 2×2 that was taken in the last 6 months. This is very important since children grow so quickly it cannot be an old photo at all.

If the child has a mother and father, 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-11 signed form.

If there is one parent that has sole legal custody, there are a lot of different ways that you can claim that you are the single holder of custody of the child. One of the easiest ways is going to be providing your Adoption decree, which should have been given to you when you first legally to custody of him or her. Remember that there are actually other ways too, but since most people are going to have the adoption decree, this is easily the most practical for all people.

The final part is the fee itself. The fee is $95 for the book and card plus the $25 execution/processing fee. If you just want the passport or the card it will be $80 or $15 respectively. Payments accepted are Credit Cards, checks, Money orders/Cashier’s checks, bank drafts and debit cards. Some facilities accept cash payments, but ensure that you have a backup just in case. No cash payment through the mail.


Getting a Passport

The first step involved in getting a passport  is to gather all the necessary items that you need to process the request. The very first thing that you need to do is fill out the form DS-11. This is the actual application for the US Passport and should be completed online or by hand. You won’t be able to sign the application until it is allowed by an Acceptance Agent; you must also tell them your social security number. If you do not include it, there will be a possibility that your requests will be delayed and even denied.

Once the DS-11 form has been completely filled out, you will have to provide evidence that you are a citizen of the United States. This will include previously used passports, a birth certificate, a birth certificate from another country, naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.

The above are considered the primary evidence that you are eligible. If you do not have these then there are a whole host of other things that you can use as evidence to prove that you are eligible for receiving a passport. Just call ahead and ask what you can use to prove this, and the chances are pretty good that you will have at least one of the listed items that can be used (there are roughly 10). Unfortunately voter’s registration cards, army discharge papers and your social security card are not acceptable forms of identification.

If you are completing your passport in person, you must bring an acceptable form of identification such as a previously used passport, certificate of naturalization, a valid driver’s license, and last but not least a current Government or Military ID.

When arriving, bring a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document that you are providing – It must be using standard 8+1/2 x 11 paper showing both the front and back of each card or document. Ensure that you do not place both the front and back on the same side of the paper. Each card side must be on a separate piece of paper, whether that be a different sheet, or the back-side of one sheet. It is permissible to increase the size of a photocopy, but never to decrease.

If you are disabled and someone is providing your information on your behalf, they must present their ID when they appear also.

Once all the information has been filled out, all copies made, the fee must be paid. The typical fees for a passport are $110 for the application and $25 for the execution. If you wish to also get a card along with the book, expect to pay $140 + $25. For just the card, it is $30 + $25.Renewals are the same prices minus the execution fee of $25.

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.

If you do need the passport urgently, the cost for expedited service is $60, so it would be wise to try and think ahead of time when you need to get your passport for the first time or have it renewed.


Replacing a Lost Passport

Your United States Passport is a very important document and should be safeguarded as well as one can do both when in use, and not in use. A lost passport is not quite as simple as requesting a new one. There are a couple steps that you must take to ensure that the lost passport is accounted for correctly, the same way that you would report a lost credit card.

If you ever find that your passport has been lost or stolen, the first thing you must do is report it. If you are within the United States, call toll free 1877-487-2778 and let the representative know whether it has been lost or stolen. If you are overseas, you must visit your local US Embassy or Consulate and report it immediately. Do not wait for reporting a lost card as it can be a serious security risk for the United States.

If you do not want to call or visit a local office, it is permissible to fill out form DS-64, which is what you fill out in case of a lost passport or one that has been stolen. This form DS-64 must be filled out and mailed immediately and then sent to the US Department of State Passport Services; a bizarre name for a service, but something that is incredibly important. The same goes if you happen to stumble upon someone else’s passport – report it immediately and mail it to the address above in a good envelope.

When sending in form DS-64, if you wish to obtain a replacement and you are not overseas, sent in form DS-11 with the application. DS-11 is the general passport application form that must be completed with as accuracy otherwise delay times or possible declines may occur. 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.

If you are not applying for another passport, simply send form DS-64 alone. Once the form has been sent, any found passports following must be mailed in. They cannot be re-used as they will be off the usable list and invalidated. Unless it is specifically requested otherwise, the old passport will be destroyed for security issues. It is important to remember that once a passport has been reported missing, it cannot be reclaimed as your own, it is no longer usable.

Be very careful when it comes to ordering replacement or temporary passports and ensure that you are using the US Government for replacement. There are plenty of websites and companies who use fraudulent ways to assure you that your passport will be expedited if you pay a very large fee. Most of these are a scam and you should only engage with true government agencies when it comes to your passport.

If you are truly in a rush for the passport, ensure that you contact a passport and visa expeditor as they may be able to do your process quicker than the standard lines. Go to your nearest office to request this.