How to Get an Expedited Passport

Getting an expedited passport or renewal is no joke, especially if you are a U.S. citizen. Like most consultants, we’ve had one international trip that just snuck up on us – it’s no fun finding out three days before your flight that your passport is expired (or about to expire!).

Making things even more hectic, many countries now require that your passport be valid for more than 6 months, so whether your passport is as old as last month’s leftovers or even if your passport is not yet expired, you may need the help of an expedited passport service.

Typical processing time for U.S. passports is 6-8 weeks. If you need a U.S. passport and can afford to wait 2-3 weeks, you do have the option to use the expedited passport process working directly with the U.S. Department of State. Fees for an expedited passport vary.

The good news? No matter your reason – be it business, personal, or a little bit of both – it is possible to get an expedited passport or renewal even faster. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re in need of an expedited passport. Well, have no fear! You can use a service provider for your expedited passport that will enable you to stay at home or stay at work instead of camping out in a government office that may be nowhere near where you live.

Therefore, if you need a passport in under 2 weeks (welcome to the Amazon era – who has 2 weeks to wait for anything?), you’ll need an expedited passport service. With a registered U.S. expedited passport service, you have the option to get your passport in as little as one business day – without the need to drive 6 hours to Los Angeles or lose out on a full day of work.

For its speed, reliability, and great relationship with the U.S. Department of State, is our recommendation for the consultant who needs passport help – and fast.

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Steps To Get An Expedited Passport

The first step is to register on the Rush My Passport website. The website takes you through several options – ranging from one business day turnaround to 8-10 business days – so you can decide which is best for you. Just a heads up – the faster you need your expedited passport or renewal, the more expensive it will be.

Key options (the names are ours) include:

  • The Concorde – 24-hour service for $449. Get your passport back before you have to tell anyone that your procrastination had reached clinical levels. But ouch, this expedited passport fee might help you remember to think ahead next time!
  • The UPS – Next-day service for $349. You’re leaving next week, but want it in hand faster – this one’s for you.
  • Priority Service – 3-5 business days for $249. You can’t wait for the government (who can, really?), but you’re not in a crisis – yet.
  • Snail Mail – 6-7 business days for $169, or 8-10 business days for $119. Basically, you’re not in a hurry but you don’t want to show up yourself. We get it – government offices aren’t Instagrammable, am I right?

On top of these options, you’ll need to pay 2 mandatory fees:

  • Expedited 2-way shipping by FedEx (speed and price varies)
  • Government-mandated passport fees, including the government expedite option

Plus, we all know how reliable mail services are (the sting of not getting last year’s birthday present on time still haunt you? Yeah, us too.) – so there is also an option to have your expedited passport insured in case there is trouble in the mailing process.

Knowing all this, you’re ready to get started. Once you have registered on the Rush My Passport website, you will have to prepare your documentation.

Documentation Needed

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to include before you send off for your expedited passport or renewal. Triple check that you include everything, as a missing item will delay your request. The following items are what you will need to receive an expedited passport:

Passport Photo:

  • Do not wear white clothing, headgear, glasses, or uniforms. You can get these at a drugstore like CVS, or have it taken at a U.S. Post Office.

Passport Application:

  • Do not sign until you take it to your U.S. Postal Office or local County Clerk’s office for it to be signed and sealed
  • You can get these at the U.S. Department of State website. It is best to print off at least two.

Proof of US citizenship:

  • Original birth certificate
  • Expired passport
  • Original naturalization certificate

Government Fee:

  • Check or money order payable to the US Department of State (Do not abbreviate the word Department)

Proof of Identity:

  • Front and back copy of a valid US driver’s license or government issued I.D. with a picture

Once you have gotten all of your documents, you are ready to head to a government office to seal your application. Check to see if your local U.S. Post Office will seal your passport documents, as not all of them do. (Rush My Passport can recommend where you can go, if this happens to you.) This is also where you will sign your application before the documents are sealed.

Send everything off in the mail, and you will be ready to travel in no time! Say hello to making that sale or getting to that dream destination for a wraparound weekend.

Bonus tip: can also help you expedite visas. Depending on the nation that requires traveling U.S. citizens to hold a valid visa, the typical process can take anywhere from two weeks to two months.

If you’re anything like us – Jenny Rae got stuck in Brussels because she didn’t check to see that India needed a visa, and spent 2 extra nights begging and pleading to sort it out – you will avail of these services at some point in your career.

Of course, the best strategy is to save the expedited passport fee and keep your sanity by planning ahead! Check the State Department website well in advance and make sure you have your passport and visa in hand before booking that flight!

But just in case you don’t – is there for you. Good luck!

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Filed Under: consulting travel