U.S. Passports Online Information Portal
Applying for your passport with the post office:
If you need your passport with no urgency, you have the option to apply through a local post office that is registered in your town with the passport agency to provide acceptance of your passport application. Most local post offices now require an appointment to be seen in person and can take from a few days to over a month to be seen, depending on the type of travel season you are in. You can pick up your applications at the local post office or you can download forms from our site so you are prepared when you appear in person. The post office offers two types of processing: routine and expedited. Routine processing can take 4-6 weeks while the expedited service can take 2-3 weeks. Once again you may need an appointment, so plan accordingly. Should you need faster service you have two options. See regional passport agencies and using a private passport expediting service.
The post office usually takes 4-6 weeks for routine processing but offers expedited service for an additional fee and this speeds up the process to about 2-4 weeks. Remember the post office does not process the actual passport the U.S. Passport Agency does. The post office acts as an acceptance agency then mails your application off to the national passport processing center for processing.
Many post offices now require a pre arranged appointment for the applicants to even walk in for passport acceptance. The post office moved to this system because they were inundated with passport requests and could not handle the volume. There are only a few walk-in acceptance agencies that will accept you without an appointment, they are usually local county clerks and even some public libraries.
Expediting a passport with a registered agent:
If you need your passport expedited fast, you have the option to apply through a Registered Passport Expediting Service. A Registered Passport Expeditor can help you with all of your passport application forms and expedited processing. Passport expeditors are not the U.S. Government. If you are traveling international in the next 14 days (or 30 days and a visa is required to the country of destination) you can now apply with a registered passport expeditor. Here are some items you should know: Passport expeditors hand carry your passport application inside of a regional passport agency to secure the passport in hand as quickly as 24-48 hours. Once the passport is complete, the courier can deliver the passport to the applicant in hand the same day or use an overnight shipping company to have the passport to the applicant the next morning.
Passport expeditors alleviate the applicant from making an appointment at a regional passport agency as well as saving the client time from waiting in lines of people all trying to get the passport on time. A key benefit in using a registered passport expeditor is they do all the leg work for the applicant except for getting the documents adjudicated at the local post office for new applicants as they must appear in person for document and identity authentication.
There are many advantages using a registered passport expeditor. One key factor is that you do not need to appear in person at a regional passport agency. So if your time is busy with work, or family this can be a very viable option to choose from. When you use a passport expeditor another key advantage is when the passport application is submitted the applicant usually knows the same or next business day what the status is with the passport application, where with the post office it may take a few weeks to know if the application is approved. If the application is rejected this will delay the process.
- Do not have to appear in person
- Have up to the minute status updates with the passport agency
- Have an advocate for your passport application
Many expeditors charge fees that are on top of the government fee. The fee can range based on service plan selections and usually start at under one hundred dollars but can go as high as four hundred dollars.
Passports Online overview:
Passportsonline.org makes sure U.S. citizens are prepared when they appear at the local passports office. Our knowledge base gives our users easy checklists and streamlined information on Department of State topics, as well as travel news, passport information, routine passport service, reviews about the best passport expeditors, and visa services. We make all those time consuming and difficult vital document issues a breeze. Not only that, but we encourage all our readers to join our social community so it stays as up-to-date as possible.