If you are planning to travel internationally, you’ll need a valid passport. To avoid the hassle of waiting in line at the post office, you can apply for one online or at a regional passport office. You will need to provide proof of identity, pay a small fee and wait a bit. Depending on the time of year you are applying, you could receive your new passport in less than a week. However, in most cases, it will take about two to four weeks to process your application.
It’s also worth noting that you can expedite your application by using a passport expediting service. These companies are usually able to expedite a passport in as little as 8 hours. They will send your application to the Department of State, where it will be processed. Your application packet will then be sent to a registered company, which will overnight the passport to you. The cost of this service can be as much as $500.
You may not realize it, but the United States Postal Service works with the Department of State to facilitate passport applications. This is good news for the many Americans who find the process to be confusing and time consuming. In addition to the normal mail processing, USPS offers passport services that include expedited and routine passport services.
There are three main ways to get a new passport: at your local post office, at an official passport acceptance facility or with the help of a third-party expediting company. Each way has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all work in the same general order.
Getting a new passport from your local post office can take up to 18 weeks. This is why you should be careful about applying too close to your departure date. On the other hand, it can be quicker to apply at a local passport office, especially if your trip is relatively short.
The Postal Service suggests allowing at least a day or two for your application to reach your destination. While the USPS can’t guarantee a quick turnaround, they do their best to make sure it happens as soon as possible.
An online status tracker is an excellent way to keep tabs on your application. This allows you to see when your passport was mailed and when it has been received. A status tracker will display your last name, Social Security number and the date of mailing. Also, you can use the tracking service to receive email updates if you opt for that option.
The State Department has a number of programs that can help you when you need a passport the most. Most notably, the Department of State has rules in place to prevent you from traveling with your child abroad without the other parent’s permission. Other programs protect children involved in custody disputes.
Choosing the right expediting company can mean the difference between a fast and slow passport. The USPS is proud to be part of the Department of State’s passport program.