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There are several ways to expedite a passport, depending on where an applicant lives and when he needs to travel. The exact process may vary depending upon the traveler's country of origin and it is best to check with the specific country's embassy or consulate. United States citizens can use regional passport processing centers, emergency passport services and the U.S. Post Office to help them expedite a passport application. An expedite fee is required to process the application, in addition to regular processing fees and postage costs.
In the United States, 20 regional passport processing centers accept appointments from individuals who need to expedite a passport. The applicant needs to fill out a formal application and provide a passport photo, as well as processing and expedite fees. Visiting a regional passport processing center is a viable option if the traveler needs his passport within two weeks.
Applicants who do not live near one of the regional processing centers can still expedite a passport through the mail. The expedite box must be checked on the application in order for the agency to prioritize it. Renewal and new passport applications may be expedited through the mail by sending them to a designated processing address. Various processing fees apply depending upon the type of application.
Mail-in applications and forms processed through the U.S. Postal Service are a viable option for travelers who need to expedite a passport within three weeks. New applications will typically require proof of citizenship, a passport photo, and a completed passport application. The U.S. Post Office usually has application forms available at its various locations. Passport photos can be obtained from various photography vendors.
Renewal passport applications, including expedite requests, can be processed through the mail if the traveler meets certain requirements. The existing passport must be less than 15 years old. It cannot be damaged in any way and must have been issued when the traveler was at least 16 years of age. In addition, the applicant's legal name must be the same as when the original passport was issued.
If an applicant is able to meet the mail-in renewal requirements, he can obtain a mail-in form from the U.S. State Department. An application may need to be filled out in-person at a U.S. postal facility or processing center if the mail-in requirements cannot be met. Emergency passport services can accept applications if the traveler needs his passport within 24 to 48 hours.
Same day passport services charge additional fees for overnight delivery and expedited processing. Travelers who do not live near a regional passport processing center may benefit from a same day passport service. Regular processing and expedite fees apply and applicants must still submit all required documentation.