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Hers Magazine



Passport Expiring? Here’s How to Expedite It

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By Peggy Hattendorf, Travel Editor

 

You decide to take a last-minute international trip, but you discover that your passport is about to expire before  the trip.  The processing time for a passport renewal is four to six weeks or longer depending on the time of the year. However, you don’t have the luxury of that “processing time” because the trip is in two weeks. Before you panic and think to cancel your trip, make sure you know your options. The U.S. Department of State and the International United States Embassies are authorized to issue temporary or emergency passports.

Here’s what you will need to do to expedite your passport renewal:

  • Locate a U.S. Regional Passport Agency or a private Passport Expediting Company.
  • Bring along your existing passport.
  • Complete the passport renewal forms provided from the agency.
  • Provide 2 identical passport photos or be ready to have photos taken at the agency.
  • Have payment for the necessary passport renewal fees, government fees, and expedite charges.
  • Supply valid proof of immediate travel outside the country – paid airline ticket confirmations, hotel confirmations, and travel itineraries.

There are 27 Regional Passport Agencies across the country. They accept appointments if you are traveling in less than two weeks or need a visa within four weeks. Some even have walk-in hours. The current cost for passport renewal and government fees is $110.00 with an expedite fee of $60.00. The Priority Express Delivery charge is $20.66.




While the U.S. State Department and international U.S. Embassies are set up to issue these types of passports, these facilities are located only in the major cities. If you do not reside in a large metropolitan area, the next avenue is to check Passport Expediting Agencies. The fees charged for these services are substantially higher. Rush passports are $170.00. In addition, the expedite fees for quick turnaround times are: $395.00 for 24-hours, $259.00 for 3-days and $169.00 for 4-6 days.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect in 2007 requiring passports for Americans returning by air from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Therefore, the State Department is expecting mass renewals of 10-year passports this year and next year. Even if you are not in a last-minute rush, consider the “Six Month Passport Validity Passport Rule” imposed by foreign countries. The State Department recommends your passport have at least six months of validity beyond your actual travel dates. Travelers will not be permitted entrance into most countries unless their passports are set to expire at least six months after the final date of travel. It might be time to check your passport’s validity before you book your next international trip.

It’s a good idea to contact the U.S. State Department’s, National Passport Information Center, at 877-487-2778 or NPIC@state.gov for assistance with the passport application process, application forms, necessary documents, and fees. If time permits an email response, please note it may take 24 hours before you obtain a response to your inquiry.

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