How To Get An Expedited United States Passport

by erin on July 6, 2010

When presented with the opportunity to travel to a foreign country, paper work is the last thing that should get in the way of your trip. If there is little time to prepare, getting an expedited new passport might become the first step in preparing for the trip. It is important to understand what travel documents are needed for the trip and how long it normally takes to obtain them.

The process of getting your first passport is not difficult if the person takes the time to study what is required of them. There is an official application that is submitted to the proper governmental agency, along with required supporting documents and payment of a fee. These documents include proof of citizenship, some sort of personal identification to prove a match of applicant name and other identifying information, and a copy of that same personal identification. In addition, two color photos are required. For specific details of what are considered acceptable supporting documents, check the issuing agency’s website.

If a short window of time exists in which to complete the application process, there are ways to accelerate acquisition of the passport. There are private companies that are in business for this very reason. They will assist in walking the paperwork through to completion. There is also the option of paying a higher fee to the issuing agency in order to obtain priority in getting through the process.

As a first time applicant, you must appear in person at a Passport Agency office or an Acceptance Facility with your pasport application form and supporting documents. An Acceptance Facility is likely to be more convenient, as these are usually located in a post office or other government office. If normal lead times for the issuing agency are not adequate for your travel needs, you must bypass the normal processing sequence by making an appointment with an agent at a Regional Passport Agency. At this appointment you would request faster service, prove the need for it, and then present your application paperwork to the agent. There is a higher fee to use this faster service.

If having an advocate to assist with the application process is more appealing, then using the services of one of the several private companies that specialize in this type of work might be the right approach. What must be submitted as far as the application, identification, proof of citizenship, and photos does not change in this situation. What is different is that the company will take everything prepared by the individual traveler and move it through the necessary steps in a shorter amount of time. It should be emphasized that employing a private company to assist in this process, the traveler must still appear at an Acceptance Facility to begin the application.

These companies are in business to provide a service to travelers by shortening the time to get documents. They charge for these services and the more urgent the need, the higher the fee. Some promise they can get a passport application through the process in less than two weeks and even as little as one day. If the requirement is speed, one of these companies might be the right solution.

If you have decided that one of these private companies is the best solution to meet your needs, then you must decide which one to select. Some factors to consider when making your choice should include how much you are willing to pay since different companies have higher fees for the same promised service. A key consideration is the reputation of the company, and whether they deliver what they promise. If you are counting on someone to get you what you need without disrupting your travel plans, you want to know that you have selected a reliable company.

In the fast paced society of the modern world, not having a passport shouldn’t be a big concern should a sudden trip present itself. Whether using the standard agency, or a private company, most individuals’ needs can be met. As long as the pass port application form and supporting documents can be obtained in a timely manner, there is a way to get an expedited new U S passport. Knowing this, the only worry is what to pack.

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