If you want to get your first passport, or if you just need to get your passport renewed, hopefully you start the process far enough ahead of time so you have your new passport in more than enough time for your travels. But what if there’s an emergency and you need a new passport REALLY SOON or even RIGHT NOW? Don’t worry, because the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs has got your back.
According to Travel.State.Gov…
If you need your passport in:
More than 4-6 weeks
If you need your passport in more than 4-6 weeks, you can proceed as you normally would, and apply at an acceptance facility or renew by mail. You don’t need to have a reason to want a passport in this time frame.
Less than 4-6 weeks
If you need your passport in less than 4-6 weeks, you can expedite the process at an acceptance facility or expedite a renewal via mail. You’ll need to pay a $60 expedite fee in addition to the normal application and if you want optional 1-2 day deliver service, you’ll need to pay the rate to get your application to them (the price varies based on where you live), and/or $15.89 for 1-2 day delivery service fee. You don’t need to have a reason to want a passport in this time frame.
Less than 2-4 weeks
If you need your passport in less than 2-4 weeks, you’ll need to make an appointment at a passport agency or center. Be prepared to bring proof of your upcoming travel and make an appointment for within 2 weeks of your international travel (or 4 weeks if you need a visa). You’ll need to pay a $60 expedite fee in addition to the normal application and if you want optional 1-2 day deliver service, you’ll need to pay the rate to get your application to them (the price varies based on where you live), and/or $15.89 for 1-2 day delivery service fee.
Sometimes a life or death emergency will happen and you need a new passport RIGHT NOW. Life or death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 business days). You’ll need to provide all the usual application documentation in addition to proof of the life or death emergency. Proof of an emergency includes a death certificate (translated), a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional.
Once you have the proof of emergency, if you’re inside the United States, you need to call:
- 1-877-487-2778/ 1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TDD) Monday- Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, except Federal Holidays. Saturdays, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time.
- 202-647-4000 after business hours
Or if you’re outside the United States, you need to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Hopefully you’ll never need to get a passport or a renewal in less than 2-4 weeks or, worse yet, RIGHT NOW (or, well, as RIGHT NOW as the U.S. government works, which we now know is really 3 business days). But if you do, at least you’ll know what to do, just in case.
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