Four months after beginning to reopen passport processing centers, the U.S. State Department has announced they are again offering passport services for those who plan to travel within 72 hours.
After passport processing centers slowly began reopening in June, 72-hour service was strictly limited to those who had a life-or-death reason for international travel (i.e., family death, critical illness, etc.). The reason for this was twofold:
- The most attention needed to be on processing the backlog of 1.7 million passports that had built up during the 3 months the centers had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Safety for the government workers in said processing centers by having less of the public visit
Slowly but surely, the passport centers have knocked down the pile of applications. All applications received through June have been processed and they’re currently working on those they received in July, August and September. They’ve even caught up enough where they’ve brought back expedited services.
One thing that hadn’t yet returned was emergency passport services for those traveling within 72 hours but who didn’t have a “life or death” emergency. Say, if you had a last-minute business trip and your passport was about to expire, or you already had travel plans and your passport was suddenly lost or stolen.
The State Dep’t says they are now offering “a limited number of appointments for customers who have urgent international travel in the next 72 hours (3 business days) for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency.”
Here are the rules for the service:
…We are also offering a limited number of appointments for customers who have urgent international travel in the next 72 hours (3 business days) for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency. Customers must wear cloth face coverings in all common areas, including our lobbies, and observe strict social distancing.
Learn more about our current operations on our COVID-19 Update page.
To apply at a passport agency you must follow all of these requirements:
- Be traveling internationally within 72 hours (3 business days)
- Be able to show printed proof of international travel (such as your flight itinerary, hotel reservation, cruise tickets, or international car insurance)
- Pay the $60 expedite fee in addition to the regular application fees.
- Note: you can schedule your appointment up to 2 weeks before your international travel but the date of your appointment must be within 3 business days of your international travel. If you need a foreign visa, the date of your appointment must be within 10 business days of your international travel.
Go to this page of their website for more information.
I don’t suppose there will be a huge influx of people requesting this service, but it’s nice to know it’s there, just in case.
Feature Photo: PickPik
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary