Whether it is last-minute travel plans or a big business trip, it’s not uncommon for travellers to have to expedite their U.S. passport applications. Expedited services cost a bit more but are sometimes essential. The process for both renewing and getting a new passport rapidly is fairly similar to the regular application process, which can take anywhere from a week to several months. Regrettably, wait times for regular and rushed passports became even longer throughout the course of the pandemic, and that lack of certainty can worry travellers. Here is what you need to know to get a passport as quickly as possible.
How long will it take to get an expedited passport?
In recent times, even expediting new passport with a courier has also experienced a slowdown. But both regular and rushed passport processing times started reducing toward the end of 2021. If you apply for an expedited new passport directly through the U.S. State Department, the processing times will be about 5 to 7 weeks, but that does not include mail delivery times. The processing times begin the day they receive your application at a passport agency, not the day you mail your application or apply for a passport at a local passport facility. The 5 – 7 weeks’ timeframe is down from the 12 – 18 weeks the agency had projected for expedited passport services earlier. For a faster turnaround, an expeditor can take six to seven business days if you are travelling within 2 weeks, but they only have a limited number of spots for that fast service. There have been numerous changes to the passport application process since then.
The process to get an expedited new passport
If you want the expedited service, you need to send the application using Priority Mail Express through the U.S. Postal Service. The State Department endorses that all the applicants send their application via trackable mail, so that applicants can know precisely when it arrives and enters the system. Travelers can also opt for 1 -2 day return delivery of their passport for extra money, to help speed things along. Expediting agencies are companies that support rushed passport applications, and they charge an additional fee on top of the standard passport application fee, as well as the expedited passport service fee, but can often help direct the ins and outs of the expedited passport process.