What is passport expediting?The traditional process of obtaining a passport is one that can stretch over long periods of time, depending on a number of different factors that are out of our control, for the most part at least. There is, however, a way of circumventing that waiting time, but it should only be used when truly necessary: it is referred to as passport expediting. To explain it briefly, passport expediting is a service which allows United States citizens to obtain all of their travel documents with much greater haste than usual. Because many people find themselves in a bit of a chaotic state when requiring passport expediting services they tend to have a lot of questions, and what follows is an attempt to clearly answer the most common ones.
How do I expedite my passport?
Currently there are three different ways through which people can expedite their passports. The oldest one is to use the exact same procedure as for a routine service, with the only difference being that you need to write the word "expedite" on the envelope and send along a payment. If you want to take care of things personally, find the nearest regional agency as it they accept applicants in person. Finally, there are passport expediting companies out there that specialize in this specific type of service, and most of them can actually make the process go faster than the other two methods.
How much does it cost?
As you can guess, if you want to benefit from a service that will allow you to circumvent regular and government-imposed waiting times, you will need to pay a certain amount of money for it. If you are going through the Department of State, the regular fee of $60 will be applied to you, nothing more, nothing less. If you hire the services of a passport expediting company, then you are going to be charged based on the time delay chosen. The fee can range from $60 for 10 to 14 days, all the way to $300 for a wait of only 24 hours. Keep in mind that regardless of which path you take, the government will still demand its regular fee.
The time factor
Seeing as how passport expediting is all about offering a quick solution to those in a tough situation, it is important to know how long the process takes. If you follow the first method that was discussed, chances are that you will end up waiting for somewhere around two to three weeks, and it is therefore not recommended for truly urgent situations. The second and the third methods, however, can provide results much faster than that, especially the regional agency which can process your application the same day it is submitted on. Long story short, the faster you want it done, the lighter your wallet will become.
Regardless of which sensational world-traveling journey you are planning, remember that you cannot enter or exit the United States without having a proper passport that has not expired yet. If the time has come to replace the old one, then do so as fast as possible. If expediting seems like the only solution, then try to strike a sensible balance between time delay and money; after all, this is just the beginning of your many traveling expenses.