When applying for a United States passport, there are always a number of important things to keep in mind. For starters, you will need to download and fill out the appropriate form from the Internet, depending on exactly what you are trying to accomplish.
If you’re trying to renew an existing passport, for example, you would need to fill out form DS-11 would be an application for a new passport. You will also need to submit two photographs that are two inches by two inches in size that show a clear, front view of your face as it will look when your travel date actually arrives. Once you’ve accomplished that step, the next course of action will vary depending on exactly what type of passport office you’re working with.
Types of Passport Offices in the United States
There are two different types of passport offices in the United States that you’ll need to concern yourself with as you prepare your documents for submission. The first of those is called an Acceptance Agent. Acceptance Agent is a term used to describe a government employee that is authorized to witness the signature that is required on your passport application form DS-11 (or whichever form you have to fill out, depending on the circumstances). Some example of location to find an acceptance agent is the following: post offices, county clerk’s office and court houses.
Once that signature has been properly witnessed, the Acceptance Agent would then collect all of your application documents and seal them in an envelope. That envelope is not to be opened until you hand it over to someone at a Passport Agency or you submit it to a Passport Office in your area. Acceptance Agents are normally located at United States Post Offices, in court houses around the country and more.
The second main type of passport office that you my involve yourself with is called a Passport Agency. These locations allow you to submit your application in person, though an expedited fee is usually required. You will need to pay the expedited fee in addition to the normal passport processing fees that you will pay at the same time. Some (though not all) Passport Agencies will also require that you provide proof that your international trip will be happening within two weeks of your submission. Others may also require you to obtain a foreign visa within four weeks of the date that you apply. Always check to see what documents are required before visiting a Passport Agency in your area.
Private Passport Expeditors
If you have a trip coming up and find that you cannot wait the normal amount of time to submit your passport application and have it processed, another viable option is to enlist the services of a private passport expeditor service in your area. Under the best of conditions, the normal wait time for a passport to be processed is several weeks – to say nothing of the extended wait times that people can experience during the warm summer months of the year, when people are traveling and vacations abroad are most popular.
A private passport expeditor service will collect all of the documents that you’ve prepared and submit them to the nearest passport office on your behalf. They can then have your passport in hand in as little as 24 to 48 hours after your original submission, making sure that you have more than enough time to make your flight without worrying about any types of travel delays due to insufficient documents.