Expedited Passport Services: How to Guide

An expedited passport can be a lifesaver if you are pressed for time and must travel abroad. To avoid the need for expedited service, check the validity of your family’s passports regularly so that you’ll be ready if a last-minute trip is needed. However, in an emergency or last-minute scenario, you have several options for receiving a passport. It can be stressful when you find out you need an expedited passport, but you have options.

Life or Death Appointments

If you are looking to expedite your passport application, you will need to have all your documents ready, such as applications, passport photos, and any other supporting documents.

You may be eligible for an emergency appointment if you need to travel internationally in 3 business days to reunite with an immediate family member outside of the United States due to a life-or-death situation:

  • Has died, or
  • Is dying (hospice care), or
  • Has a life-threatening illness or injury
  • Where to Get an Expedited Passport?

    Passport expediting service provided by post offices, regional passport agencies, and private expediting companies. If you are traveling within 14 days, these services would be able to obtain your passport as quickly as the same day in some cases.

    How Does the Expedited Passport Process Work?

    There are three options when expediting your passport application: the post offices, regional passport agencies, and private passport and visa companies. These three services process your passport differently, and we will explain how it works.

    Passport LocationProcessing TimeDetails
    The Post Offices 2 to 3 weeksThe post office’s expedited passport service takes 2 to 3 weeks for processing. If you are traveling sooner, applying with the post office is NOT recommended.
    Regional Passport Agency1 to 2 Weeks

    Must have international travel within 14 calendar days
    The Regional Passport Agency is the recommended go-to place for expedited passport services, especially if you need your passport within two weeks. (Recommended)
    Private Passport Expediting Companies1 to 6 WeeksPrivate expediting companies also would be able to expedite your passport in two weeks or less, but these companies charge a service fee plus the regular government fees. This service should be used only if you cannot go to the passport agency yourself.

    Post Offices

    Post Offices with Acceptance Agent processing a passport replacement
    Orlando,FL/USA- 6/24/20: People mailing packages at a United States Post Office in Orlando, Florida where people are wearing face masks and social distancing,

    The post offices do not process your passport application on the spot it is sent out to the Department of State to process. Once the passport application is processed, the application is sent back to the customer by registered mail.

    If there are any issues with the application, it will take further time as the customer will be notified via certified mail to provide additional documents, etc.

    Regional Passport Agencies

    The passport agencies are located in a number of states throughout the United States. These government agencies are able to process your passport application on the spot with valid travel plans.  This is the RECOMMENDED service to get your passport if traveling in a rush.

    Passport Expediting Companies

    Passport expeditors are assigned passport slots with some passport agencies. Once you submit your passport application to these companies, they will hand deliver it to the regional passport agencies. Once your application is approved or denied, this company will then relay the message back to the customer.

    How to Send Passport Documents?

    For secure expedited document delivery, use a secure packaging like a Tyvek envelope. Always get a tracking number and label the envelope with “expedite” in block letters. Avoid sending cash.

    • Use a secure package such as a Tyvek envelope so the contents of the mailing are protected from wear and the elements while traveling through the postal or delivery system.
    • Use a trackable delivery method when sending your passport application and personal documents.
    • For mailed expedited renewals, submit Form DS-82 and write “EXPEDITE” clearly in block letters on the envelope.
    • Never send cash; include payment in the form of a personal check or money order payable to the United States Department of State.

    Private Passport Expediting Companies

    A number of private companies also provide expediting services as well as rush delivery/courier services to meet your needs. Some of them operate within passport agencies and can submit an expedited passport application for you on your behalf. Ensure that the expediter you choose can meet your deadline and that you are comfortable with what they will charge you.


    To expedite your U.S. passport, take the proper steps and get organized ahead of time. Provide all necessary documents, complete forms online, use USPS resources, and check your local post office’s availability. This ensures a quick and hassle-free approval process.

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