Your boss just notified you in that in two weeks you will need to head out to visit your company’s newest acquisition. Unlike its other operations, this one is abroad and you do not have a valid passport to show for it.
A passport is required for international travel and getting one can take you several months. Here is how to get your passport quickly and remain within your boss’s good graces.
1. Get expedited service. The US State Department will process your passport application faster, but for a cost. That expedited price is $60 plus overnight return delivery as of May 2014. The cost is on top of the application and execution fees, what will vary based on the age of the applicant. Use Form DS-11 or Form DS-82 to complete your application.
2. Mail in your request. The fastest way to get your application processed is to mail it in. Payment in the form of a personal check or money order made out to the US Department of State is required — do not send cash! The state department advises that you write the word “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the envelope to push it through.
3. Rush your passport. If you need your passport faster than what the state department provides, you can use a private passport service to expedite your request. One company, PassportsandVisas.com, claims a turn around in as little as 24 hours. The faster you need it the more you will pay for this service. As of May 2014, their fee for a 24-hour turn around was $249 plus government fees. You will still pay $159 for seven business day service or $79 for standard delivery. Government fees are an extra charge.
4. Review your documentation. There is nothing worse than to pay for expedited service only to find out later that your application is incomplete or incorrect. You must provide a passport photo, submit identification, provide evidence of US citizenship and include a photo copy of identification information. Failure to sign the form or leave out some other information will result in your application being returned. You will lose time and pay additional money to restart the application process.
Fast Passport Processing
Clearly, the best way to handle any passport need is to renew your current passport before it expires or order a new one the moment you expect that you will have to travel abroad. Regardless of the reason for needing a passport quickly, you can get the help you need to get one fast. Just be prepared to pay the price for a service that goes above and beyond the standard government fees.
See Also — 7 Wise Safety Tips for Travelers