The average processing time for a U.S. passport is between 6 (six) and 9 (nine) weeks, plus the delivery times to and from the processing facility. Given the length of this period, the U.S. State Department offers the possibility of expedited passports. Multiple express passport services are available depending on the applicant’s situation.
In this article, we’ll examine all the expedited passport options, who can access them, the attached processing fees, and how PhotoAiD®—an app used by over a million applicants—can help you get passport photos at home.
Skip to the section you need:
- U.S. expedited passport
- Expedited passport renewal
- Other urgent passport services
- Expedited passport for a child
- Is there a same-day passport service?
U.S. expedited passport
The standard way to expedite a passport is accessible to all applicants at any passport acceptance facility, regardless of their situation. Instead of the usual 6 (six) to 9 (nine) weeks for processing, the expedited option shortens the processing time to 3 (three) to 5 (five) weeks.
To request faster processing, applicants need to:
- Complete Form DS-11.
- Include an extra $60 for the expedited fee.
- Inform the clerk when turning in the documents.
All other aspects of the passport application are unchanged. The expedited passport time will start once the Department of State begins processing, not right after submitting the application.
Expedited passport renewal
Expediting a passport renewal requires almost the same process as a regular application. There are, however, two important elements to take care of for express passport renewal:
- The $60 additional fee has to be paid with a check or money order made payable to the “U.S. Department of State.”
- The applicant needs to write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the envelope.
Once the package is ready, it’s necessary to ship everything to this address:
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955
Just like first-time passports, a U.S. expedited passport renewal will take between 3 (three) and 5 (five) weeks from the moment the forms and the required documents reach the processing facility.
Find out more:
- Renew Passport By Mail
- When Do I Need to Renew My Passport?
- Can I Renew My Passport at the Post Office?
Other urgent passport services
In addition to the standard passport expediting services, there are other ways to get a passport quick at a passport agency or center. These offices are operated directly by the U.S. State Department and differ from an acceptance facility such as a local government office or a post office.
These expedited passport services are only available to citizens who need to travel internationally within 14 (fourteen) days or need a foreign visa within 28 (twenty-eight) days.
To visit a passport agency, applicants must make an appointment by calling 1-877-487-2778 (customer service is available in English and Spanish) or 1-888-874-7793 (TTD/TTY).
After setting up an appointment to expedite a new passport, the agency will send a confirmation email with all the necessary details.
Appointments for expedited passports are not transferable and are limited in number, so if you can’t make it for any reason, cancel it as soon as possible.
Expedited passport application with urgent travel service
This option for an expedited U.S. passport is reserved for applicants who have international travel plans in 14 (fourteen) days or less. As mentioned above, it’s necessary to make an appointment beforehand.
To apply for an expedited passport this way, the Department of State requires all the usual supporting documents accompanied by proof of urgent travel in the form of flight receipts or a confirmed travel itinerary.
If everything is in order, the document will be released shortly after the expedited passport appointment, generally within a few hours; however, some applicants report times as short as 90 (ninety) minutes.
All in all, this is a good way of getting your passport book expedited if you realize the document has expired shortly before a trip.
Quickest way to get a passport—Life or death emergency service
The life or death emergency service allows citizens to have a passport application expedited in case of a family emergency. As such, the applicant can only apply for this service if they need to travel internationally within 3 (three) business days because an immediate family member:
- Has died;
- Is terminally ill;
- Has a life-threatening injury or illness.
The State Department website defines an immediate family member as:
- a parent/legal guardian
- a spouse
- a child
- a sibling
- a grandparent.
Applying for an expedited passport with this process requires some additional documents that need to be gathered BEFORE calling in to make an appointment. Specifically, the authorities require:
- proof of the emergency (death certificate, statement from a mortuary, letter from the hospital);
- a professional translation if the documentation is not in English;
- proof of international travel (plane tickets, itinerary).
The next step to get a U.S. passport with this expedited service is completing a passport application and getting the supporting documents.
When making the appointment, applicants need to call 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TDD), active from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. For emergencies after 8 p.m., on the weekends, or during federal holidays, applicants must call 202-647-4000.
Applicants who get an American passport expedited through the life or death emergency service will receive their document after the appointment.
Expedited passport for a child
To get a passport expedited for a child, applicants have to follow the same processes as for an adult passport, with the additional documents to prove the parental relationship and give consent.
Those having a child’s passport expedited with the standard process only need to include the additional fee and inform the postal employee or the passport office clerk of their choice. The new child passport will be ready in 3 (three) to 5 (five) weeks.
For the Urgent Travel and Life-or-Death Emergency service, parents will have to book an appointment for the passport’s expedited processing on behalf of the minor.
Additionally, to have a minor’s passport expedited, both parents/ legal guardians should accompany the child to apply or provide a form for parental consent.
Is there a same-day passport service?
There are many courier companies or passport expeditors that claim to offer 24 hours passport services. This might seem like a valid option for people who need a passport renewal immediately.
However, according to the Department of State, no service can provide a passport faster than their agencies, as processing will still be handled by them. In other words, a 24-hour expedited passport service can only cut down on delivery times, not provide an overnight passport.
Additionally, the authorities state that passport agency appointments cannot be made by or through a third party. So, a same or next-day passport service cannot book a spot for Urgent Travel on behalf of the applicant.
According to the State Department’s website, the fastest and safest route for those who need a passport renewal asap or an immediate passport for the first time is to apply through the official channels.
Passport photos on the spot with PhotoAiD®
If you’re trying to get a passport fast, you’ll also need a passport photo as soon as possible. Luckily, with PhotoAiD®, users can take perfect passport pictures with their smartphones anywhere they are.
Here’s how it works:
- Our app automatically crops the image to the appropriate size. Any modern smartphone or digital camera will work great–no need to get special equipment.
- The software can also remove anything from the background, leaving it plain-colored. You’ll be able to take passport photos without having to find the right place, make appointments, or stand in line.
- The AI system will verify that all elements are in line with official requirements; then, one of our biometric photo experts will check everything and give final confirmation. Our customers get a 100% guarantee of compliance with the official requirements.
- Take all the snaps you need – PhotoAiD® offers unlimited tries until you get the perfect result. Try it also for children and babies–you’ll be able to take passport photos for the whole family without any effort whatsoever.
The digital passport photo will be immediately ready for download and printing, while an optional set of prints can be sent to any address in the U.S. via mail.
To know more:
To conclude, we’ll go over some recurring questions about expedited passport services.
How long does it take to get an expedited passport?
The regular expedited service for a passport book or passport card will take from 3 (three) to 5 (five) weeks.
I need a passport ASAP, where can I apply?
You can request an appointment with the Urgent Travel services if you are traveling internationally within 2 (two) weeks.
Where to get an expedited passport?
With the standard service, you can apply at any passport acceptance facility; for emergency service, you need to refer directly to the State Department.
How much does it cost to get a passport expedited?
Expediting a passport book for an adult costs $225 (standard fee + $60).
Can you expedite a passport already in process?
No, a passport can be expedited only when submitting the application.
How can I get an expedited passport?
Submit the application at a passport acceptance facility, include the expedited processing fee of $60, and inform the clerk of your choice.
Can I get an expedited passport online?
Yes, the choice will be offered when renewing a passport online through a MyTravelGov account.
What does expedited passport mean?
It means that the passport application process will be fast-tracked by the State Department.
Where to send an expedited passport application?
To expedite a passport renewal by mail, it has to be sent to the National Passport Processing Center in Philadelphia (Post Office Box 90955, Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955). Be sure to write “EXPEDITE” on the envelope.
What’s the cheapest expedited passport option?
The least expensive expediting option is the standard fast-track which costs $60.
How to get your first passport fast?
When submitting the forms at the acceptance facility, request expedited processing and pay the additional $60 fee.
How to get an expedited passport—conclusions
Depending on their situation, applicants have 3 options at their disposal. In normal circumstances, it will only be possible to get the processing time to 3 (three) to 5 (five) weeks. The other options are only available for urgent travel or family emergencies.
To get your passport pictures directly from home 24/7, use PhotoAiD®—you’ll get a 100% guarantee of following all official guidelines.
Riccardo Ollmert is a biometric photography expert at PhotoAiD. He studied languages and publishing industry at La Sapienza University of Rome. He is deeply passionate about travel and creative writing.