Last minute business trip or family vacation to Mexico and you need a passport fast? I’ve been in this situation, and you can get a passport quickly, well I think it was more like 72 hours. But it will cost you – either your time or money. After hours of research and phone calls, thereRead More
Last minute business trip or family vacation to Mexico and you need a passport fast? I’ve been in this situation, and you can get a passport quickly, well I think it was more like 72 hours. But it will cost you – either your time or money. After hours of research and phone calls, there are two main options.
One option is to go to the nearest United States Passports and International Travel Passport agency. You need proof of urgent travel and you need to get an appointment. The nearest office for me was a four-hour drive. I made several phone calls to the US Passport agency to discuss my options, and I did some research about the probability that I would leave the passport agency with my passport. Several friends told me they had used this method, and they did get their passport. The US Passport agency would make no commitments. They said there were a lot of variables with appointments and required documentation, and there were no guarantees. I didn’t feel secure about this option.
I should clarify that my passport was expired and I was not getting a passport for the first time. The processes and requirements are different depending on these factors.
Another friend who is a frequent international business traveler recommended a visa expediter or courier option, like Visa Express or Passport Visa Express. There are several companies who offer this services, I selected Visa Express because my friend had used them for a passport and vouched that they were the real deal. The courier service outlined all the documentation required in a checklist format, including some specific rules and regulations. They also provided an account representative via phone. She answered my questions and helped me through the process. You have to go to a local post office to get your documentation certified/stamped before you ship it to the courier service.
I was impressed. They emailed me when they received my package with all my documents and approvals, etc., and they emailed me when it was processed and the passport was shipped. Now… the debate of 48 or 72 or 96 begins. They emailed me that the passport was shipped, which was the 48-hour mark, then it was the weekend. I got my passport that Monday. I was hopeful that I would get it on Saturday, but I did not. So mine really took 4 days, including a Saturday. I can’t say whether the delay was the courier or the shipping company.
In total, it ended up costing about $500 for everything: the post office, the courier and shipping expenses. For additional passport tips, check out this resource.
Have you been in this situation? What did you do?