Getting a fast passport is easy. Once the forms are filled out, documentation located and the fees calculated you can choose how quickly you want to receive your expedited passport. The State Department provides expedited passport services and private companies offer rush passport services as well.
Forms: The forms you will need may differ if this is your first passport, a renewal or if changes to your current passport are needed. The State Department provides passport form assistance online. They recommend that all forms be filled out online then printed as it reduces errors from illegible handwriting. If you need to apply in person do not sign these forms. The web site for the State Department will guide you through the application process.
Documentation: Even if you have had a passport all of your life, you will still need to provide documentation. These documents provide the State Department with proof of your citizenship, identity and your ability to travel. Birth certificates provide citizenship, photo identification proves who you are, a letter from an employer indicates that you have an income, and immunization records prove that you have had the necessary inoculations to be safe from disease. A marriage license or a certificate of divorce validates a name change. While custody documents prove you may take a child out of the country.
Fees: There are passport application fees and fees for changes required for an existing passport. An adult will be charged $95 whether for a new passport or for a passport renewal. There is an execution fee of $25 for a new adult passport, or if your passport expired before renewal. The fee for a child's passport is $70 for the application and $25 for the execution for any type of passport. Shipping charges are extra.
Rush: The State Department provides expedited passport services for all types of passports for $60. They recommend using a secure overnight delivery service. Tyvek envelopes with "EXPIDITE" clearly printed on the outside will get an application to its correct destination.
Rush passport service agents are available online and in most major cities. These companies provide services to help you get a passport quickly. These companies charge $100 if you are willing to wait 12 business days. If you need your passport in 24 hours expect to pay $300 or more plus shipping, application and execution fees. However, for those in a real hurry, this may be the best option.
Refunds: All payments are non-refundable through the State Department. If you hire an rush passport agency and chose to cancel within 24 hours you will be charged a processing fee. If your application is denied for criminal convictions, owing back federal taxes or being in arrears with the Child Support Bureau you will not receive a refund. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact them online or through their 1-800 number listed on their web site before you submit an application.
You can get a fast passport if you are willing to pay the charges. It is easy, quick and in some cases worth the extra cost.
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