Imagine for a moment going over your packing list for your fabulous international vacation. The swimsuit and the sunglasses are packed, but then you remember your trusty blue passport. Digging it out, you glance at your picture and then you notice it’s expired! Now what? Read on for all the details for passport renewals and what to do when your expedited passport doesn’t arrive in time.
What to do When your Expedited Passport Doesn’t Arrive in Time
If it’s getting close to your departure date and you still don’t have your passport, don’t despair. Take a deep breath, then check online to see where your application is in the process.
If you expedited your passport application and mailed it through your local post office, then check the Online Passport Status System or call 1 877 487-2778 or 1 888 874-7793. Note: it takes 7 to 10 business days for your passport application to be trackable.
If you used a third-party service to expedite your passport for you, then contact the company for assistance first. If that’s unavailable, use the Online Passport Status System or call 1 877 487-2778 or 1 888 874-7793.
And remember to send all passport applications via USPS Priority Mail with a tracking number or use FedEx or UPS.
Types of Expedited U.S. Passport Service
In October 2018 I renewed my passport. First I filled out the DS-82 (U.S. Passport Renewal Application form) online and printed it out. Then I got new photos and sent it all in with my old passport.
Since I chose to expedite it myself, I paid an additional $60 fee. Then I mailed it to the specific facility for expedited passport applications via USPS Priority Mail. I didn’t used the return 1 to 2-day shipping option, but luckily I got my passport within the two weeks.
When my husband replaced a stolen passport five years ago, he got a replacement the same day. First he collected the required information. Then he secured an appointment at a passport agency in the neighboring state.
Life or Death Emergency Passport
If you get that dreaded call and need to travel for a life or death emergency, you can get a life or death emergency passport. These passports are issued only if your immediate family member has a serious illness, injury or died and you are required travel internationally within 72 hours.
If You Live Within in U.S.
First call and make an appointment with the emergency passport service. Call 1 877-487-2778 or 1 888 874-7793 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The service is closed all federal holidays.
When you apply, you will need the following:
- Completed Passport Application with supporting documents and photos.
- Proof of life or death emergency, like a death certificate, statement from the mortuary or signed letter for the hospital. All letters and certificates need to be in English.
- Proof of International Travel, like an airline itinerary.
Outside the U.S.
You will have to contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
My Passport is Expired and I Leave Tomorrow
After saying a few choice words, it’s time to get busy. First cancel your calls; getting your passport within 24-hours will take a few errands. Then find a registered passport expediter like Passportcenter.com or Rushmypassport.com. These are private companies and not part of the U.S Department of State.
For expedited 24-hour service (not same day), you will still have to collect all the same information as any other U.S. passport renewal. So proof of citizenship, proof of identity and passport photos are all required. Hopefully you have those items in a safe and secure place.
With an expedited service, you are hiring a person to hand deliver your application to the closest passport office that issues same day passports. Then a person will retrieve and overnight your new passport back to you.
It is expensive. This expedited service costs $499.00. Then the outbound shipping costs an additional $49.95. The inbound shipping costs an additional $29.95 to get it by 3 p.m. and add $10.00 to get it by 10:30 a.m. Then the $170 fee for the actual passport. (Application fee and Expedite fee), and don’t forget the passport photos about $15.00 at most photo centers. The good news? Most expediters take credit cards and your package includes tracking information.
First you will fill out the expediter’s online application, then print out the completed application with the required documentation and photos. Then ship it to the nearest expediter’s location.