Fast Us Passports

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Of all things to pack when leaving the country, a passport is the last thing you want to forget. A US passport displays the bearer's identity and is a guarantee of passage back into the United States. In addition, a passport must be very carefully guarded while abroad. A US passport can fetch quite a price on the black market, and they are frequently stolen. A good rule of thumb for a traveler is to keep your passport in a safe spot on your body at all times--not in a wallet or purse that can be snatched.

When planning travel outside the United States, you should make sure that you have your passport and that it does not expire in the near future. Because of the many security issues involved in issuing passports, it takes roughly six weeks to apply for a United States passport. These must be applied for in person at passport acceptance facilities or passport agencies, and once the passport has been applied for it will arrive in the mail six weeks later.

Getting Your US Passport Quickly

If a traveler does not have six weeks to use to apply for his passport, the State Department offers an express service that hurries the process. If express services are chosen, it takes two weeks instead of six to get a passport. If this service is still not quick enough, a traveler can go to a regional passport agency and apply there in person. A passport agency can issue a passport faster than the express service, but an appointment is often required.

If a traveler needs to travel on short notice and cannot reach a regional passport agency, they can go to a private passport expediter. These private businesses can speed up the passport process, and can offer fast service (three to five days) for about $100 on top of standard government fees. For many, this is the best way to get a passport on short notice despite the charge, since there are more than 100 passport expediters in the United States.

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