Where To Apply For Us Passports

Written by Jared Vincenti
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When applying for a passport, there are two basic options for how to approach the process. All passports are issued by the State Department, as only the government has the authority to grant and validate passports. Travelers can apply for a passport through the state department directly. Alternately, there are passport expediter offices--private businesses that speed up the process of application.

The Right Location for You

If you decide to apply for a passport directly through the State Department, you must go to one of many passport acceptance facilities across the country. There are more than 6,000 of these facilities across the United States, and they are found in a variety of public offices. The majority of Federal, state, and local courts have passport acceptance facilities on the premises, as do most post offices and the occasional library.

Furthermore, the State Department has 13 regional passport agencies. These offices are located in major cities, and are designed to speed the process of passport application for those who are departing urgently. If you need an emergency passport, you can only get one through a passport agency. Passport agencies require appointments.

Still, private passport expediters can often procure a passport in as little as 24 hours, much faster than even the regional passport agencies. They charge a base fee for their service on top of the State Department fees. It is important to note that these businesses are not issuing passports themselves, but they are instead speeding the process for you. This is a growing business, and there is sure to be an expediter near you.

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