Where To Get Passports

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Wherever you apply for a passport, you will receive it via mail or FedEx, as it must be printed by the State Department and shipped to you. You cannot get a passport on the spot anywhere, as the passport processing facilities are off-limits to the general public. This is in the interest of national security, so that all information is properly processed and only valid US citizens are getting US passports.

Even though all passports themselves come from the State Department, there are several choices for where to go to apply for your passport. The most common choice is a passport acceptance facility. These are located in most Federal, state, and probate courts, as well as in most post offices. In some locations, passport acceptance facilities are located in public libraries. These locations are the standard channel for getting a passport, but are also the slowest.

Quicker Options

For those needing faster service, the State Department has 13 regional passport agencies in major US cities. These are facilities meant to handle passport applications and nothing else, so the turnover there is much faster than at passport acceptance facilities. An appointment is usually required at these sites, which can issue emergency passports.

Finally, there are private passport expediters. These are private businesses that slip your application through the system to get a passport in as little as 24 hours. They charge a varying fee depending on how much faster you need your passport, and this is on top of the regular government fees. However, they are frequently the only way to get a passport on less than two weeks notice.

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