Passport Processing Times:
When a person intends on traveling abroad, there can be quite a rush and sense of urgency that goes into the planning stages of said trip. One of the first things that should be addressed is the acquisition of a passport. While it’s up to the individual country whether you need a passport to visit or not, recent laws have made it mandatory for a valid passport to be shown from anybody returning to the U.S. Because of this, airlines won’t even let a traveler board a trip to the Atlantis Resort and Casino without showing a valid passport.
As passport laws have changed, so have passport processing times. In the past, a select few business travelers or people with international family owned passports but now everybody who has traveled abroad since 2007 should have passport cards. When new laws first came into fruition in 2007, there was mass confusion at regional passport offices and many trips were missed. Even though processing times have vastly improved, it’s still better to start the passport application process as soon as talks of an International trip are brought up.
Standard Passport Processing
Applying for a passport in a non-rush situation can still be a tedious process. You must go to a certified acceptance agency like a post office and fill out your passport application, show proof of citizenship, prove your identity, and have an acceptable passport photograph taken. Processing times in peak vacation months or holidays can be longer but current routine service takes about 6 weeks from the date of application.
Expedited Passport Processing
When you’ve only been informed of an International trip recently or have procrastinated on the passport application service, expedited processing is required. The steps for getting a passport expedited are the same as applying for a routine passport, except for an additional $60 fee. With the rushed time frame the passport cards should appear on your door in 2-3 weeks when using overnight delivery.
If 2-3 weeks is simply too long to wait, you must schedule a personal appointment at a larger regional passport agency. All the standard passport application items must be brought with as well as a detailed itinerary to prove a rush passport is actually needed. The whole process might eat up an entire day but usually you can leave the regional agency that night with a valid passport in hand.
Remember that all passport renewals, standard and expedited processing times are estimates and in order to ensure a fun-filled trip without any empty plane seats, the process should be started early.