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Passport Processing and Renewal: Express Options

Ideally, express passport renewal would never be an issue or concern because people would have planned their trip and secured all the required documents well in advance. However, this is not always possible because there are many instances in which emergencies or other previously unplanned trips cause people to need to travel outside the country with very short notice. Although it is easier to renew a passport than obtain a new one, the process can still be longer than anticipated, and--depending on the departure date--even if the process only takes a few days, that can still be too long. If you are eligible for passport renewal, however, and need express passport renewal, you have a few options to consider.

Options for Express Passport Renewal

If you are thinking about express passport renewal, the first thing you need to consider is whether or not you are eligible to renew your passport. Although many people think they are eligible to renew if they currently have or had a passport in past years, that is not always true. You will need a to apply for a new passport if you do not have your expired passport in your possession, if your expired passport was issued more than fifteen years ago, or if your previous passport was issued when you were under sixteen years of age and you are now over sixteen. You are eligible for renewal if you can submit your most recent passport, if you were over sixteen when your last passport was issued, if the passport was issued less than fifteen years ago, if you have documentation of any name change, and if the passport is undamaged.

As you are probably aware, express passport renewal, like any express or expedited service, is more costly than standard processing. Standard processing for passport applications and renewals is six weeks. The United States Department of State offers an expedited process option that will get you your passport within two weeks. This option adds $60 to the initial $67 processing fee.

If two weeks still isn't fast enough for you, there are independent, non-government passport services that can guarantee to return your passport to you with same-day, next day, 2-4 days, or 3-9 days service. Many of these passport services base the processing time on your departure date. As can be expected, though, these passport services will charge more for this expedited processing. American Passport Express is one option for express passport renewal offering same day service, if needed, for $179 dollars. Travisa is another service to consider that likewise offers many different choices in terms of processing time, with same day service for $149. Keep in mind, however, that these fees are added to any normal and expedited fees charged by the US Department of State.

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