The everything guide to the US Passport application process

Expediting Your Passport

This article is about companies that can act as couriers for your passport application to the passport agency, you pay an extra fee to these companies for them to go there on your behalf and any shipping that may be required, a passport expeditor is not necessary for everyone but you may find that the cost of convivence is worth it.

we are not currently recommending any specific passport expediter

If you need your passport fast, you only have a couple of very specific options. The fastest mail away service offered by the Department of State or your local passport office is typically 6 weeks unexpedited. If you live near one of the regional passport offices you can make an appointment to appear there in person at specific time on a specific day. After appearing in-person at the passport agency, the best case scenario is you will have to wait until the end of the day in order to get your passport, but it’s likely that it will take 1-2 days in order to get your passport. Either way you will spend several hours getting an expedited passport in-person at the passport agency.

An alternative to this is to hire a third-party company called a passport expediter to hand-carry your application to one of the regional passport offices, then return for it when it’s ready. You will have to ship your documents to the passport expediting company; most of the passport expediting companies use FedEx overnight services each way. Expediters provide service in exchange for the fee that they charge; this fee will vary depending on how fast you need the service performed.

Advantages of using a Passport Expediting Service

  • Professional assistance
  • No visits to regional passport office necessary
  • Peace of mind

Disadvantages of using a Passport Expediting Service

  • Costs are in addition to Government passport fees. Passport expeditors charge a fee in addition to the standard government fees for passport applications. This fee varies depending on how quickly you need your passport, but it can be significantly additional cost on top of the passport fees charged by the government.
  • Expediting companies cannot validate your data like the government, your application is still subject to suspension for any number of reasons.
  • Security Concerns: When you use an expediting service, you’re entrusting your personal documents, including potentially sensitive information, to a third party. This raises concerns about the security of your personal data. There’s always a risk when your documents are out of your control and in someone else’s hands.
  • Potential for Scams: The rise in demand for passport services has led to an increase in scams. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and verify the legitimacy of any company you consider using. Unfortunately, not all services are reputable, and falling victim to a scam could result in financial losses and significant delays. Particularly stay away from these PDF document editing companies that advertise to those searching for passport guidance.
Are passport expediting companies safe to use?

Typically yes, but just like anything there is always some risk. Understanding the risks may help. Some passport expediters are large companies with a workforce in the hundreds, some are small 1-2 person businesses. Typically the smaller the business, the more attention that is given to oversight of employees and complying with all regulations, penalties exist for expediting companies that don’t follow proper Department of State procedure. Larger companies have more employees and while every company has to follow the same procedures and rules, there are more hands touching your application and paperwork with larger companies.

Who authorizes and/or regulates Passport Couriers?

The Department of State via the Passport Agency. Please see this article on the rules and regulations of passport couriers in the hand carry program. Not all passport offices work with third-party couriers and each office has slightly different procedures in place.

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