New Passport Office Provides Same Day Service to Southerners
In the old South, life sometimes seems to move at a different, slower pace. That can make it easy deadlines to creep up on you- including the deadline for applying for your passport.
Typically, it takes about six weeks from the time you submit your application for your new passport to arrive in your mailbox. When planning a trip, you should allow more time than that if at all possible.
If six weeks is too long, you do have options. Expedited processing is available from the Department of State for an additional fee of $ 60.00 per application processed. This will cut the processing time down to about three weeks, though there is always a possibility that it could take longer if the Department of State is especially busy. To get an accurate estimate of processing time, it’s always a good idea to check at the Department of State’s website.
But what do you do if even three weeks is too long? In that case, you need to go directly to the Department of State yourself, instead of having your application sent in through the mail. The State Department has, at present, 25 regional passport agency offices open to help travelers with urgent travel needs. This includes a new passport office that just opened in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to the opening of the Atlanta passport office in May of 2011, the only other offices in the Deep South capable of issuing same-day passports were in New Orleans, Miami, Arkansas and perhaps Texas (depending on how you define the term “Deep South).
To make an appointment at a regional passport agency office, call the National Passport Center at 1-877-487-2778. In addition to the documents normally required to get your passport, you’ll also need a paper copy of your itinerary to prove that you are eligible to use the passport office. Appointments are available to US citizens who have travel plans that require them to leave the country within the next 14 days. If you are leaving within four weeks but need your passport in order to apply for a travel visa before you depart for your destination, you are also eligible to make an appointment.
Once you arrive at the passport office, you’ll wait your turn to present your paperwork to an agent. As long as all of your documents are in order, your new passport should be ready within 24 hours.
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.