Who should apply for expedited passport service via a registered courier? Any American citizen who needs to get a U.S. passport in two weeks or less and is unable to personally submit their application form at a regional processing center.
While it is possible to expedite a passport application by mail, it can take up to three weeks to get your travel document. The fastest way to get a new passport or renew an old one is to have the application hand delilvered to a regional agency.
Any U.S. citizen can authorize a professional passport expeditor to assist with the passport application and delivery process. These companies are registered with passport agencies and authorized to act on their clients’ behalf to both submit applications for expedited passport service and serve as couriers for application documents and issued passports.
While many passport courier services are registered with the U.S. Department of State, this is not a requirement. Choosing a company that is registered is typically preferable to one that is not. In either case, passport expeditors are always third-party services – they are not employees of the United States government. However, these companies make their reputation on trustworthy and quick service. Some of our favorites have been around for over a decade!
- Choose a passport expeditor (recommendation below) and submit service request.
- Complete the required passport forms and gather necessary documents.*
- Mail or deliver your passport application, supporting materials, letter(s) of authorization and payment for fees to the expeditor.
- The passport courier service hand-delivers your materials to a regional passport agency.
- The regional agency issues the passport back to the courier on your behalf.
- The passport courier returns your new passport and any supporting documents back to you.
*Important: If you are applying for a new passport or replacing one that has been lost or stolen, you must present your application and supporting document to an agent at a local passport office before mailing them to the expeditor. Inform the agent that you will be doing this. You will be required to present one authorization letter to be included in the sealed envelope with your application and supporting document. A second authorization letter should be mailed to the expediting service with the sealed envelope.
There are several unique advantages and disadvantages to going through the process of applying for expedited service through a registered courier. Considering each of them carefully is the only way to ensure you are making the best decision for your particular needs and circumstances.
The Pros of Using a Registered Courier
- Proximity – When you need a passport quickly, your application needs to get to a regional passport agency. Depending upon where you live, this may be a challenge.
The best passport expediting companies have multiple offices nearby to the majority of regional agencies, especially those in cities like New York, Boston, Miami, Houston and Los Angeles. This ensures the fastest possible turnaround time for your application and saves you a trip!
- Time – Applications are usually processed the same day or next day at regional agency although it may take longer. An applicant’s departure date is taken into consideration. An expeditor usually cannot reduce the amount of time it takes an agency to process an application form. However, it is important to consider the time required to complete the entire process. To have a better understand of how much time you can save by contracting an expediting company, calculate the time it would take to schedule an appointment at the processing center, travel to the location, wait in line to submit the application, wait for the processing, return to pick up your new passport and the trip back home.
If you do not live close to a regional agency, getting a passport application expedited can take an entire day or more. This could require you take a day of work or miss classes.
- Expertise – Passport applications are very detailed and particular documents. Applicants must take every precaution to ensure instructions are followed carefully and supporting materials are in order. Failure to do so can result in lengthy processing delays and even outright denials.
Reputable passport expeditors are experienced in all aspects of the passport application process. Having the guidance and support of a trained expert can help avoid the mistakes and errors that could prevent you from getting a passport as quickly as you need one. Furthermore, their familiarity and relationships with regional passport agencies can be the difference in getting your passport as soon as the same day or having to wait several business days.
The Cons of Using a Registered Courier
- Cost – Of course, there is an inevitable cost associated with hiring a passport expediting company to help with your application. Expeditors’ fees vary widely but usually start at about $150 for 2-week service and go up to several hundred dollars for same day processing. This does not include government fees.
While that is a lot to pay, expeditors have saved thousands of people from missing a vacation or business trip. Believe it or not, the additional cost of an expediting service could actually be less expensive than submitting the application yourself. Weigh an expeditor’s fee against some of the expenses you might incur by applying in person: gas, meals, lodging, parking, and your time. In many cases, the totals are comparable if not tilted in favor of hiring help.
- Trust – When you choose to hire an passport expediting service, you have to entrust your identifying documents and passport to people that you do not know. If they do not (or cannot) deliver on their promises, it could result in serious complications of your travel plans.
If you need a passport as soon as possible, the only way to avoid these types of issues (and the stress they inevitably cause) is to choose your expediting service wisely.
How to Choose a Passport Expeditor
There are several key factors that make certain rush passport companies better than others. Three notable features to consider are:
- An express passport expediting service that has been in operation for more than five years. New passport courier companies pop up each year, but they are not all created equal. Companies with a long tenure also tend to have more satisfied customers and better results than startups.
- A Better Business Bureau rating of “B” or better. Surprisingly, there are several expediting services that have ratings of “C”, or below. Even more surprising is that some of these are the most visible expeditors on the internet. Just because a service tops your search results doesn’t make it the best. Do your due diligence to ensure you are trusting your passport application to a company that actually delivers on their promises.
- Postive reviews from previous customers. The internet has made it easy to check what others say about a company. If you are like two-thirds of shoppers, you value online reviews. Using Google, Yelp, Facebook or other platforms is a great way to check the rating of almost any company very quickly.
Expedited Passport Couriers: Our Expert Pick
While there are many reliable passport expediting services out there, one that we highly recommended is Rush My Passport.
Rush My Passport has been expediting passport applications for more than a decade. Most importantly, they service thousands of customers a year while maintaining a high level of customer service. They have a 4.5 star rating from over 5,000 reviews.
It is for these reasons and others that we recommend Rush My Passport to anyone and everyone who wants to apply for expedited passport through a registered expeditor.
Guide to Passport Expeditors
Ready to apply for expedited passport service through a registered expeditor? Visit Rush My Passport.