How to Get a U.S. Passport in 2 Weeks or Less [2023 Update]
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How to Get a U.S. Passport in 2 Weeks or Less [2023 Update]

It happens to the best of us. You need to travel soon and realize you don’t have a valid passport. Maybe it’s expiring or you’ve never had one in the first place.

With the clock ticking, you need to know the quickest way to get a passport. When this post was originally written, getting a U.S. passport in two weeks or less was easier. Now it’s much harder, but not impossible. Follow the links below to see what you need to know to get a passport fast.

    1. Do I need a new passport?
    2. How do I renew a passport by mail?
    3. How to I get my first passport or renew a U.S. passport that was issued before I was 16?
    4. How long does it take to get my passport?
    5. If I have less than two weeks, what’s the fastest option?
  • Passport rules vary by destination

    Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months from your return date. You can see details for your destination by searching for it at this U.S. Department of State site.

    Generally, if you’re leaving soon and your passport is set to expire in the upcoming months, it’s time to get it renewed.

    If you need to renew passport:

    You can renew an expired or expiring passport by mail and pay an extra $60 to expedite it if you wish. This expedited fee is added to the renewal fee cost ($130 for a passport book).

    In order to renew by mail you need to be able to say “Yes” to the following questions:

    • Do you have your passport in hand to submit with your application?
    • Is your passport undamaged other than normal wear and tear?
    • Was it issued when you were age 16 or older?
    • Was it issued within the last 15 years?
    • Was it issued in your current name or you can document your name change?

    To renew by mail, gather these documents:

    • Filled-out Form DS-82
    • Your most recent U.S. Passport
    • Name change documents (if applicable)
    • New passport photo (photo requirements)
    • A check for the appropriate passport fee
      • Passport book: $130
      • Passport book and Passport card: $160
      • Expedited service: Additional $60

    Mail these materials to:

    Routine Service (If you live in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, or Texas):

    National Passport Processing Center
    Post Office Box 640155
    Irving, TX 75064-0155

    Routine Service (If you live in any other state or Canada):

    National Passport Processing Center
    Post Office Box 90155
    Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

    Expedited Service (Additional fee applies. For any state or Canada):
    Write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the mailing envelope.

    National Passport Processing Center
    Post Office Box 90955
    Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

    You can see all the steps with links to form DS-82 at the US State Department.

    If this will be your FIRST passport:

    You’ll need to drop your application off at a passport acceptance facility, like a local post office or library.

    To get a new passport or renew one issued before you were 16, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

    • Fill out Form DS-11
    • Provide evidence of U.S. citizenship – bring an original and a photocopy of this document
      • One of the following:
        • U.S birth certificate
        • A full validity U.S. Passport (5 years is fully valid for an under-16 passport)
        • Certificate of naturalization or citizenship
    • Present ID – bring an original and a photocopy of this document (if you are under 18 it should be your parent/guardian’s ID, if you are over 18 it should be your ID):
      • Valid or expired U.S. passport
      • In-state, valid driver’s license
      • Valid foreign passport
      • In-state valid non-driver ID with photo
    • If you’re 16-17 years old, you need to bring a parent along with you
    • New passport photo (photo requirements)
    • A check for the appropriate passport fee
      • Passport book: $130
      • Passport book and Passport card: $160
      • Expedited service: Additional $60
      • If you not renewing, but applying for a first passport there is an additional and separate $35 acceptance fee.
    • Submit all these documents at a passport acceptance facility

    You can see all the steps with links to form DS-11 at the US State Department.

    How fast can I get a passport?

    The honest answer to this question is that it depends. Here are the current expected timelines:

    • Routine service: 10-13 weeks + mailing time.
    • Expedited service (if you are traveling in less than 13 weeks): 7-9 weeks + mailing time.
    • Urgent travel: 7-9 weeks – This is generally faster than expedited since it includes an in-person appointment.
    • Emergency travel: 72 hours or less – This is reserved for life and death emergencies.

    What happens if you don’t qualify for emergency travel, but don’t have weeks to wait?

    If you have less than two weeks until your trip, here’s the fastest option:

    Individuals traveling in less than 14 days can call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get an appointment at a passport center to expedite your U.S. passport. This applies both for people who have already applied and those who have not.

    Here’s what to do:

    1. Find your nearest passport agency.
    2. Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an in-person appointment.
    3. Fill out the passport form online to print or print a pdf to fill out by hand ahead of time. Keep in mind there are different forms for a new passport versus a renewal.
    4. Make copies of the front and back of your citizenship evidence, like your birth certificate, and government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license, on separate 8.5×11 pieces of paper. (A current, undamaged passport will work for both.) You must bring both the originals and the copies to your appointment.
    5. Print out your travel documents (your e-ticket confirmation) that prove you’re leaving in less than two weeks.
    6. Bring a photo of yourself. You can get passport photos at your local pharmacy, or you can take one at home. But no selfies! Here are some photo examples and a video with instructions.
    7. Head to your appointment! Don’t forget your completed application, your citizenship doc, photo ID and photocopies, travel docs, passport photo, and a check or a money order payable to “U.S. Department of State.” Passport agencies do not accept credit cards for application and expediting fees. Here’s the fee chart. Keep in mind acceptance facilities will also charge an extra $35 fee that must be paid separately.
    8. Get your passport and have an incredible adventure!

    If you don’t live near a passport agency, try calling the National Passport Information Center for more information.

    Some people try hiring a third-party expeditor. They’re the ones that come up when you google something like “how to get a passport quickly.” But be very wary. The U.S. State Department has turned off the ability to make online appointments because third party bots were taking all the appointments. As such, passport agencies say they may not honor appointments made by third parties.

    Need more information on travel, please visit our Definitive Parent Guide to Teen Travel

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated to reflect current information. 

    If you’re between the ages of 12-22 and want to put that passport to good use, see our current student travel programs or contact us anytime for help.

    About the Author

    Scott Ingram