It’s no secret that getting a the passport took longer than usual in the last few months.
And while, unfortunately, there’s no immediate solution to this entire backlog, U.S. passport applicants who are having trouble getting appointments to start the process can apply in person at job fairs. Passport acceptance held monthly across the country – the majority of which are aimed at enrolling first-time passport holders and children under 17.
Special Passport Acceptance Lounges for New Candidates are held at local post offices, libraries and government offices, with many events planned for this summer. Those eligible to renew their passports should continue to do so by mail, according to a State Department official.
To locate an event, you can use the Acceptance Facility Search Page to identify upcoming events by state.
Most events take place during the day, with some weekend availability, depending on location. If you can’t find an event that suits you, note that new locations are added every week. Some require appointments, and some allow you to arrive at specific times.
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
The same documentation is required for in-person passport processing at these events as outside of these events.
This includes completing a paper form, providing an original or certified physical copy along with a photocopy of U.S. citizenship (e.g., birth certificate), valid ID, and a photocopy of said ID ( for example, a driver’s license) and a photo of the applicant responding requirements. Some facilities offer photo services for an additional fee.
Current passport processing times
And while these events speed up the start of your process, once submitted, passport processing times will be the same for applications submitted at Passport Acceptance Centers as by mail or any other regular route.
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In July, the Department of State estimates 10 to 13 weeks for routine passport service and seven to nine weeks for expedited service, plus an additional two weeks for processing and mailing.
Travelers with urgent international travel passport applications can make an in-person appointment for emergency travel (travel within 72 hours in case of an emergency such as death), non-emergency travel within 14 days, or foreign visa application within 28 calendar days by calling 877-487-2778. Proof of qualifying events is required for each.
At the end of the line
The State Department advises Americans to renew or apply for their passport at least six months before the trip. This means now is the time for all year-end travel plans.
And if you need to start the process and are having trouble getting a new passport appointment, be sure to check online for new passport acceptance lounges, which are added weekly.