It’s possible that you never dreamed it would happen: You have the opportunity to take the trip of your dreams, but it’s last-minute and you don’t have a passport. Maybe you have a passport but it expired recently and you are flying in days.
No matter what situation, you will need a passport and you will need it quickly. The standard passport service via the post office takes between 6-8 weeks. But don’t panic! We will walk you through the steps to obtain an Expedited Passport in Houston.
Step 1: Determine how quickly you need your passport
You will need an expedited passport service if you plan to travel outside the country within the next 8 weeks. You must choose the best expediting method to ensure your passport arrives on time.
Express Passport Service at The Post Office (2-3 Weeks)
You can request expedited services at the post office or another passport acceptance office. Along with regular application fees, you’ll need to pay an expedite fee of $60. You will also have to pay an additional shipping charge if you need overnight delivery. You will not get guaranteed service if you request expediting at the post office. Your passport may be delayed if there are any problems with your documents.
Expedited Service at Passport Agency (less Than 2 Weeks)
You can schedule an appointment at any of the State Department’s regional passport offices if you are leaving within 8 days. If you are traveling within the next month, you may be eligible to make an appointment. Most passport agencies will send your passport to you within 8 business days. They will accommodate you if your passport is urgently needed.
You’ll be charged the same $60 expedite fee if you apply for expedited passport service at a post office.
What’s the problem? Only 26 local passport agencies serve the whole country. You may need to travel to reach the nearest one. Passport agencies have limited hours of operation and often require appointments. This may not be possible if you work during the working day and cannot get off.
Using a Passport Expediting Company (less than 2 weeks)
You don’t have to wait in a rush to get to the post office but you are unable (or unwilling) to make it to the nearest regional passport agency. In these cases, you might consider using a passport expediting business. A passport expediting business that is registered will hand-carry all your documents to the Department of State. This can take as little as 24 hours. They will then ship your new passport to you, almost always overnight.
An expediting company may be a good option even if you only have two weeks to go before your departure. A few companies offer a basic, less costly option that will still get your passport to you within 10-12 business days. An expediter helps reduce the chances of making mistakes that could delay your application. The expediting company will notify you immediately if there is a delay at the passport office so that you can rectify it.
You will first need to place an order if you choose to use an expediting service. You’ll need to pay the expediting company to handle your application. You will then have to pay the government fees separately. You will also have to pay the $60 expedite fee.
Step 2: Gather your documents
If you use an expediting company, they will likely help you collect the documents that you need. Texas Passport Center sends you a detailed checklist. We also assign a case manager who will help you with any problems or questions.
What documents are required to obtain a passport? It depends. We have listed below the requirements for most passport situations.
New Passports United States Passport book
These documents are required if you have never held a passport before or if you don’t want to renew your passport by mail.
- Proof Of Identity: State Department-approved photo IDs include a driver’s license, state ID card, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship, military ID, or government ID card. The original, as well as a photocopy of both the front and the back, are required.
- Evidence of Citizenship: Send a US passport, a certified Birth Certificate, a Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of Citizenship, or a Consular Report on Birth Abroad.
- One passport photo.
- Passport fees. New passport applications require a $110 application fee for a passport book. $30 is required for a card. $140 for both. An execution fee of $35 is required, along with a $60 expedite charge. Find out more information about passport fees here.
- Application Form DS-11
- You are going to a Passport Agency? A copy of your itinerary is also required. Business travelers who have not yet booked a flight can still use a letter of recommendation.
Passports for children
Children must present themselves at a passport acceptance or post office to apply for a passport.
Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by both parents. These documents should be brought:
- Proof that you are an adult, for your parents.
- Proof that the child is a citizen.
- Evidence of child’s relationship with parents or guardians (e.g., a birth certificate or court orders).
- One passport photo.
- Passport Application Form, DS-11
- Passport fees. For children, the passport application fees are $80 for a book, $15 for cards, and $95 for both. The execution fee remains at $35 and the expedite fee at $60.
- Are you going to a Passport Agency? A copy of your itinerary is also required.
If one parent is unable to make it, bring one of these:
- Form D-3053, completed, notarized, and signed by the absent parent.
- A certificate of death or proof of sole custody if one parent has died.
- You can use Form DS-5555 to explain why you cannot contact the other parent if you don’t know their location.
If children 16-17 are not yet eligible for identification, they can apply on their own. However, it is best to have at least one parent present to show “parental awareness”.
If you have a passport, you may be eligible to skip the passport office entirely. You can fill out Form DS-82 to renew your passport by mail if all of the statements above apply to your most recent card or passport.
- Your most recent passport remains in your possession. It has never been reported stolen or lost.
- It is less than 15 years of age.
- It was valid for 10 years, not just a short-term validity passport.
- It must be in your current name. You can also submit legal documentation such as a marriage certificate, court order, or court order to support a request for a name change.
If you are not eligible to renew your passport by mail, please follow these instructions for applying for a new passport.
You will need the following if you are eligible:
- The most recent US passport book or card.
- Passport renewal application Form DS-82.
- One passport photo.
- Passport fees are $110 for a book, $30 for passport cards, $140 for both and the $60 expedite charge. You can find out more about the passport fee here.
- You are going to a Passport Agency? A copy of your itinerary is also required. Business travelers who have not yet booked flights can still use a letter from the employer. You can use an expediting service or a Passport Agency. A copy of your itinerary is required
Step 3: Complete the application.
Fill out the application form. Fill out the application online if possible and then print it. This will make sure that your application doesn’t get delayed by the passport office not being able to read your handwriting.
You can obtain a paper copy at the post office if you don’t own a printer. It should be filled in black ink and written clearly.
You should not sign Form DS-11 until you are in front of a post office agent.
Step 4: If required, go to the passport office
Except if you are renewing your passport by mail, you will need to visit the post office.
If you don’t use an expediting service, the post office will review the documents and forward the application to the State Department for processing within 2-3 weeks.
If you use an expediting company, your passport agent will “seal” your application packet. Follow the instructions of the company to send your application to them to be processed within the timeframe you specified.
Tip: Be at least 30 minutes before you apply at a regional passport office to allow security screening. Remember that you have to be at the designated time but that does not mean that a passport agent can see you immediately. You might need to wait, just like in a doctor’s office. Give yourself some extra time.
Step 5: Wait for the new passport to arrive.
The only thing left is to wait. You can track your application if you have expedited through the postal office.
You should be able to receive updates as your order is processed, even if you use an expediting service. Texas Passport Center allows you to track your order online. Agents are also available by phone, email, or live chat if you have any questions.
Do you need a passport fast? You don’t have time or patience to travel to a passport agency. Texas Passport Center offers expedited passport services. See why it is the fastest way to get a passport quickly!
Texas Passport Center offers all passport services and several passport processing options depending on your situation. Whether it’s your new passport, or you need to renew passport in Texas, our professionals are well versed in the details of the passport application process.