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How To Expedite Your Passport


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Tiphanie Woodward



When it comes to traveling abroad, one of the most important documents you’ll need is a passport. Your passport serves as your official identification and allows you to enter different countries legally. However, there are times when you may find yourself in need of a passport in a hurry. Whether it’s due to a last-minute trip opportunity or an unexpected emergency, expediting your passport process becomes crucial.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to expedite your passport. We’ll take you through each step of the process, ensuring that you have all the necessary information at your fingertips. From gathering the required documents to receiving your expedited passport, we’ve got you covered.


Keep in mind that expediting your passport does come with an additional fee, but the peace of mind and convenience it offers can be well worth it. So, if you’re ready to fast-track your passport application, let’s dive in and get started!


Step 1: Gather Required Documents

Before you can begin the passport application process, it’s essential to gather all the required documents. Having these documents ready and organized will help streamline your application and expedite the process. Here are the key documents you’ll need:

  1. Proof of Citizenship: You’ll need to provide proof that you are a citizen of the country you are applying for a passport from. This can be in the form of a birth certificate, previous passport, or naturalization certificate.
  2. Proof of Identity: You must prove your identity when applying for a passport. This can be done by providing a valid driver’s license, government-issued identification card, or military ID.
  3. Passport Application Form: You’ll need to complete and submit a passport application form. This can usually be done online or by obtaining a physical form from a passport acceptance facility.
  4. Passport Photo: A recent passport-size photo is required for your application. The photo must meet specific requirements, such as being in color, having a plain white background, and showing a full front view of your face.
  5. Proof of Travel: If you’re expediting your passport due to immediate travel plans, you’ll need to provide proof of your upcoming trip. This can be in the form of a flight itinerary, hotel reservation, or a letter from your employer stating the purpose and dates of your travel.

It’s important to note that each country may have specific document requirements, so be sure to check the official website of the passport issuing authority for detailed instructions.


Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, make sure to keep them in a safe and easily accessible place. This will ensure that when it’s time to apply for your expedited passport, you have everything you need at your fingertips.


Step 2: Complete the Passport Application Form

Once you have gathered all the required documents, the next step in expediting your passport is to complete the passport application form. This form provides the necessary information about you, your identity, and your travel plans.


The passport application form can usually be obtained online through the official website of the passport issuing authority. It is important to fill out the form accurately and legibly to avoid any delays in processing your application. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when completing the form:

  1. Read the instructions: Before you begin filling out the form, carefully read the instructions provided. This will ensure that you understand the requirements and know how to properly complete the form.
  2. Provide accurate information: Make sure to enter your personal information, such as your full name, date of birth, and contact details, correctly. Any mistakes or inconsistencies can result in delays or even the rejection of your application.
  3. Answer all questions: The application form will have several questions pertaining to your identity, citizenship, and travel plans. Answer all questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
  4. Check for completeness: Before submitting your application form, review it carefully to ensure that you have filled out all the required fields and provided all the necessary information.

It’s important to note that some countries may require additional forms or documentation for specific situations, such as applying for a child’s passport or a name change. Be sure to check the official website of the passport issuing authority for any additional requirements.


Once you have completed the passport application form, make a copy of it for your records. This will serve as a reference in case you need to track your application or provide additional information in the future.


Step 3: Get Your Passport Photo Taken

Having a proper passport photo is crucial for your application. In this step, you will need to get your passport photo taken following the specific requirements outlined by the passport issuing authority.


Here are some tips to ensure your passport photo meets the necessary criteria:

  1. Use a professional photographer: It’s recommended to have your passport photo taken by a professional photographer who is familiar with the requirements. They will ensure that the lighting, background, and framing are all in accordance with the guidelines.
  2. Follow the guidelines: The passport photo guidelines typically specify the size, composition, and quality requirements. Make sure your photo adheres to factors such as dimensions, color representation, and image clarity.
  3. Neutral facial expression: When posing for your passport photo, maintain a neutral facial expression with your eyes open and mouth closed. Avoid smiling, frowning, or making any other exaggerated facial expressions.
  4. Remove accessories or head coverings: Unless required for religious or medical purposes, remove any accessories or head coverings that might obstruct your face or obscure your features.
  5. Wear appropriate clothing: Choose clothing that contrasts with the background and does not cover your shoulders or neckline. Avoid patterns, logos, or distracting elements.

Once you have obtained your passport photo, make sure it meets all the requirements specified by the passport issuing authority. It’s a good idea to get multiple copies of the photo, as you may need them for future passport applications or visa requirements.


Remember, a properly taken passport photo is essential to avoid any delays or rejections in the application process. So, take the time to ensure your photo meets all the necessary criteria before submitting your application.


Step 4: Pay the Application Fee

Once you have completed the passport application form and obtained your passport photo, the next step is to pay the application fee. The fees vary depending on the type of passport you are applying for and the expedited processing service you choose.


To pay the application fee, you typically have several options:

  1. Online Payment: Many passport issuing authorities provide online payment options. You can use a credit or debit card to make the payment securely through their website.
  2. Payment by Mail: Some authorities may require you to send a check or money order along with your application form. Make sure to follow the instructions provided and include the payment in the correct amount.
  3. In-Person Payment: If you are applying in person at a passport acceptance facility, you may be able to pay the fee by cash, credit card, or debit card. Confirm the accepted payment methods with the facility beforehand.

It’s important to note that the application fee is non-refundable, even if your application is denied. Therefore, ensure that you have all the necessary documents and meet the requirements before submitting your payment.


Keep in mind that the expedited processing service typically requires an additional fee on top of the regular application fee. This fee allows for faster processing and delivery of your passport. The amount may vary, so check the official website for the most up-to-date fee information.


After paying the application fee, make sure to keep a record of the payment confirmation or receipt. This will serve as proof of payment and may be required for tracking your application or resolving any issues that may arise during the process.


Step 5: Submit Your Application

After gathering all the necessary documents, completing the passport application form, and paying the required fees, it’s time to submit your application. Depending on the passport issuing authority, you can submit your application through various methods:

  1. Mail: If allowed, you can mail your application package to the designated address provided by the passport issuing authority. Make sure to use a trackable and reliable delivery service to ensure the safe arrival of your documents.
  2. In-Person: Some passport acceptance facilities may require you to submit your application in person. This allows for verification of your documents and the acceptance of your application on the spot.
  3. Online: In certain cases, you may be able to submit your application online through the official website of the passport issuing authority. This method offers convenience and eliminates the need for physical document submission.

When submitting your application, it’s important to double-check that you have included all the necessary documents and forms. Ensure that your passport photo meets the required specifications and that your application form is complete and signed.


If you choose to mail your application, consider using a secure method and retain a copy of the completed application package for your records. For in-person submissions, be prepared to provide any additional information or answer any questions that may arise during the process.


Once your application is submitted, you will receive a receipt or acknowledgment from the passport issuing authority. This will serve as confirmation that your application has been received and is being processed. Keep this receipt in a safe place as you will need it to track the status of your application in the next step.


Step 6: Follow Up and Track Your Application

After submitting your passport application, it’s important to stay informed about the status and progress of your application. This will help you anticipate the arrival of your expedited passport and address any potential issues that may arise. Here’s how you can effectively follow up and track your application:

  1. Check Application Status Online: Many passport issuing authorities provide an online portal where you can check the status of your application. Use the unique tracking number or reference code provided on your receipt to access this information. Keep in mind that the processing time may vary depending on the volume of applications received.
  2. Contact the Passport Agency: If you have any concerns or questions about your application, don’t hesitate to contact the passport agency directly. They can provide you with more specific information and address any issues you may have.
  3. Utilize Customer Service Channels: Passport agencies often have dedicated customer service channels, including phone lines and email support. Reach out to these channels if you require assistance or if you encounter any complications during the application process.
  4. Be Aware of Expedited Processing Timeframes: While expediting your passport can significantly reduce the wait time, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the expected processing timeframes. Knowing the approximate duration will help you plan your travels accordingly and manage your expectations.

Remember to be patient during this stage of the process, as passport application processing times can vary. However, by regularly checking the status and proactively reaching out to the appropriate channels, you can stay informed and ensure a smooth application experience.


Once your application is approved and processed, you will receive an update regarding the delivery of your expedited passport. Ensure that someone is available to accept the delivery, as some courier services require a signature upon receipt.


By staying proactive and staying informed throughout the application process, you can facilitate the successful receipt of your expedited passport and be ready for your upcoming travel plans.


Step 7: Expedite Your Passport Processing

If you’re in a hurry to receive your passport, you have the option to expedite the processing. This service is designed to prioritize your application, significantly reducing the waiting time. Here’s how you can expedite your passport processing:

  1. Check Eligibility: Before opting for expedited processing, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the passport issuing authority. Some common criteria include upcoming travel plans within a certain timeframe or a documented emergency situation.
  2. Pay the Expedited Service Fee: Expedited processing typically incurs an additional fee on top of the regular application fee. Make sure to pay this fee at the time of application to ensure that your request for expedited processing is acknowledged.
  3. Provide Proof of Urgency: In some cases, you may be required to provide supporting documentation to prove the urgency of your passport request. This can include travel itineraries, medical certificates, or other relevant documents. It’s important to follow the guidelines provided by the passport issuing authority to ensure the validity of your application.
  4. Clearly Mark Your Envelope or Application: When mailing your application, clearly mark the envelope or the application itself with the phrase “Expedited Processing.” This will help the processing team identify your application and prioritize it accordingly.
  5. Follow Up on Your Application: As mentioned in the previous step, regularly check the status of your application and reach out to the appropriate channels if necessary. If you notice any delays or issues with the expedited processing, don’t hesitate to inquire about the status and seek assistance.

By opting for expedited processing, you can significantly reduce the waiting time for your passport. However, it’s important to note that expedited processing does not guarantee instant approval. The timeframes may vary, and it’s essential to plan your travels accordingly.


Keep in mind that expediting your passport processing comes with an additional cost. Evaluate your situation and consider the urgency of your travel plans before choosing this service. For non-urgent situations, regular processing may suffice.


By following these steps and understanding the requirements and guidelines, you can expedite your passport processing and have your passport in hand sooner, allowing you to embark on your travel adventures with ease.


Step 8: Receive Your Expedited Passport

After going through the process of expediting your passport application, the highly anticipated final step is receiving your expedited passport. Here’s what you need to know about receiving your passport:

  1. Delivery Method: Passport issuing authorities often use secure and reliable courier services to deliver expedited passports. The delivery method may vary depending on the country and the service you have chosen. It’s important to ensure that the delivery address you provided during the application process is accurate and accessible.
  2. Track Your Shipment: Once your expedited passport has been processed and dispatched, you will typically receive a tracking number. Use this number to track the progress of your shipment and get an estimated delivery date. Stay updated on the status of your delivery through the courier’s tracking platform or the passport issuing authority’s website.
  3. Signature Requirement: Most courier services require a signature upon delivery to ensure the secure receipt of your passport. Make sure that someone is available at the delivery address to sign for the package. Some courier services may also allow you to designate an alternative recipient if you won’t be available to receive the passport personally.
  4. Inspect Your Passport: Upon receiving your expedited passport, carefully inspect it to ensure accuracy and any potential errors. Check that your personal information, photo, and other details are correct and aligned with your application. If you notice any discrepancies or issues, contact the passport issuing authority immediately to rectify the problem.
  5. Secure Your Passport: Once you have received your expedited passport, keep it in a safe and secure location. Your passport is a valuable document, so take steps to protect it from loss, theft, or damage. Additionally, keep a photocopy of your passport in a separate place as a backup.

Receiving your expedited passport signifies the successful completion of the application process and allows you to embark on your travel plans with confidence. As you prepare to enjoy your adventures, always keep your passport safe and take steps to protect it during your travels.


Congratulations! You have successfully expedited your passport and are now ready to experience new destinations and create lifelong memories.



Obtaining a passport quickly can be a crucial factor when it comes to travel plans. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you now have a comprehensive understanding of how to expedite your passport processing. From gathering the necessary documents and completing the application form to getting your passport photo taken and paying the fees, each step plays an essential role in expediting your passport.


Remember to stay organized throughout the process, keeping track of your application status and following up as needed. By doing so, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient experience.


While expedited processing can significantly reduce the waiting time, it’s always wise to plan ahead and allow ample time for the passport application process. It’s important to consider any potential delays or complications that may arise, especially during peak travel seasons.


By expediting your passport, you gain the peace of mind and flexibility to take advantage of last-minute travel opportunities or handle unexpected situations that may require immediate international travel.


Now that you have the knowledge and understanding of how to expedite your passport, you can confidently navigate the process and receive your expedited passport in a timely manner. Remember to follow the guidelines, stay proactive, and maintain clear communication with the passport issuing authority to ensure a successful outcome.


With your expedited passport in hand, you can embark on your travel adventures, explore new cultures, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy your travels and have a safe journey!