How to Get a Passport Right Now

Travel continues to slow in a much-needed attempt to flatten the coronavirus pandemic curve. Even if we are at an impasse, you may need to travel or have up-to-date and up-to-date travel documents. So how do you get a new or renewed passport now?

Which passport centers are open?

While federal offices offering personal services have closed, some US Department of State passport centers remain open and provide limited passport service. (Exceptions are public affairs offices in Atlanta, Georgia , New Orleans, Los Angeles , Stamford, Connecticut , New York, and San Juan , all closed until further notice.)

Post offices are still accepting applications, but you will need to complete an online “apply in person” application. If you need to apply for a passport in person, you should contact the nearest office to make sure they are currently working.

If you have a life or death emergency

The US Department of State defines fatal emergencies as anything that involves serious illness, injury, or death of only your immediate family member (child, parent, brother or sister, spouse, aunt, or uncle). You can only apply for an emergency passport if you need to travel outside the United States within the next 72 hours.

To make an appointment for death or death, call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (excluding public holidays). If you need to reach them outside of business hours, call 202-647-4000.

To apply, you will need:

  • Passport application with supporting documents
  • Proof of death or death, such as a death certificate, a statement from a morgue, or a signed letter from a hospital or healthcare professional. Documents must be in English or translated into English.
  • Proof of international travel (e.g. booking, ticket, itinerary) due to an emergency.

If you have already applied for a passport

Expedited passport service was suspended on March 19. Even if you applied and requested expedited service on or before March 19, you should expect delays, although the National Passport Information Center said they would do their best to meet the 2-3 weeks delivery time. And if you applied for standard services before March 19, the typical time for obtaining a passport is 6-8 weeks. However, according to the Department of State’s website , expect significant delays in obtaining your passport and documents proving your citizenship.

If you receive a letter from the Department of State asking for additional documents or information required to process your passport application, your response must be sent to the address provided in the letter. This will also lead to advanced processing.

If you need to renew your passport

The standard rules still apply, but as above, set your expectations: delays are inevitable.

First, make sure you are eligible to renew your US passport by mail . This means that you:

  • Have your most recent passport with you
  • Your last passport is intact
  • Your passport has been issued within the last 15 years and you were over 16 years old.
  • If your real name is on your passport or can provide documents on name change

If you are eligible, you must complete Form DS-82 . Then submit the attachments and the required documentation to one of the addresses noted in the “Where do I mail this attachment” section below. The only exclusion for address is an expedited service address, so don’t add the $ 60 surcharge for this service – it’s not available.


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