September 13, 2021
If you urgently need a new passport, you may be tempted to seek the help of third parties to obtain a passport appointment. Be cautious. Lately we have found many third parties trying to make a quick buck during the pandemic. If you want to understand who is qualified to handle your passport, this article will help.
What institutions and businesses are qualified to handle your passport?
1. Passport agencies and centers
The U.S. Department of State operates 26 passport agencies and centers. Passport agencies accept first-time and renewal applications.
Urgent needs: Passport agencies offer very limited urgent appointments for individuals with emergency and urgent travel needs. These can be processed in 1-3 business days. If you have time to call repeatedly, wait on hold, and travel to the passport agency that can accept your appointment, you can learn more here: Passport Agencies (state.gov)
Renewal applications can be mailed directly to a passport agency. According to the U.S. Department of State website, as of September 2021, processing will take 12-18 weeks.
2. Passport Acceptance Facility
First-time passport applications (as well as lost, damaged and child passports applications) require in-person verification of identity. To simplify this procedure, the U.S. Department of State has approved over 7400 convenient locations. Find a location near you: Where to Apply for a Passport Nationwide (state.gov)
After verifying identification, your documents will be sealed in a security envelope that will not be opened until it reaches a Passport Center. For regular processing, your passport can be mailed to the passport processing center. According to the U.S. Department of State website, as of September 2021, processing will take 12-18 weeks. Passport Acceptance Facilities cannot process urgent applications on your behalf.
3. Passport Couriers
Private companies can also register with the U.S. Department of State as passport couriers. Registered passport couriers can represent you to present an urgent passport application. Reference: Courier and Expeditor Companies (state.gov)
The U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce (USCCC) is a registered passport courier; as such, we have 2 passport appointments available each business day. We can help you check your passport application in preparation and make sure your documents are in good order before presenting them. [Read more]
4. U.S. Embassies and Consulates
If you are overseas, your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate will handle your passport renewal. Please contact them directly. Reference: Official list of embassies from the U.S. Department of State (usembassy.gov)