Passports in a Hurry

November 7, 2008
Special Feature

You’re all set for your overseas vacation when you dig out your passport only to find that it has expired. Panic time!

You’re all set for your overseas vacation when you dig out your passport only to find that it has expired. Panic time! And with the government now requiring a passport for air travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, the State Department is swamped with applications, making it virtually impossible to get a passport through regular channels in time to make your flight.

You can get expedited service from the government, but you have to get to one of just 13 regional passport agencies and pay an extra $60, plus shipping, in addition to the $75to $100 cost of the passport. Even then, there’s a chance that you won’t get your passport on time. But don’t despair. The storm surge in passport requests has spawned a whole industry geared to getting a passport delivered to your door in as little as a day.

To get your passport to you in a hurry, outfits like RushMyPassport.com, It’s Easy Passport, and A Briggs will charge you anywhere from $100 to $300 per passport, in addition to the government’s fees. The price scale is based on how quickly you need the passport—same day service will cost you more than next-day service.

You’ll pay shipping charges too, usually for Fedex next-day service, which can be pricey, and you’ll still be responsible for doing a lot of the legwork, like getting a birth certificate and passport photos. For travelers faced with a passport crisis, however, the extra cost and effort may not only be worth it, it may be the only way to go.