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Applying for an Emergency or Urgent Expedited U.S. Passport


This memorandum provides guidance on the process of applying for an urgent expedited United States passport at a regional passport agency. Applicants who meet certain eligibility requirements may apply for a first-time passport or renew a U.S. passport on an urgent expedited basis at a regional passport agency.

Who Can Submit an Application for an Urgent Expedited Passport at a Regional Agency?

Any U.S. citizen who meets one of the following criteria may submit an application for an urgent passport in person at a regional passport agency:

  1. Have a Life-or-Death Emergency of an immediate relative requiring international travel within 3 business days; OR
  2. Have urgent international travel within 14 calendar days; OR
  3. Need to obtain a foreign visa within 28 calendar days.

Applicants who have a life-or-death emergency may schedule an appointment up to 2 weeks before international travel, but the date of the appointment must be within 3 business days of international travel.

Applicants with upcoming urgent international travel cannot schedule an appointment more than 2 weeks before the travel date.

Travelers who need to obtain a foreign visa must show evidence of the date of travel and the fact that a visa is required for the destination country.

Request an Appointment at a Regional Passport Agency

An applicant who meets one of the three eligibility criteria may call the National Passport Office at 1-877-487-2778 and request an appointment at a regional agency. The agent will ask several questions to determine eligibility and provide the next available appointment at the nearest regional passport agency.

The passport call center representative will provide a unique confirmation number that will be verified by the passport agent on the day of the appointment. If you are not the true appointment holder, you will be turned away on the day of your appointment.

The unique confirmation number will allow the passport agent to verify that the appointment is legitimate. Once the appointment is made, the applicant will receive an email confirmation of the appointment.  

Appointments cannot be transferred to another person. However, multiple people may attend one appointment so long as they meet the eligibility criteria. When speaking to a call center, you should inform the representative of how many people will need to attend the appointment.

Regional Passport Agencies

There are several regional passport agencies throughout the United States. When a call comes into the passport call center, the representative will provide the next available appointment at the nearest agency based on the applicant’s residential address. Applicants may need to travel to another agency if appointments are not available at the closest office.

Please note, regional passport agencies are different from passport acceptance facilities. Acceptance facilities are places that accept passport applications but DO NOT provide urgent expedited service. Acceptance facilities include places like post offices, libraries, or other places that accept passport applications. Applicants who need urgent expedited passports cannot submit an application at a passport acceptance facility.   

Required Documentation

When scheduling an appointment, the passport call center representative will advise the applicant based on the specific situation. Below is a list of the most commonly required documents:

  1. Application confirmation email and unique confirmation number
  2. Completed and unsigned Form DS-11
  3. Evidence of U.S. citizenship with a photocopy of each document
    1. First-Time Applicants: Evidence of citizenship includes:
      1. Original civil long-form birth certificate
      2. Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
      3. Original Certificate of Naturalization
      4. Original Certificate of Citizenship
    2. Renewal Applications:
      1. Original undamaged U.S. passport
  4. One passport photograph
  5. Government-issued Photo Identification
  6. Evidence of Emergency Travel:
    1. Life or Death: Applicants must provide documentation to show the life-or-death emergency before making the appointment. Documentation can include the following:
      1. Death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a letter from the hospital (on hospital/clinic letterhead, signed by the doctor/medical professional, explaining your relative’s medical condition).
      2. If the documentation of the emergency is not in English, it must be translated by a professional translator. The translation does not need to be notarized but should be certified by the translator.
      3. Proof that you are traveling internationally in the next 3 business days, such as an itinerary or airline ticket.
    2. Urgent International Travel: The travel itinerary provided to the passport agency must show that the date of travel is within 14 days of the appointment
      1. Applicants must provide a confirmed flight receipt or an itinerary. The itinerary must show the applicant’s name as the traveler. If more than one person is attending the appointment, all attendees’ names must be listed on the travel itinerary. Itineraries must be printed and submitted at the appointment.
      2. Applicants traveling by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean, can provide proof of a hotel reservation, cruise tickets, or international car insurance. Hotel/car reservations must be printed and submitted at the appointment.
  7. Passport Fee: Exact cash, money order, cashier’s check, personal check, and debit/credit cards are accepted  

Passport agents may ask for additional documentation at their discretion.

What to Expect at the Passport Agency

Applicants should check the specific (local) procedures based on the location of their appointment.

In most cases, an applicant should arrive more than 15 minutes before the appointment time and expect to go through security screenings when entering the building. Upon arrival at the passport office, applicants must show their confirmation email and unique confirmation number to the agent. Once verified, applicants should take a seat and wait to be called for their appointment.

A passport agent will review the application and supporting documentation. Applicants will then be asked to sign the application form.

The agent will inform the applicant if additional documentation is required. If the documentation is in order, the agent will inform the applicant when the passport will be ready and options for collecting the passport or having it mailed. 

Applications for Minors

Parents or legal guardians can schedule appointments at regional agencies to apply for passports for their children, provided they meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.

When applying for a minor child, in addition to the required documentation listed above, parents or legal guardians will need to show their relationship to the child. The following may be used to show parental relationship:

  • U.S. birth certificate (also evidence of U.S. citizenship)
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce/Custody decree

Please note: Some documents, like a U.S. birth certificate, show both U.S. citizenship and parental relationship. These documents must be originals or certified copies.

Parents or legal guardians must also provide consent. The best way to do this is for both parents or legal guardian(s) to attend the appointment with the child. If only one or neither parent or guardian can attend the appointment, please refer to the Department of State website for information on required consent forms. 

Passport Processing and Time Frame

Passports will be produced based on the travel date but are generally ready within 24 to 48 hours.


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