You’ve spent months planning a big trip, but a few nights before you realize your passport is about to expire. Or maybe an opportunity for a last-minute international business trip came up, but you don’t have a valid passport. Whatever the situation, don’t sweat it. It’s possible to get your passport in time.
In July 2019, shipping company FedEx and passport courier service Rush My Passport announced a partnership in order to get people their passports faster, touting a processing time of as little as 24 hours. It’s not cheap, but it could be worth it.
To be clear, a processing time of 24 hours doesn’t mean that you will automatically have your passport in your hands in that timeframe, but it will be pretty close—it will be sent to you within 24 hours, so you just need to account for extra shipping time.
When to use this service
The standard time to get a passport via the U.S. Department of State is six to eight weeks, according to the agency. However, it can get travelers expedited passports in eight business days if they have travel plans within 14 days. In this case, travelers need to make an appointment and go in-person to a passport agency, show proof of their travel and pay a $60 expedite fee plus the $110 adult passport renewal fee. But there are less than 30 passport agencies in the entire country, so take that into consideration if you’re thinking about this option. (There is an exception for situations when a passport is needed to travel to another country for a life or death emergency of immediate family—in this case, different rules apply.)
So, if you need your passport in less than eight days, use the combined FedEx and Rush My Passport service. Through this service, travelers can renew their passports, get a new passport, replace a lost or stolen passport, and more. If you choose the 24-hour service option, it will ensure your passport is processed within 24 hours.
This means that the service will send in your relevant documents to the U.S. Department of State, and assuming the government doesn’t have an issue giving you a passport, it will be printed within 24 hours. Then it will get shipped back to you. FedEx gives the following example: If you go to FedEx to complete the passport application process on Monday, your documents will be processed and a passport will be sent out to you Tuesday, which means you will get it Wednesday. However, there is the possibility that you will be able to pick the passport up on Tuesday at a FedEx store or get same-day delivery, depending on where you are located.
Here’s how to do it
If you need your passport in a rush, go to a FedEx location near you to fill out an application and get your passport photo taken. (You can also start out by filling out the application online at the FedEx website.) For a renewal, bring your old passport, a check, and a credit card to pay the relevant fees. You should also have your travel itinerary to show proof of imminent travel plans. To qualify for a passport renewal, you must have your existing passport. See the FedEx or Rush My Passport website for specific instructions.
Note that if you need a new passport and are not just renewing a passport, you will need to bring documents that provide proof of U.S. citizenship and identity to a passport acceptance agency to ensure that they are valid. This is a security measure that FedEx and Rush My Passport are not able to provide.
Once the fees are paid and the valid application and photos are ready, FedEx will ship these documents to Rush My Passport, which will get your passport processed at a passport agency in the timeframe you select. Then, as long as the government doesn’t deny you a passport because you have committed a felony, owe back taxes, or some other reason, they’ll print your passport and send it back to you in time for your trip!
Through the FedEx and Rush My Passport service, travelers will have access to help from specialists 24/7 who can guide them through the process and will be able to track their passports. On Trustpilot, a review platform for companies, Rush My Passport has a 92 percent excellent rating, which is the highest available, of more than 5,600 reviews.
What it will cost you
Getting a rushed passport isn’t cheap. Just paying for the service costs $449 for 24-hour (or one business day) processing. That’s not even including the $170 government fee for the passport or the shipping fee, which can range from about $70 to $125. So, you’re looking at nearly $700 (at least) to get your passport processed in a rush.
If you’re not quite that low on time, you can get it processed in two business days for $349. There are various other options for delivery, as well. The longest time frame, which is also the cheapest, is processing in 8 to 10 business days for $119. If you are not eligible to receive an expedited passport or change your mind early on in the process, FedEx says that refunds are available. However, once the passport processing starts, refunds aren’t available.
Regardless, the steep price tag may be worth it if you’ve already paid for a vacation or have to go for work—and it’s good to know that it’s always an option.