9 Steps To A Same Day Passport

Every once in awhile I experience something that I feel compelled to share even if it strays from the subject matter of my blog.  Especially when the information doesn’t quite exist.  That’s what happened to me last week when I realized late in the game that I had misplaced my passport 2 days before my trip to SES Toronto.  Oops.

I immediately turned to the web to see what my options were.  I learned that the birth certificate & drivers license wouldn’t get it done so I either had to find a way to get a replacement passport or no trip for me.  Surprisingly, it is possible to get a passport on the same day, but it requires jumping through quite a few hoops.  So here is my step by step process that you can take to get yourself a same day passport.  It’s not a guarantee, but if you take these steps, you have a good shot.

  1. First step is to find a passport agency that you can get to.  Without one of these you’re out of luck.  Visit this page to see where the nearest agency you can get to is.
  2. Once you have your agency identified, call 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment ASAP.  Take the earliest appointment you can get, because then it’s more likely they will be able to get your passport created before they close.  Obviously if you have more then one day to work with, you have some flexibility here.  However if you need it that same day, your only shot is most likely an early morning appointment.  Be sure to write down your confirmation #.  You’ll need this when you arrive.
  3. Okay, here’s where I messed up a bit.  Save yourself the time and waiting longer in line by having whatever forms you need filled out and printed prior to arriving.  Depending on your situation, you may need to fill out a few forms.  You can access them here.  You can fill out online and print, or print and fill out by hand.  Regardless of your situation, you’ll need to fill out the DS-11 Application for a Passport.  I had lost mine so I had to also fill out the DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport.  You can get these forms at the office and fill out there, but you’ll lose valuable time.
  4. In addition to the forms, you will need to bring your state issued birth certificate, not a copy and it has to be issued by the state you were born in.  You’ll also need your drivers license.
  5. You’ll need 2 passport photos in hand at the office.  Honestly, the easiest thing to do here is to just go to a Walgreens, or some local drug store that does these.  It’s quick and easy, and you’ll ensure the proper requirements are met.  If you are ambitious, you can do this yourself by following these directions.
  6. You’ll need a check, money order or credit card on hand.  For same day passports expect a fee of around $195 (that’s what I paid).  It is quite a bit more then a normal process, but when you’re desperate, it’s not too bad.  Especially considering their are quite a few websites that are actually charging 3x this much for similar services.  DO NOT use these services unless you do not have access to a passport agency.  You’ll be paying way more then necessary, and will actually not be able to get your passport as quickly as you could.
  7. You need to print out your travel itinerary showing that you are traveling out of country soon.  This is important as without this, they will not expedite your passport as quickly as you need it.
  8. Try to get to the agency 15 minutes before your appointment.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Be nice!  It sounds silly but the reality is the people behind the counter are pretty much the ones who can and will dictate whether they will accommodate you.  Seems crazy but it’s true.  Be nice, conversational, and you’ll have a good shot of getting what you need as long as you bring everything required.
  9. If they are able to accommodate your same day request, expect to either stick around all day, or come back to pick your passport up.  I checked in at 9am, and my passport was ready for me at 3pm.  Most of these offices will not let you use your cell phone or laptop there, so be prepared if you plan on waiting.

That’s it.  I successfully was able to get my passport on the same day using these steps.  If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I will respond.  And if anyone else has experienced something similar or different, would love to have you share.  Good luck!

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Comments

  1. says

    Jason,

    Excellent information – Thorough details!

    I’m sure you are not the first, and will not be the last to be in that position.

    I hope all goes well in Toronto!

    Planning on sharing this in my Culturally Connected forum.  Thanks!!

    ~Keri

    • says

      Hi Keri…thanks for the kind words.  I knew immediately after I pulled this off that I absolutely had to write this as I knew I would not be the only one needing this info.  Especially considering the term “same day passport” is searched for quite a bit.

  2. says

    Jason, aloha.  Thx for the info which reminds me to check when my passport expires.  Though an out-of-the-country trip is not on my schedule, one never knows what exciting adventure might appear.

    Best wishes for a productive trip.  Aloha.  Janet

  3. says

    This is some sweet info Jason. Really appreciate it. I certainly don’t mind if it’s off topic. Adding this post to my weekly link roundup – because it’s useful!

    I think the blogging community is generally transient anyways – so it seems to fit in my mind.

  4. Omar says

    My wife applied for her passport last week but her grandmother in Dominican Republic passed away just last night. Now shr needs to travel ASAP. I was wondering since her application is already being processed can she go in with her itinerary and have her passport expedited? Or does she have to wait since she already put in for her passport. Any info will help thank you.

  5. Rachel says

    Thanks for posting this. Your information is very detailed and more importantly, very correct. You saved me a lot of time in trying to figure out where to start with getting a same day passport replacement. If you are ever in NYC, I owe you a beer.

  6. mark says

    HUGE help… i am in a very similair situation… going tomorrow to get a passport and going to amsterdam on friday (from england). This has taken a lot off my mind so thank you very much!

  7. Liz says

    This was SO helpful! I was looking for exactly this information and couldn’t find it anywhere else. Thank you for posting!

  8. Brad Seaman says

    Jason,

    Thank you for saving my life! I really appreciate all the help you provided and can’t thank you enough! Here is my story in San Diego via a Yelp review of the passport office:

    I am that guy! The night before a flight to Cabo San Lucas for my buddy’s wedding I went to check in for my flight. It was about 6:00 and the Alaska Airlines check in required my passport number. I realized that I had not put my eyes on mine is a while, so I went searching. When I found it, I realized that it had expired a couple of months ago. You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize you are not getting on the flight the next day? It was a rough evening to say the least!

    I started going through all the options I had heard about. Calling expeditors in multiple cities and even planning to fly to San Francisco to get text elusive “same day” passport.

    If you are in San Diego with travel arrangements, look no further, I have done all the research for you. I found a random blog online that seemed legit and went to work. http://www.jasonyormark.com/2011/06/13/9-steps-to-a-same-day-passport/

    This guy set me up to pull off the most epic turn on a passport yet! The only thing I tweaked was the appointment. I followed the steps to schedule an appointment and got one for 9:30. If you want to be confident that you are going to make the plane, show up before they open the doors and be first in line. They made me a priority and sure enough turned a passport for me in 2.5 hours (I made my 1:30 flight). By the way, the entire group I was traveling with, including my wife, had no idea where I was in the process. It was so much fun to show up in the terminal bar with passport in hand to cheers of my arrival.

    That’s the story, now for the San Diego Passport Office. It reminds me of customs with a DMV waiting room vibe. DONT BE INTIMIDATED!!! Everyone was incredibly friendly and catered to my needs. I camped out and security help calm my nerves by chatting me up. Everyone asked if it cost me $1,000. Nope! $60 expedite fee and $140 for the passport and card. The stress took a few years off my life. I would recommend this office to anyone! Thank you all for getting me to the wedding :).

    • says

      Hi Brad. Thanks so much for telling your story. I knew when this happened to me that I would not be the only one. Thrilled that this can continue to help people with this situation!

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