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 and needed to get a same day passport. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!