You can expect to spend a healthy chunk of money on passport expeditor services, which can help you get a brand-new passport within 24 hours. Finding a reputable expeditor isn’t particularly easy, since the field is full of agencies that do not always provide adequate customer service or fair pricing.
Fortunately, expeditors are not your best or only option when it comes to getting a passport in a hurry. Often, the cheapest and easiest way to obtain a new passport is through government channels. Here is an overview of what you need to do and who you should turn to if you need a passport in a hurry.
If You Need a Passport within a Few Weeks
The easiest way to get your passport relatively quickly i.e. within a couple of weeks is to pay the United States State Department to expedite the process. However, this is not a guaranteed fix. Wait times tend to vary depending on various factors, such as government sequesters. You can expect to pay $60 in addition to the standard passport renewal or application fees, as well as an additional $12.85 for overnight delivery if you want that too.
If You Need a Passport as Quickly as Possible
If you want a new passport as quickly as possible you should forget the expeditor. A better option would be to use a local passport agency. All you have to do is go to the passport agency in person with the right documents, fees, and photos and you can actually receive your passport the same day. You can expect to pay $195 for a same-day passport, which is far less than what expeditors charge for a similar service. Read this if you want an honest appraisal and wish to know how fast can you get a passport.
If you choose this option, you must ensure that you have all the documents and identification required. You will discover that people who work there are incredibly helpful and genuinely want to help. It doesn’t feel like a typical government agency. However, you must be willing to follow the directions given very closely. You shouldn’t be surprised if you are turned away for not having a certain form properly filled out or showing up without making an appointment first or having just one form of identification.
If you are nowhere close to a regional passport center, an expeditor might be your best option.
How to Find an Expeditor
Expeditors are not all created equal. The rates and customer service quality vary. Some of the expeditors offer a money-back guarantee while others do not. Ripoff Report features a robust thread of RushMyPassport.com, which is a notorious offender. A customer of the company says that all they do is stand in line on your behalf at the United States passport office, which does not even open on weekends. However, they never mention this detail until you make the payment. You won’t receive your passport when you need it and won’t get a refund too. The customer advises others not to fall for that scam like they did.
It can also be a good idea to look up a company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
How Much Should You Pay?
The amount of money you will have to pay largely depends on how soon the passport is needed. Overall, you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $300 depending on the speed of service. A handful of the major expeditors offer 1- or 2-day turnaround for $199 in addition to the standard government fees. It is also important to be wary of any company that charges over $300 for this service.