After an oversight on my part, we needed a passport fast so I worked with the pros at ItsEasy and got everything back in less than 10 days.
We Made A Mistake
A few months ago, I outlined the process that we used to get my son’s passport back as a first-time applicant. We successfully got that back right around four weeks and nearly broke our arms patting ourselves on the back. We beat the quoted time frames by weeks and we didn’t need to use an expediting service to achieve it.
During check-in for an upcoming cruise, I typed my daughter’s expiration date and panicked. My daughter’s last passport was issued early in 2019. We lost a couple of years of international travel during the pandemic and as children’s passports (15 years and younger) are only valid for five years each.
We Needed Professional Assistance
We were well inside of the standard six months remaining validity that some countries require. In fact, we were just two weeks from our departure and would not have another window of opportunity to get a new passport issued. We needed an expedited passport service as we were unable to apply in person during the period and it was not a life-or-death emergency.
I used ItsEasy Passport and Visa Services, an online service that makes passport applications simple.
It’s worth noting that some of the pieces we were able to complete with the ItsEasy Passport Renewal & Photo app, and some we were not because it was simply too close in. Different from adult passport renewals and from new passport applications, children’s “renewals” work a little differently.
- We first had to present evidence of urgent travel. This was as simple as including our domestic flight information though we threw in our international cruise travel itinerary just in case.
- We used the ItsEasy app to complete Form DS-11. It automatically generated the government’s specialized barcoded passport application form, to aid in faster government processing. Government agents can quickly scan barcoded applications over the manual data entry of a handwritten or typewritten application. Without the special government scannable barcode, the agent still must re-type the application.
- We took our photos through the app which uses an outline to ensure the right size and framing, passport photos are complimentary when you use the app. ItsEasy.com promptly overnighted me two passport photos that meet governmental requirements, so they’re guaranteed to be accepted.
- We included our daughter’s still-valid passport, AND her birth certificate in our paperwork.
- We made an appointment at a United States Post Office Passport Acceptance Facility.
- We took a print-off of the form, her photos, the itinerary, and her documents to the appointment.
- Both parents were present though we could have used a sign-off form if we weren’t both able to attend.
- We brought our state-issued IDs (but had our passports as a backup)
- Paid a $35 execution fee
The process of applying for a new passport can be a daunting one, especially if you’re running short on time as we were. Because we were so close to departure, we had no room for mistakes. The acceptance facility could not process our passport application as it had to go directly to the Department of State and had to be hand-carried in through the process because of the urgent timeframe that the passport was needed back by. Due to this, the agent at the USPS location checked over everything, positioned it, stapled in her old passport, images, etc., and then sealed the envelope. They gave this back to us to overnight it to ItsEasy ourselves which was tracked through the app.
We followed the passport online as it left Pittsburgh, arrived in New York, and was accepted by their staff. We received a notification through the app when it was completed and the overnight return shipping details.
How Fast Can You Get A Passport?
For those who don’t live in a city in which same-day emergency passport services or don’t qualify (we were both), an expediting process is the only chance to receive your passport on short notice. But just how fast is it? From the day we started the process we had the new passport in our hands within ten days. Considering that included a weekend, and we weren’t able to get into our passport appointment for a day, plus shipping one day in each direction, it’s incredibly fast. It’s entirely possible that if timed right, it could come back inside the same week.
Usually, you have to wait for your supporting documents (prior passport, birth certificate, etc.) to be returned sometime in the future. If it’s the old passport, we want that back (especially if it has valid visas inside for which you can present the old passport with the new passport to maintain validity.) If it’s a birth certificate, we want that back in our hands as soon as possible.
Because ItsEasy hand carried our documents in and received them back, everything came back at once. That alone was worth it for us.
We missed our daughter’s passport renewal date and had less than two weeks to turn around a new one. We were able to achieve it by enlisting an expediting service, ItsEasy which turned the passport around in ten days and it could have been faster. This service usually costs $349. Routine adult passport renewal on the app is $39.95 all-inclusive. We set automatic passport renewal reminders in the app, but honestly, with costs slightly over our own method but with faster results, I probably won’t renew any passport myself again.
What do you think? Have you been in this situation before? How did you resolve it?