If you need to get a passport quickly, you can apply for an expedited passport. This service is an option no matter what type of passport you need. You will need to pay an extra $60 beyond the fees that are associated with the particular type of passport you are applying for.
In some cases, it is specifically recommended that you send your application in as expedited. This is the case if your travel plans are in fewer than a couple of weeks. Also, if you will need a passport within a month for securing a foreign visa, it is also recommended.
Passports generally take around four to six weeks for processing. However, when the office is really busy, it can take as many as ten weeks. If you need your passport any time prior to that, you might want to think about requesting the expedited service to be on the safe side.
If you are requesting this service, it is also recommended that your application be sent using an overnight delivery service and to have it returned to you that way. If you choose to send it via mail, make sure you write EXPEDITE on the envelope. It is best to send it so that it can be traced as well. However you send in your passport application, make sure it is packaged securely to keep it from being damaged.
You can have your passport expedited for any reason or for no particular reason at all. It is a service that is available to anyone and for all types of passports: renewals, first time, for a name change or for a child. Bear in mind that if you send multiple passport applications together, the passports themselves may be sent back separately. Any personal documents that need to be returned may also be sent separately.
If a life or death emergency situation requiring a passport in less time than this, do not use the expedited service for your passport. Rather, you will have to call the passport agency to request an emergency service appointment. When you go to the agency, you might be asked for proof of why you need your passport immediately.
You will normally receive your expedited passport within 2 or 3 weeks. For this reason, it is always a good idea to always have a passport that is valid. If you want to travel in fewer than two weeks for something other than an emergency, you might have to cancel your vacation.
Keep in mind that, if your name has been changed such as because of marriage, you will require a new passport reflecting that change. This is important to think about if you are planning an international honeymoon. It may be best not to initiate any paperwork regarding the name change until you are back in the United States.