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How to Renew an Expired Passport in Nine Hours

Update (6/28/16): Almost 5 years later, and this post is still going strong! All the information below is still accurate.

Update (3/17/14): I wrote this post a few years ago, so please take that with a grain of salt. That being said, based on the happy user comments, it looks like nothing of the process I describe below has changed–everything is still accurate and should work for you.

It was the day before Startup Festival and I was just a few hours away from hopping on a red eye to Montreal. I went to United’s website to check in when I was prompted to enter my passport number. I pull out my passport and take a look at the information, expires July 8th 2011. It was July 12th—shit. My passport expired four days ago and I had a flight to catch.

I call up United and, as I suspected, they inform me that I won’t be able to fly on an expired passport. My only option was to cancel the flight, scramble to renew my passport in a day, and book a new flight tomorrow. This is how I did it.

Disclaimer: I did this in Los Angeles. The process should be the same elsewhere in the nation, but your mileage may vary. Also, I cut this close; there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to renew your passport the same day, but it’s worth a shot.

  • Make an appointment. Call up the US Passport Office and use their automated phone system to make an appointment. When I called, they gave me a date late into next week. That wouldn’t work for me so I decided to hangup and show up the next day, sans appointment. Following the appointment process is the recommended way, but I was desperate.
  • Get your photo taken. An expired passport means an outdated passport photo. In order to renew your passport, you’ll need new photos. Call around to the local CVS and Walgreens. I was able to find a nearby Walgreens that had a photo department that was open until 10 PM. I went over and had two photos made. It cost me around $10. If you can’t find anything, you can go to the photo place near the Federal Building’s cafeteria the next morning. They open at 7 AM and charge $14 for two photos. (Avoid this since it would cause you to lose your place in line.)
  • Fill out the renewal form. Go to the US Passport Office’s website and download the DS-82 form. Print it out and complete it ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling last minute. Don’t staple your photos to it, they’ll take care of it at the office. When filling out the form, you’ll want the passport book, not the passport card. (I accidentally checked “both” and had to change it later.)
  • Print out your itinerary. In order to renew your passport at the last minute, you need to be able to prove that it’s urgent. Print our your itinerary that shows that you’re flying soon. (I attempted to use my hotel reservation, but they wanted to see a flight itinerary.)

The next morning, bring with you:

  • a copy of your itinerary
  • your DS-82
  • your expired passport
  • your wallet
  • Line up early. At the time of this writing, the Los Angeles US Passport Office opens at 7 AM. (Check the website for your location’s hours.) I woke up at 5 AM and was at the office by 5:30 AM. There were three people already lined up in front of me. Get there early. If you don’t have an appointment, you’ll need to line up at the “Will Call” windows. You should be able to see them when you arrive at the Federal Building. They’re labeled “Will Call A” and “Will Call B”. There will be two lines, one at will call for people that don’t have appointments, and one at the door to the passport office for those that do have appointments.
  • Make your case. At around 7 AM the window will open and they’ll take people one at a time. Be polite, show your itinerary, and explain your situation. “My passport expired and I need to fly out tonight. I don’t have an appointment, is there anything you can do?” The person will give you a ticket with a number on it and tell you to go wait in the line with people that have appointments. That ticket is essentially your appointment.
  • Wait. You’ll slowly make your way through the appointment line to security. The security check is just like the one you’d find at an airport. Turn off your cell phones (this is required) and leave as much as you can in your car (don’t bring a laptop or anything more than your paperwork and old passport). Once in the building you’ll head to the Passport office and stand in another line. Eventually you’ll get to the window where the clerk will look your paperwork over and give you another ticket. You’ll then sit in the waiting area and wait for your number to be called. Cell phones and laptops are not allowed, so chat up the people next to you or bring a book—the analog kind.
  • Pay the fee. Eventually, your number will be called and you’ll go up to a window. (By now it was around 9 AM.) The clerk will look over your paperwork once more and you’ll pay $110 to renew the passport and $60 to expedite the process, so $170 total. (These prices were at the time of writing, they may increase. They accept credit cards.) If everything goes well, they’ll give you a receipt with a time to come back to pick up your passport. Typically, it’s between 1 PM and 3 PM that same day. If you got this far, there’s a very good chance you’ll be getting your passport.
  • Wait some more. Go grab lunch at In-n-Out and come back to the Federal Building around 2 PM. (The receipt says to show up between 1 PM and 3 PM, but they never have it ready that early.) Stand in the will call line and give the clerk your receipt. They’ll either have your passport ready, or ask you to wait a bit longer. I ended up getting mine at 3 PM, right when the Passport office closes.

There you have it, a passport in nine hours. Now, never do this again. Be prudent and renew by mail well in advance next time. Happy travels. Tips are totally unnecessary, but always welcome :) My Paypal/Venmo address is rsonawalla@gmail.com

Comments

  1. Kyle Hudson on August 6, 2011

    Love the post, if you think they mess you around with the US passport office try getting an emergency one in the UK :(


  2. Rahim Sonawalla on August 13, 2011

    Thanks, Kyle! Yeah, I was pretty surprised that it worked out.


  3. Christine on June 10, 2012

    This is awesome. I am in the same boat except my flight leaves tonight (on Sunday), so I am already going to miss my trip. Hoping I can rebook for tomorrow.


  4. Rahim Sonawalla on June 11, 2012

    Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.


  5. jshe on July 5, 2012

    This is very useful information: detailed and practical. I followed your roadmap (almost exactly) in Washington DC today, and got my passport in 8.5 hours!

    Thank you so much for laying out a feasible solution for otherwise a devastate situation for me!


  6. Rahim Sonawalla on July 5, 2012

    Glad it was helpful! Were there any important changes that you ran into in DC that might be helpful for other folks?


  7. Christine on July 12, 2012

    It’s Christine again. I followed these instructions exactly and went to the LA passport office. On Sunday when I discovered that my passport was expired for my flight that evening, I called and made an appointment with the LA passport office. I was lucky to get an appointment at 8am. I changed my hotel reservation and flight for the next day (Monday night). I didn’t want to risk going to the passport office telling them I would reschedule my flight. You must show proof that you have a flight scheduled. They specifically asked to see proof of a scheduled flight.

    I had my passport photo ready and my forms filled out before arriving. I got there early Monday morning at 6:30am because I was nervous and already there were about 14 other desperate people on line. There is a guard stationed outside making sure you have an appointment and proper forms. You might be able to get in if you have an afternoon appointment or without one. He merely asked me if I had an appointment and confirmation number and I said yes, and then I walked in. No one checks once you are in the office. Only the guard outside.

    Once inside, it literally took me 5 minutes. They took the forms and my check for $170 and told me to come back in the afternoon between 1-3pm to pick it up. There was a huge line when I arrived around 2pm. Lots of people on line waiting to get their passports. When I finally got to the window, they didnt have mine ready, so getting there any earlier wouldnt have mattered. They do cut off the line by 3pm though, so you must arrive before 3pm or risk having to go back the following day.

    For those of us whose passports werent ready yet, they closed the line at 3pm and sent us into the passport office (the pick-up is an outside window). I sat there another 45 minutes waiting and nervous that I wouldnt get one, but there was no reason to be. Everyone who is sent inside is served. That’s why they close the window at 3pm because it takes another 2 hours to get everyone squared away. So by 5pm, they are done. I left the passport office with passport in hand around 4:30pm. You would be best advised if you do what I did to schedule your flight for the evening. One lady kept yelling that she had a 630pm flight and didnt want to wait in line. After much pleading, she was finally allowed to cut the line.

    Apparently, this kind of thing is fairly common. A number of other people on line had expired passports but scheduled trips. The passport office is well aware of this issue and they take care of this everyday. Seems to be standard operating procedure for them. I cant understand, however, why we dont receive notification by mail or otherwise about passports about to expire like we do for driver’s licenses.

    Thanks again for this great post. It was a tremendous post in a time of need. I got to go on my vacation, just one day late.


  8. Rahim Sonawalla on July 13, 2012

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks so much for your detailed story, I’m sure other folks will find it helpful!

    I totally agree about how the reminder should be mailed to you. If you’re like most people, you don’t travel internationally often and aren’t going to be aware of when your passport expires. Glad you were able to make your vacation (or the bulk of it at least).


  9. zkubidu on August 13, 2012

    This was probably the most help in my situation. I ended up not being able to get on my flight because my passport was expired, unfortunately my flight was initially schedule for Saturday morning. However, upon finding this site I was able to schedule an appointment for Monday morning at 8:30AM. I arrived a half an hour early with the aforementioned items in hand and was out of the building by 9AM. I returned at 1:30PM and began waiting in line at the Will Call window, reaching the window at 2PM I was turned away as my passport was not ready. I returned about 15 minutes later after a quick snack and got to the window just prior to 3PM this time and was handed my new passport.

    Can’t thank you enough.

    Prices are still $170 at this time to renew for an expedited, same-day issue passport.


  10. Rahim Sonawalla on August 15, 2012

    Thanks for the update, zkubidu. Good to know the renewal price hasn’t gone up!


  11. April D on June 4, 2013

    Realized this morning that my husband’s passport expired a few weeks ago. We leave for Mexico in a week and half. Scheduled an appt in Hot Springs AR. Seven hours from here. Appointment not till Monday and he may not be able to stick around for pick up in the afternoon due to work obligations. Hopefully the overnight mail option is a legit one. Thanks for the useful info. Sounds like going prepared makes all of the difference.


  12. Rahim Sonawalla on June 6, 2013

    Let us know how it goes! I’m especially curious since you’ll be doing it in Arizona. I’d like to know if it’s easier or harder there.


  13. Irene on June 14, 2013

    Unfortunately, this process will not work for our trip this weekend. Got the passports out of the safety deposit box late yesterday to find our youngest daughter’s passport had expired (youth passports have a shorter life span). Got on the phone first thing this morning but unfortunately the closest passport office is 6 hours away in Detroit. The fortunate part is that our flight is into Puerto Rico (U.S. Territory), therefore driver’s license is acceptable. I had time to get an original birth cert. and we’ll see what our options are. It’s a cruise vacation and the passport would have helped her get off on some of the ports.


  14. Keith on June 24, 2013

    Thanks for detailing the process! I am in Boston and I followed your instructuons, passport should be ready by 4:00pm in time for my 5:30am flight tommorrow!


  15. John on July 27, 2013

    My flight is at LAX on 8/1/13 at 5:45pm. And I made an appointment at 8:30AM on the same day at the same office as you. I was wondering if I had enough time to check in and board the plane. I am a bit nervous about the while thing. Plus this is my first time renewing as an adult, would that factor into how long it would take to get the passport?


  16. mary on July 30, 2013

    This advice was invaluable! I worked like a charm. We realized at the 11th hour that my daughter’s passport had expired and we realized it on the weekend. Thanks to you, I hit Monday morning running and by the end of the day, had a passport in hand! They excepted a train itinerary fyi!


  17. Rahim Sonawalla on July 30, 2013

    John: I don’t think it being your first time would factor into the time taken to do a renewal. Since your flight isn’t for a few days, why not try renewing your passport early (say today or tomorrow) without an appointment? Don’t cancel your appointment, just show up a few days before and use the method in the post. If all else fails, you can always use your appointment the day of your flight, but if it works out, you’ll avoid the stress of having to renew and fly out the same day.

    Mary: Glad to hear it!


  18. John on July 31, 2013

    Oh ok I’ll just stick with the same day appointment. Also since my appointment is at 8:30, can I go there as soon as they open or will they make me wait till 8:30?
    Thanks.


  19. Rahim Sonawalla on July 31, 2013

    I’m not sure, since I did it without an appointment. I would get there when they open just in case.

    Even with an appointment, I suspect you won’t get your renewed passport until 3 PM (when the office closes). You should try to get someone to drive you to LAX so that you can take carpool down the 405 and make your 5:45 PM flight!

    Keep us posted!


  20. ACJ on August 22, 2013

    Had to get my passport renewed this morning due to an unexpected trip to Canada tomorrow. Panicked, I decided to risk just showing up at the NYC agency on Hudson street. Showed up there at about 6:45 and was 5th in line. I think 2 of those people worked at the building which opens at 7:30am.

    There are TWO lines. One for people that made an appt and one for those who didnt. The guard just tells you which to go in depending on your situation. I was in the B line and had to wait about 10min for the people before me to go and then a couple of A liners that came in (they get priority). I got to one of the three counters and in about 2min they checked my docs and gave me a number and told me to proceed up to the 10th floor for the real processing.

    I no more than got off the elevator and my number was being called. I didn’t have a printout of my itinerary since I made the trip reservation late last night. I was able to EMAIL it to the person helping me and she immeidately verified and it said my passport would be ready by NOON. Wow. I paid the $170 and left with my receipt.

    Could not have been smoother. By the time I got to the Agency there must have been 40 people in line but they all seemed to have been taken care of very promptly. For a gov agency, this was an absolute breeze. I was almost ready to pay a third party service another $250 to get next day processing. Just go very early and you’ll be good. Must have docs showing you’ll be traveling in the next day if you need the passport same day.Very very impressed.

    I’d get there at about 6:40am and you should be good just to be safe.


  21. Rahim Sonawalla on August 22, 2013

    Thanks for sharing, ACJ. Sounds like good news for folks living in NYC that need to renew–much smoother process than LA :)


  22. Salma on August 31, 2013

    This seems very useful for the people who live in the U.S. I am an American citizen, but I’ve been living in Egypt for nine years. My flight to New York is in three days and I just found out that my passport is expired. I’m pretty sure things will be more complicated for me, since I live in Egypt, considering the difficulties the country is going through. The other problem is that I’m 15 (I have school in New York, it starts on September 9th, I was wondering if this could be a reason for them to renew my passport faster.) In Egypt, things usually don’t go very easily. We don’t have many passport offices in Egypt. So, in order to renew my passport, I need to go to the U.S embassy, which is closed today. I’m also not sure in they’ll let me in without an appointment. And scheduling an appointment is not an option, since it’s going to be in about a week. If anyone has any useful information please tell me, it would mean a lot. Thank you.


  23. emily on November 12, 2013

    thanks so much for this! your post encouraged me to try going to the passport office in NYC without an appointment today, 3 days before a flight, and i’m getting my renewed passport back tomorrow. they are totally set up to handle walk-ins–if you don’t have an appointment you just have to wait in a different and longer line and be fit in between the people who do have appointments. (there are more legit reasons for people to need to get in without an appointment, other than just being forgetful/oblivious like i was–the woman ahead of me needed a last-minute passport to attend a family member’s funeral, so it makes sense that the office would be set up to handle emergencies like that.) i got there at 7 am, got in line behind about 8 people, and from 7-7:30 the line quickly built up behind me, so i suggest getting there by 7 or earlier for less of a wait. i was in and out by 8:15 am, and if you don’t need the passport the same day, you can come back and pick it up the next afternoon–seems like they decide how fast to prepare it based on how urgently you need it. from now on i’m going to look at my passport expiration date every single time i book an international flight…

    thanks again!!!!!


  24. Angela on December 5, 2013

    I have a friend trying to fly out in the morning from Austin, but her passport expired and I don’t really see a way for her to get it renewed in time. The Houston passport office is closed for renovations, so she would have to go to Dallas (ice storm tonight), or El Paso or New Orleans.

    I’m glad to have found your information. I am now going to check the expiration date of my own passport! Good luck, y’all!


  25. Steve on December 18, 2013

    Giving it a try tomorrow in Denver (Aurora) Passport office. I’ll let you know how it goes.


  26. Steven on January 25, 2014

    I realized this morning (Saturday) that my passport expired on January 20th. My wife and I are planning on flying to Paris on January 29th (Wednesday). I scheduled an appointment at the passport office in Dallas for Monday at 2pm but after reading this I think I will show up to will call tomorrow morning. Luckily, the passport office is 2 miles from my office.

    Thanks so much for this post, I hope my results are the same as yours.


  27. Elisa on February 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I realized yesterday (Saturday) that my husband’s passport expires in June but we are traveling to he Caribbean in February so we are within the 6 months to expiration. I have not slept because of worry but I called and scheduled an appointment in Washington DC (4 hours away) for Thursday at noon. I am thinking I will not get my passport same day since my departure will still be a week away but I hope they will send overnight so I will not have to travel back to DC. Your comments have helped me relax a little!


  28. Al on February 11, 2014

    Thanks! This totally worked!!!

    I was just at the US passport office on 11000 Wilshire Blvd (same office as you). I didn’t make an appointment, as I saw in your article that it would be pointless. So I showed up there at 7 AM. A security guard will ask if you have an appointment or no appointment. If you don’t have an appointment, it must be an emergency (meaning that you must have a flight within 24 or 48 hours, forgot what he said. You also must show him proof that you are flying within that time period). So I brought the completed DS-82 Form, my flight itinerary, my old expired passport, and my passport photo that I took at Walgreen’s. Then I went inside the passport office. After checking all my stuff, At 7:30 am, the lady said they would issue my passport the same day at around 2 PM.

    So, I went back to the office at 2 PM, but they still didn’t have it done. The lady at the ‘Will Call’ booth said wait 30 more minutes. So I left. I returned, and by then, there was a longer line, but when it was my turn, i finally received my passport! Oh, and the cost was around $170, for the passport book. The lady said it was an extra $60 for the rush processing.

    Thanks alot man. I hope my experience here shows that you can get your passport in 24 hours, but it is definitely not recommended, as you said :)


  29. Marshall Saunders on March 17, 2014

    I can’t tell you how awesome this post was for me and my family. We really thought our vacation was ruined. We all had valid passports but they expired within 90 days after our return trip to Europe. I followed your advice exactly, downloaded the forms you linked to and went to the passport office in downtown Minneapolis. I got it all taken care of and we are now heading off to our vacation only having been delayed 20 hours by this problem. Thank you so much for walking us through the process. It really was a vacation-saver.


  30. Rahim Sonawalla on March 17, 2014

    Marshall, glad to hear everything worked out!


  31. John on March 18, 2014

    Many thanks — great information. Yes, it still works in Los Angeles — as of March 18, 2014. Arrived at about 7:30 AM to renew my son’s passport after realizing at last minute it had expired. My bad. That’s when the main building opens — but the Will Call actually opens at 7:00 AM. There was no one else ahead of me there. The guy there verified my travel date and gave me an entry ticket. There were about 12 or so people in the appointments line — but the security guy then placed me ahead of them in entering the building! Apparently, having a travel date a few days away gives one that degree of priority! Was out of the building by around 8:30 AM. Told to come back to collect the passport at 2:00 PM. That was the only time I had to stand in line for any significant period — but I got the passport at around 2:40 PM (though some people with 2:00 PM collect times had to go back to the end of the line and re-present themselves). The staff there are helpful — they could not have had better attitudes at every step of the way. Government at its best. Everything was as positive and efficient an experience as it could have been. High-season wait times might be longer, though. And don’t try this unless you have documented international air travel within the next few days — they checked at two stages in the process. Much better to renew/apply the ordinary way if you have your act together, which I didn’t on this occasion.


  32. Charles R. on March 19, 2014

    So I am in need to drive to Canada tomorrow and have no way of getting to the passport department until maybe 11am. I also only have proof of traveling by a receipt from a purchased lift ticket at a ski resort. Think they will let me get my passport?


  33. Rahim Sonawalla on March 21, 2014

    Charles, I hope you can, but that sounds like it’d be tricky since you won’t be able to arrive to the passport office until later in the day and they might not see it as pressing since you’re driving over. Keep us posted though!


  34. Joe B. on April 4, 2014

    Want to thank you for posting this blog….2 weeks ago we were leaving to Europe, and 5 hours before I flight I’m checking in online only to realize my wife’s passport was expired. We were able to go to the Miami Passport Agency, showed up at 6am (we were 4th in line)..got called around 11am after all the appts had been called, got our passport at 4pm and were able to fly out the following day only losing one day of our vacation.


  35. Rosa on April 6, 2014

    Thankk youuuu


  36. Shawn N on April 8, 2014

    I really need to travel back to the US for college, but my passport is expired. Is this procedure available in foreign countries (Philippines)? It would be a great help to know because I have to get back to move into the apartment/ attend classes for Summer.


  37. Rahim Sonawalla on April 8, 2014

    Sorry Shawn, never tried it outside of the US. Keep us posted on how it goes!


  38. Pam C. on May 12, 2014

    Thanks Rahim! This totally worked in Los Angeles and I got my passport in 9hrs as well.

    Showed up at 6am, doors opened at 7am (not 7:30am like the US Passport site says), and got my confirmation to come pickup my passport at 2pm.

    A few things to note:
    -When I arrived there were already 8 people waiting in a line near the Public Entrance. However, there was no one waiting at the “Will Call” windows. If you don’t mind getting the stink eye from people, wait at the “Will Call” window and not the line.
    -Definitely have your application already printed and filled out.
    -Print out your flight confirmation from the airline. I also had my confirmation from my travel agency and they preferred the airline confirmation.


  39. Erika Perfecto on May 27, 2014

    Question. Will I still be able to use my passport if my expiration date is June 2014 and my return date is June 30th or would I need to have a nee passport?


  40. Nancy on May 28, 2014

    I need a renewed passport for SAT and ACT testing. Instead of a flight itinerary, do you think I can print out my testing tickets and successfully get a new passport? The test is in one week/two weeks :l

    I might ask my school to print out a new ID for me but I’m not sure if they can. And I also need a new passport for work.


  41. Kathy on June 19, 2014

    Would this process work for a new application? My husband applied for a passport over 7 weeks ago and it’s still being processed. I made an appt. for next week in Portsmouth because we travel in two weeks. Will he have to pay he fee all over again?


  42. Liz on June 30, 2014

    Would this process work if US passport application was in a post office? My family and I are going to travel out of the states to Ecuador next Friday but we realized that two of my siblings did not have theirs renewed. Can i follow this process at a passport office in a post office, or should I go to one of the agencies?


  43. mr j on July 5, 2014

    Just wanted to say thanks alot for the info i was going crazzy for a minet not knowing what to do im in vegas but going to los angeles .and yes ill be polite lol


  44. Rebecca on July 19, 2014

    I had a flight to Canada on Monday morning, and discovered late Thursday night that my passport had expired. It was only due to this website that I had any hope of getting a renewed passport in time for my trip; I needed a same-day passport, since the office is not open on Saturdays. Thank you to the people who posted here!

    After reading your posts, I got all my documents together that night to take very early the next morning into the Chicago passport agency. The office opened at 8:30, but I was in Chicago by 6:30. I did not have passport photos, however. I walked around to different shops to see if anyone could take the photo. Walgreens’ photo department was not open. Several other businesses that advertised taking passport photos were not open, and would not open until 8:00. At about 7:00 I found an open UPS, and the man there took my passport photo, giving the prints to me within ten minutes. I went straight to the federal building and waited in line. Yes, a line. I was tenth. As I stood there, many people came in, until the line was at least sixty people long when the guards started letting us through the security.

    Very importantly, the first thing for which they asked was a copy of my flight information via an email from the airline, so they could see that the rush order was justified. Make sure to take that.

    I was ushered into line, my paperwork was checked, and then I got a number. I waited until about 9:45. Then I was called up, handed in all my papers and previous passport, and told to return at 1:00 for my passport. At 1:00 I returned and received my new passport within half an hour.


  45. Nicole on July 24, 2014

    For those of you in NYC – this works like a charm. In fact even better.

    The day before we were supposed to fly to Africa, my husband realized his passport expired only a week after we return (you need a 30 day buffer for the countries we were going to).

    I located a 24 hour duane reade that did passport photos until 11:00 pm (485 Lexington and 47th st). We printed out all the documents like mentioned above.

    The passport agency on Hudson Street opens at 7:30. My husband arrived at 5:30 and was 8th in line. Promptly at 7:30 he was ushered in. He dropped off his paperwork (with itinerary that showed we have a 3:00 pm flight that same day) and they said it would be ready by 10:00 am.

    He left at 8:15 and I went back to pick it up at from the will call window. I showed up at 10:15, there was a line of about 20 people, but it moved quickly and I was out of there by 10:30.

    Just for reference – they say online and when you call that you need an appointment. You don’t — my husband said most people in line did not have an appointment. They seem set up to handle that.

    Good luck to everyone!!


  46. Lisa on August 6, 2014

    Followed this advice at the Philladelphia office today. Everything was dreamy perfection. Short line around 7. They let us in at 7:45. I was the second person helped right at 8. He politely fixed an error on my application. Told me to be back at 12pm. That line was long but they flew through the group. Done at 12:15ish. Love this office!

    Drove up from Northern Virginia since the DC office wasn’t taking appointments this week. So glad. Walked over to the Liberty Bell and took pictures, strolled the historic area, ate a cheese steak–awesome day.

    Tip for that location: the coffee shop across the street is open early and is good. You can bring your coffee through security, but you can’t bring it in the room. Most people were tossing full coffees. Don’t do it! There’s a table with a brochure rack right outside the entrance. Just set it there because you’ll be in and out that fast.


  47. Lisa on August 6, 2014

    Also, I should note that I did have a 9am appointment, but they saw me right away. I don’t think it mattered. Also, FTR, my flight is tomorrow


  48. bianca garcia on August 9, 2014

    What of you live in texas?


  49. Matthias on August 15, 2014

    Arrived at San Diego Passport Office at 7:30am (opens at 8am), received renewed passport at 11:30am, caught 1:40pm flight. Rahim, thank you for this post! And thank you to the US Passport Office for providing a level of service I really didn’t imagine was possible.


  50. Ani Y. on August 17, 2014

    Thank you so much, extremely helpful since this is currently happening to me. I will use all the tips you provided above and lets hope it works the same for me.


  51. Dave on April 21, 2015

    Since this post comes up pretty high in the search rankings when frantically scrambling for a immediate passport solution, I feel compelled to comment and let everyone know that this process still works. And, I’d like to thank the author and commenters for giving me peace of mind last night when I was pretty sure I was not going to Paris and I was going to have a huge problem with my work.

    The keys are:

    1) No need for a reservation for the day you are going to walk up but it’s probably a good idea to book the soonest one you can so you have a confirmation number. Call the US Passport agency hotline and use the automated system. You’ll have your number in 5 minutes. You will be asked if you have a number. I said yes but not for the time I was there and went on to explain my situation. She never asked again or for the number itself. I don’t know what would have happened had I said no but I’m glad I didn’t have to find out.

    2) In Chicago, the line starts at 8:15 (15 minutes before the office opens). You can probably start hanging around 10 minutes earlier to get to the head of the line but no real need to show up much earlier than 8:00.

    3) You absolutely must have confirmed air travel if you are going to get them to turn this around fast. If you don’t have a printed itinerary from an airline, forget it. And, it must be printed. They won’t accept something on your phone. The printed itinerary goes in the submission package so have it.

    4) If you can make it in the first wave of people in the morning, you can get this done quickly. I was first in line, had all my paperwork and payment submitted by 8:45, and I had my passport at 10:30.

    5) Have all your paperwork (Form DS-82) completed, have your old passport, have a way to pay, and have two passport photos with you when you get there. Don’t give them any excuse to delay the process. I first wrote a check and my handwriting is terrible and the agent warned me that the check would probably get rejected and delay the process by a day. I’m glad she warned me but it’s instructive that anything can mess this up so do what you can to avoid any potential problems.


  52. sasha on May 20, 2015

    am an african who got married to an american man…we lived in iraq coz he was in US army…he left me wth a pregnancy before his death….but i ve sturved to get back in my country wth my baby cos of passport here in iraq……when even mine is getting expired….i really dont know wht to do….any idea of getting my baby a passport rahim…


  53. Rahim Sonawalla on May 21, 2015

    Sorry, Sasha, but your situation is way beyond anything I could answer.


  54. mariam on May 26, 2015

    Hi, I just checked my daughter’s passport and it had expired. We are travelling tommorow night to Pakistan. I can’t believe I was so stupid and i didn’t check it before.. I am going there early morning now to see if they can get her passport issued the same day.. this helped a lot…thanks for sharing.


  55. Ramil on June 1, 2015

    We were in the Los Angeles office today at 6:00am. The flight is on Friday
    June 5, but we didn’t have an appointment. The clerk said come back on wednesday because the policy is “you are traveling within 72 hours if you are renewing without an appointment”. I hope this will help.


  56. Daniel on June 2, 2015

    Hi, I am flying on the 15th of June to London, but I need to take the bus to New York on the 14th. I have an appointment on the 8th of June at 10AM with the passport agency in Atlanta. Will they be able to process and send my passport back to me(I live in Tennessee) in that time frame? I imagine I should take my bus itinerary to the agency so that they know that I will be leaving the 14th to catch my flight on the 15th, right? Any response is much appreciated. Thanks.


  57. Rahim Sonawalla on June 6, 2015

    Hi Daniel, I think you’ll be okay. However, you shouldn’t do the mail option. The US Passport website says that rush processing for mailed passports is around 3 weeks, and you don’t have that kind of time.

    Rather what you’ll need to do is go to the Atlanta office for your appointment as you’ve scheduled on the 8th and pay the fee to expedite the processing to have the passport made that same day rather than asking them to mail it to you. Basically, prepare to spend the entire day in Atlanta. The upside is you’ll be heading back home with passport in hand, rather than waiting by the mailbox, hoping it’ll come in time.

    The process will be the same as what I’ve described in my post, just that you’ll already have an appointment, so you won’t need to go to the “Will Call” window and you won’t risk being turned away (since you were prudent and made an appointment). Just get there a bit before you’re appointment time and stand in the appointment line.

    Be sure to have all the documents I described in my post ready to hand them when you get into the office. New passport photos, filled out DS-82, your expired passport, proof of travel (including your bus itinerary)–everything! It’s better to come with more documents than you need than to be turned away because you left something out! When you get to the window, pay the fee to expedite the passport so that it’s same day, it’s worth the peace of mind, and just hang around until it’s ready.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!


  58. jasmine on June 15, 2015

    i have an emergency trip to make to Guatemala but my passport is in the process of being renewed so i wont have it until the beginning of July, is there anyway if i go without an appointment they could still provide me with a passport within the next 72 hours.


  59. terry on June 16, 2015

    This is really very very helpful information. I am in the same situation , except I already missed my flight last night. Now I can’t wait for my next week’ s appointment for passport renewal, so I will just go tomorrow morning. I am just wondering should I assume that I will definitely get the passport renewed? so I can re book the ticket now?

    Do you know how the refund policy for the ticket works if you had to miss the flight because your passport had expired, and you didn’t know in advance? I am very upset about the whole thing, and the airline is not helping me with the ticket that much.

    Thanks so much for the post. This post is truly very helpful. This is like Godsend message for me.


  60. Rahim Sonawalla on June 18, 2015

    @Jasmine I think as long as you can provide proof of immediate travel, they should be able to help you out. I know one of the things they ask for during renewal is your old passport (they punch a hole through it), but maybe if you explain your situation they can help you out.

    @Terry While nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the Passport Agency, I think as long as you’re one of the first ones there and you’ve got all your paperwork ready, you’ll be okay.

    Airlines aren’t very accommodating with refunds for expired passports. I was able to get flight credit for my missed flight, but I had to pay the several hundred dollar change fee to use that credit on another flight :/


  61. ilene on June 24, 2015

    My husband wet his passport it looked perfectly fine but we didn’t want to risk the chip being damage then him not being able to travel with us so we sent it in to get a new one, paid for the expedite service and also sent in a money order for 14.95 so they can overnight it back to us! Well they never honored the 2-3 weeks its been 5 weeks and we leave tmrw to Mexico he has call the passport number at least every hour for the passport status for the past week. They kept telling us it was processing and it should be ready soon. And they even asked us for our travel dates its all just false hope they ask for your flight confirmation and flight details tell you they will send it over to the agency. but the agency never gets it (i will explain more at the bottom) Only way we can do anything we were told by the agents was to make an appointment which were 5 days out and 4 days past our departure date! Finally in a panic he asked to speak to a supervisor– who then told us to just show up at the agency with out an appointment he said 99% of the time they don’t advise it but in our situation they would see us most likely even without an appointment..

    Fast word to the next day (today) he went into the passport agency an hour before it open make sure you are there EARLYYYY the woman at the window said the third party agency rarely sends them good info and the best thing to do is to come in even without an appointment! They had not received any information from the people who said they will send over flight details and to top it off the agency didn’t even crack open the envelope with his passport paper work that we sent over 5 weeks earlier!! He brought his travel confirmation and all the things you would need i.e birth certificate and i,d that you initially need to apply for a passport to the agency just in case, depends on who you get at the window some asked for it some didn’t so bring just in case! Everyone was nice he filled out a form took an oath and he was able to get a passport the the same day, (The day before we leave— such a close call) wait time is 2-4 hours for them to make the passport. but you are able to leave and they call you the minute it is ready. they give you a ticket when they call you bring the ticket up to a window and you pick it up in less then 1 minute! Wish we would have done this sooner!!! Don’t wait just go to an agency most likely they will see you. Also they are open on weekends which they don’t advertise!!– PS this office was out of Portsmouth , NH
    Good luck and safe travels!!


  62. ilene on June 24, 2015

    Also we didn’t pay any fees because we had done that initially when we sent the application in 5 weeks earlier!


  63. Gabrielle on July 3, 2015

    You’re soo awesome! I do not believe I have read through anything like that before.
    So great to find another person with genuine thoughts on this topic.

    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website
    iis something that is required on thee internet, someone with some originality!


  64. Jose on July 4, 2015

    My wife and I are in the same situation as most people above. We are traveling to Mexico this Monday July 6th. Luckily our flight departs at midnight so we can do what most people have done. However, I have one question. Has anyone had an experience at the Seattle agency? We live in Oregon, so we will have to go up to Seattle.


  65. Taneisha on July 5, 2015

    Thank you so much for this!! I was to travel today, July 5th, to Portugal. My passport is still valid but I learned once I arrived at the airport that my passport must be valid 90 days after my return(July 11th) in order to fly. After the tears in the airport and calling my husband to come and get me, I got it together & the ticket agent was able to re-book my flight for the same departure time and arrival, just a day later with no fee!! She told me to go to the US Customs building tomorrow & I should be good. Thank goodness it is only 30mins from my house.She also told me that this happens all the time.
    I returned home & immediately jumped on the US Customs site in Philadelphia to see what I could do. Of course, an appointment was not available for 2 weeks but I called the 24/7 number in DC & spoke to someone who told me to do EXACTLY what you posted. I will be in line by 6:30am for the office opens at 8am(I’m not taking any chances!!).
    Your experience really gives me hope that this will work & I will be in Portugal Wednesday morning!! Thank you & I will let everyone know how I made out & if it works in Philadelphia.


  66. Albert SANCHEZ on July 7, 2015

    I want to go to dr the 28th but I don’t want to wait for my passport but I don’t want to buy my ticket now. Also what is the difference between a emergency passport and normal passport u wait for any suggestions would be very helpful


  67. Rahim Sonawalla on July 9, 2015

    @Albert there isn’t any difference between an emergency passport and a normal passport, just that one is issued quicker than the other (and for a higher fee since it’s expedited). Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do a same-day passport without having proof of upcoming travel.


  68. Maria on July 10, 2015

    Hello,
    I sent my passport and requested expedited service 3 weeks ago. I paied 180$ including overnight shipping. it was supposed to be here in 2-3 weeks. I called today and they said I still have to wait 1 and half week because its summer and they are busy.. Im traveling in 7 days!!!! any suggestions about what I could do?? Thank youuu


  69. Renee on July 13, 2015

    My trip to mexico leaves on saturday the 18th.. still are waiting for my sons passport. Still in process.. I am planning to go to the Detroit office tomorrow.. read in a couple of blogs where you may not need an appointment. Does anyone know if they may redo another passport eventhough I have one in process? I don’t know what else to do. Called the senator.. spoke with the passport people on the phone almost daily X 2 weeks. HELP!


  70. Maria on July 15, 2015

    @renee I have the same problem!!!! I don’t know what to do. did you find a solution? I will really appriciate it!


  71. Ed on July 16, 2015

    Thanks, I was panicking over a work trip to Canada in two weeks. Knowing you got yours in a day took all the pressure off. Makes me feel silly for panicking over a trip two weeks out.


  72. Natalia on July 17, 2015

    @Maria and Renee: I am in the same situation! I am traveling in 10 days and my son’s passport still in process. did you find a solution?


  73. beth on July 28, 2015

    Has any one used a held itinenary? I am waiting to book my flight so did a 7 day fare lock, because i have to make sure i can get my passport and visa in onetime.


  74. Jon on August 7, 2015

    I leave sunday night and i still havent recieved my passpor, are they open weekends so i can go to the agency asap??


  75. Rahim Sonawalla on August 8, 2015

    @Jon Unfortunately, the passport office is closed on the weekends!


  76. John on August 9, 2015

    Thanks so much! It still works. I awoke at one a.m. the night before our trip to Brazil the next day at 5 pm to my wife shrieking and crying uncontrollably . Her “old eyes” had thought the tiny expiration number on our passport said 6 instead of 5. Now with less, much less, than 24 hours to go to meet our son and his friend in Miami for the last leg of our journey. To make it worse, my wife has a heart condition and this much stress is dangerous. I found your post among the various “rush” passport services. So, we jumped in the car and drove 5 hours to Atlanta getting the new photos there at the Fed Ex/Kinko’s. As you stated, we were asked if we had an appointment when we arrived at 8:30 am. When we said no, they simply gave us a ticket after the supervisor came out and we explained the situation and that we had what we needed. Once inside, we were called in 30 minutes. Once we explained we were going to try to travel that day (my wife cried a little) and proved it with a printout from the airlines- take one for each person,they took our information to get new passports. They said to check back in two hours and we went to get breakfast. When we returned in 2 hours, the passports were ready. Actually, they had called us 15 minutes before and we failed to notice the call. All because the nice woman put us at “highest priority ” because we were traveling that day. We jumped in the car and drove back to Nashville in time to catch our flight ( straight to the airport) and the rest dis a wonderful time in Brazil visiting a former exchange student who just had her first child. Thanks so much for passing this on, saving our vacation and my wife’s heart!


  77. Gary on August 11, 2015

    Rahim this post is giving me some hope after the horrible way my day started off. I have made plans to go to Beirut, Lebanon on August 22nd. I already purchased my plane tickets and made my arrangements for lodging and travel. This morning I wake up to an email from the National Passport agency saying that there was an issue with the application i submitted 3 weeks ago for expedited processing and i needed to submit a supplemental questionnaire along with 5 forms of ID that are 5 years or older. I couldn’t believe it! i was suppose to have my passport back by now. so all day i have been trying to put together 5 forms of ID that are 5 years or older that have a picture, name and date of issue or signature, name and date of issue (its harder than it sounds especially since they already have my expired passport that i had submitted with my passport renewal application). I put it all together and 2nd day aired it since i had missed the deadline for next day air. they should receive everything by Wednesday morning. if i have not heard back from them by Monday morning i will be at their office Tuesday morning with all the ids i sent photocopies of today. I also live in Los Angeles and was wonder what location exactly did you go to? do you recommend i fill out the form again? also currently they are in possession of my expired passport do you think that would matter? Ahhh! so many questions and concerns. As you can tell i am still very frustrated and haven’t been able to sleep.


  78. Gary on August 11, 2015

    @maria @renee @natalia i just saw your posts any update on your situations?


  79. Rahim Sonawalla on August 11, 2015

    @John Glad to hear things worked out well for you!

    @Gary I went to the one in the Wilshire Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd #1000, Los Angeles, CA 90024. I haven’t heard back from the Maria or the others, but I think if you explain your situation, the people at the Passport Office may be able to help out. (Sounds like it’s a somewhat common situation.)

    I don’t think they’ll allow you to arrive without an appointment like I did, however, since you’re not flying out until next Saturday. I’d say call and try to make an appointment for early next week just in case you don’t get anything in the mail. Go with all the forms filled out again as if you were renewing, and see what they say.

    If you get a chance, please come back and let people know how it turned out for you. I think it’d be really helpful!


  80. Dave on August 14, 2015

    Thank you so much for posting this!!


  81. janine on September 7, 2015

    I’m traveling on 9/20/15. I have an appt for a renewal passport on 9/11/15. Do you think I will get it the same day? Should I just walk into the office before that and go to the will call window?

    Any help would be great.


  82. Rahim Sonawalla on September 8, 2015

    @Janine You should get it the same day, so it’s best to keep your existing appointment.


  83. Mark Clark on September 11, 2015

    Don’t they just do it at any regional passport agency? Since the los angeles area is one of them, or you really think it’ll work at any passport offices?


  84. Laura on September 13, 2015

    Thanks for all of this info! Going to NYC office on Wednesday. Feeling better.


  85. eric on September 19, 2015

    @taneisha how did everything work out? i have a flight monday evening from philly to peru at 6pm. my passport expired two weeks ago. i made an appt at the passport agency here in philly for 9am monday, and got all the necessary paperwork. do you have any other advice that may be helpful to know going into their? on the website it says to bring a photocopy of both sides of the drivers license…was this necessary too?


  86. eric on September 21, 2015

    welp. en route to lima. anyone tryna do this through philly office…things are pretty simple if you bring the necessary paperwork. no need to bring photocopy of ID (as it says on the website). and i showed up at 7am (opens at 8am; appt was at 9am) and was third in line. moved quickly, and was able to get it by 130pm. that was probably overkill..as there were people who showed up for their 11am appts and got their pp at the same time as i did. any other qs, feel free to email me @ goldwas3@gmail.com. apparently there is a nj office up in union county (westfield) that’s open on saturdays.


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  88. SIMON on November 17, 2015

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!
    Realized my passport expired 2hrs before the flight..
    After freaking out and reading your post, I went to the NYC passport agency by 7am. There was already 15 people online..
    They opened the doors at 7:30am and I was on line B.
    I received a ticket and went to the 10th floor – 7:40am.
    I was called, paid $170 and was told to come back in 3 – 4 hrs to pick up the passport!!
    I was done by 7:45am!
    Thank you so much & hope this helps others as well!


  89. Rahim Sonawalla on November 17, 2015

    @SIMON Glad it helped!


  90. Wendy on November 20, 2015

    Thank you for this amazing information! I have a flight tomorrow and realized yesterday that my passport will expire in 4 months and entry into Honduras requires a valid passport for 6 months.

    I called the number you recommended (I live in LA) and was able to get an appointment for this morning at 9:30am. I arrived 45 minutes early. They asked for my confirmation number and was admitted into the office. They reviewed my paperwork and gave me a number. I was called within about 20 minutes. NOTE/WARNING: I had my passport photos taken at RiteAid last night, but when the passport office reviewed them, I was told that the photo was taken incorrectly and my face/head was not large enough in the picture. Oh, great!!!! Really? I was lucky enough to have a couple of photos stapled in the back of my passport for prior VISAs that I had received. I was able to convince her that one of the photos was recent (the rule is within 6 months) so they accepted it. Phew!

    I left the office at about 10am and have an appointment to pick it up at Will Call at 2:45pm.

    Barring any major issues, I expect to have my passport in hand by 3:00pm.

    Thanks again for this post!

    So, I left the office at about 10am


  91. Wendy on November 20, 2015

    Update:

    I was told to not come back until 2:45pm, for a 3:00pm pick up. I wanted to respect the instructions, but still showed up at 2:30pm. When I arrived at the Federal Bldg, there were at least 150 people in line for the Will Call to pick up their passports. I was shocked to see such a long line but when I asked one of the officers, he reassured me that everyone in line would be processed before the office would close. They were really efficient and did get everyone processed before the end of their day.

    I have my new passport and can get on the flight tomorrow! Phew!!!


  92. jim on December 29, 2015

    Thanks Rahim!

    My family and I had a monday departure and on saturday noticed that our six year old’s passport had expired! I found this post and it showed us the way.

    We managed to move our flight to tuesday and then Monday followed your advice and I’m typing this from the great white north where we arrived today.

    A couple of notes to share: We went on Sunday to the Beverly Hills library, we being my wife my daughter and I, and had the person at the passport office there do all our documentation. Both parents usually have to be at the federal building, along with the child, to get a passport, but by having the lady at the library do our paperwork (we had photos, had printed out docs filled out on line, and had birth certificate) and then seal the envelope, neither my wife nor my daughter had to go wait in line with me on monday morning, which was early and cold! I got there at 6:30, was about twentieth in line and (for reasons unknown) got out of there by 8.

    I also was told to come back at 245pm, which I did with my daughter, to pick up the passport. There were a good seventy five people in front of us and it took until 345 to get it, but we did and were grateful. Coming at 215-230 would have saved us some time. A guy I saw from the morning had come back that afternoon about twenty minutes before us and was about twentieth in the pick up line.

    Thanks again!


  93. Rahim Sonawalla on December 31, 2015

    Jim, glad to hear things worked out! Also, fantastic tip about getting your paperwork done in advance if you’re renewing a child’s passport! I didn’t even know that was possible, but I’m sure that saved a lot of headache!


  94. Mikayla on January 10, 2016

    Does anyone know if this works if I am driving to Canada Friday and I have an appointment at 9:30 on Monday? I don’t have a flight itinerary to show because I am not flying and my friend reserved the hotel. Could I bring hotel confirmation and say that I am staying with her?


  95. Rahim Sonawalla on January 11, 2016

    @Mikayla I don’t think you’ll have a problem. Proving the urgency by showing a flight confirmation is only something I had to do to be seen last-minute (since I didn’t have an appointment). You’ve got an appointment, so you’re all set. Just go in and ask/pay the extra for expediting the processing. (It was $60 to expedite when I went it a few years ago.)


  96. KC on January 25, 2016

    Thank you for the write up. I just had a similar experience. I opened up my passport on Sat night to find out it had expired and I am leaving early Tuesday morning to drive from Seattle to Canada. I quickly made an appointment at the Seattle agency for Monday…gathered all my info, filled out the forms, and printed my hotel reservation (yes they accepted it as proof of travel since I was driving). My appointment was at 9:30 but I arrived at 7:45 and was 2nd in line. They opened the doors at 7:55. By 8:10 I was finished and on my way to work. I came back at 2:00 today and my passport was waiting for me at will call. Of course I was stressed going into the situation since I thought I may have to miss my trip but the process could not have been easier. Make an appointment…collect all your info…arrive as early as possible…and smile. They are there to help you.


  97. Manish on March 19, 2016

    Hi Rahim, Just found out now that my 10 yr daughters passport expired last week and we tracked to Mexico on Wednesday morning. Your post really calmed my nerves. I had a question though, do I meed to bring my daughter with me? We live in NJ and plan to go to NYC. Also do I still need to get an appointment even thiugh they are available for 10 days later?


  98. Rahim Sonawalla on March 20, 2016

    @Manish Generally, you’d want to make an appointment, but in this case, the earliest available appointment is long after your scheduled departure date, so you’ll have to just show up to the passport office without one like I did in the blog post. The keys being: have all the paperwork and photos completed ahead of time (based on other comments, it sounds like you may also need to bring a copy of your daughter’s birth certificate), be able to show proof of last-minute travel, such as airline tickets, and get there *early* to be able to get a good spot in the “Will Call” line.

    Unfortunately, I can’t give much advice about renewing a child’s passport, since my only experience is with renewing my own, but another commenter, Jim (commented on Dec 29th), had a similar situation with is daughter, so the information in his comment might be helpful to you:

    “My family and I had a monday departure and on saturday noticed that our six year old’s passport had expired! I found this post and it showed us the way.

    “We managed to move our flight to tuesday and then Monday followed your advice and I’m typing this from the great white north where we arrived today.

    “A couple of notes to share: We went on Sunday to the Beverly Hills library, we being my wife my daughter and I, and had the person at the passport office there do all our documentation. Both parents usually have to be at the federal building, along with the child, to get a passport, but by having the lady at the library do our paperwork (we had photos, had printed out docs filled out on line, and had birth certificate) and then seal the envelope, neither my wife nor my daughter had to go wait in line with me on monday morning, which was early and cold! I got there at 6:30, was about twentieth in line and (for reasons unknown) got out of there by 8.

    “I also was told to come back at 245pm, which I did with my daughter, to pick up the passport. There were a good seventy five people in front of us and it took until 345 to get it, but we did and were grateful.”

    Based on Jim’s comment, it sounds like both parents and child will need to be present at the Passport Office in NYC, unless you can find a smaller Passport Office branch in NJ (like Jim did on Sunday at the Beverly Hills library) to take care of some of the paperwork ahead of time.

    Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!


  99. Allison on June 3, 2016

    Wanted to say thank you for this — and to Dave for the update on the Chicago office. Both helped when I was frantic. Wanted to give my own experiences.

    Going to Peru, realized my passport would expire about two weeks shy of the six months after your trip requirement. Trip is in less than two weeks. Freak out.

    Protip: I found a 24-hour Fedex store where I could get my passport photo done late at night so I would have it early the next morning. Also helpful for printing the application and supporting documents.

    Called the automated line and got the next available appointment in Chicago — 1:30 the next day. Great.

    Had it not been for this post, I would have followed instructions and gone at 1:30. But do not do this. I would have wound up having to wait until the next day for my passport, which would have necessitated an overnight stay since I live three hours away. Wound up getting there shortly after opening, about 9 a.m. They asked if I had an appointment but never took my confirmation number.

    In short: Get an appointment and ignore it.

    The first part of the process was easy — you go to one person to verify you have all the documents, then another who makes sure things are filled out properly and takes your money. You get a receipt and a time to come back, 3 p.m. for me. This stage took me a grand total of 45 minutes.

    Kill time. Come back at 3 p.m. And when they say 3, they mean it. I came about 15 minutes early and was sent to a waiting room on another floor. Go back at 3. Get a number.

    Note: The numbers were not called in any kind of chronological order. So don’t try to guess when you’ll get called. I had to wait for almost an hour and a half for mine; there were only about twenty people left in the waiting room at that time. When I picked it up, no ID was required, just the receipt. However, if you have someone else pick it up (an option you can fill out on the receipt), I believe you do need to have ID.

    That was it! Not an experience I recommend, but hey, it did the job.


  100. Aaron on June 20, 2016

    This post saved my trip to Montreal. I booked a flight in April knowing that I needed a valid passport to enter Canada, but not realizing that my passport expired in May. My trip was in June and i did not realize it had expired until the night before (9pm) when I was checking in for my flight–my flight was scheduled to leave at 1040am.

    After the complete shock wore off, I searched online to see if it were possible, and stumbled across this website. I initially discounted it because it was from 2011, but i read some of the reviews from 2015-2016 and decided to give it a try. I followed it to the tee. Printed the documents, filled out the form, made my appointment over the phone, went to a 24-hour CVS and got passport photos at midnight, printed my itinerary, and researched the closest US Customs Office (Philadelphia).

    It opened at 8am, so I planned to get there around 7am. I parked across the street–the lot charges $10 for the day if you are in before 9am (although I didn’t know that until I left). I walked up to the building and there was already a line, albeit small. I was #7. The line grew fast, going all the way down the block by the time I got ushered inside through security. They took us at 740am. They asked if I had an appointment. I did, just not for that day. It did not matter though. They accept walk-ins in Philly, you just get put into a different line after checking in. I explained the urgent-nature, which was obvious when they looked at my itinerary and expressed doubt i could get it that fast, but it didn’t seem to phase them too much. I waited until about 830am and then I was called again to pay, final review of my documents, and processing. I again cordially pleaded for expediting my passport. She told me to wait in the office and not go anywhere. This is different than what they normally tell people–either come back between 1pm-3pm (they close at 3pm) or come back the following day–which i overheard from others as i waited. They then called me up to get my shinny new passport at 930am! I couldn’t believe it. 1.5hrs! I ran out of there, over to the airport, parked and ran in to catch my flight. I missed being able to check-in for my flight (got in at 1010am), but was able to board the next flying standby, and was completely shocked all weekend (and to this day) that i was able to get it done in such a quick timeframe.

    Truly grateful for this website/blog!! THANK YOU! Even more grateful for the kind and considerate federal employees over at 2nd and Chestnut!!!

    Couple notes —

    1. i actually had cancelled my flight the night before because i didn’t think i would make my flight, which was foolish looking back. They didn’t check or confirm whether my itinerary was still valid (to my knowledge) at US Customs and i didn’t need to explain to them that i was going to fly standy-by because i anticipated missing the flight out.

    2. clearly, they can process them quickly if need be. I believe it really is done based on how urgent your need is–if you aren’t flying until next week, they will likely make you come back the next day, but possibly if you press them, you could get it in the afternoon.

    3. I heard from others that the day before the lines were horrendous, stretching multiple blocks and consistent and steady all day long. I believe i got extremely lucky for multiple reasons, but if i had to ever do this again, i would make sure i was there at 630am or earlier. I hope that NEVER happens again. We’ll find out in 2026 though.

    Thanks again! Trip-saver!


  101. ray sweeten on June 23, 2016

    I just did this today in NYC! Opened my passport the night before my flight, and whoops. expired a year ago. I went to a 24-hour fedex store in midtown to get photos done (photo places open around 8am, so i did not want to mess around with that in the morning), filled out DS-82 and had my travel itinerary all lined up, ready to go. Got to the office at 6:45, line wrapped around the block. there were a few times people tried jumping the line en masse, of course. NY. I tried not to panic. They also prioritize people with appointments, but I finally got through security around 8:30, and had a ticket number by 8:45. they said it would take 3-4 hours. Picked up my new passport at 2pm, with a flight out at 9:30. baller.


  102. Sandra Cost on July 11, 2016

    We had flights for Aruba and were supposed to leave last night when we noticed that two passports were expired. We sent half of the family ahead and I’m driving up to Seattle passport office today with documents in hand for our 11:30 appt. we managed to rebook for tonight and I’m hoping that things work smoothly at the passport agency. Your blog is invaluable. I felt so horrible yesterday and this blog is the only way I’ve managed to keep my sanity (and I even slept a little). Thank you! Wish us luck!!!


  103. Michael McKinney on July 19, 2016

    Like many of the previous comments, this blog helped settle my nerves after discovering my passport was out of date. I was able to re-book my flight with Jet Blue and get my passport for a flight 2 days later. I’m very grateful for this blog’s information and credit it with a certain peace of mind in a difficult situation.


  104. David G on September 17, 2016

    This simply works like a charm. So straight, so solid, so to the point and with so successful results! I was going to travel to Jamaica for my honeymoon… My honeymoon!!!! … At 6:00 am on the day of the flight (9/16/16), scheduled at 2:30 PM same day from Washington Reagan to Miami to Montego Bay, I realized my passport had expired back in March ’16.
    Researching in panic mode, I found this website and followed the instructions. Downloaded and filled the passport renewal form, printed the itinerary showing the travel dates, at 8:00 AM had my passport pictures taken at a local CVS, and, with my luggage and my wife in the car, went to the Washington DC Regional Passport Office (600 19th ST NW in DC). While driving to that office, I called in for the appointment (scheduled at 10:30 AM) and got a confirmation number.
    Arrived at 9:30 AM, checked-in at the office, explained my case to the very understanding officers, made the appropriate payment for expediting the passport, and TWO HOURS LATER, I had a brand new passport in my possession. This simply works if you follow the steps.

    You should never, ever go through this ordeal. If you know you are going to travel abroad, check your passport status first thing.
    Always be aware of your passport’s expiration date.

    A big THANK YOU to Rahim Sonawalla, the author of this post.


  105. Michelle on September 22, 2016

    Adding my thanks to Rahim for putting together this page. I was able to get a new (renewal, extra pages) passport today at the Washington DC Passport Agency. I called to set an appointment last night after 11pm, and I was able to get an 8am appointment. Arriving at 7:45am, I was #6 in line for new passports, and my number was called around 8:05am. My paperwork and payment were accepted and I was out the door by 8:10am, told to come back to pick up my passport after 2:30pm same-day. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful, asking, “What time is your flight?” Honestly, this is probably my most positive experience with federal government bureaucracy ever.


  106. Anne on October 8, 2016

    You all are giving me hope. We are supposed to fly to Mexico for a trip I planned for my husband’s birthday. Was getting all
    the documents in order and realized my passport was expired. After a lot of crying and anxiety, we have a Plan B. I’m sending my husband on to meet our friends since his is okay. Monday is a holiday, so headed to DC to get in line early as possible on Tuesday so I can make a 6AM flight on Wednesday. There are no appointments available which is one thing that makes me super nervous. I just hope that it works out like it has for most of you. Until then, lots of deep breaths and maintaining perspective. Thank you so much for this invaluable information and to everyone that’s shared their stories. I’ll let you know how it turns out!


  107. MingV on October 10, 2016

    This is a great forum. Thanks for the information. Does anyone have experience with the Washington, DC agency? Do you know how long they can process the passports? Some say that NY agency can process in 3 hours less. Does anyone know if this is the same for DC? My daughter’s passport is expired and we are travelling outside of the country on Tuesday at 4PM flight out of IAD. I was wondering if we can get her passport done in time for the flight on Tuesday afternoon if we go to DC tomorrow Tuesday Oct. 11 and get it in the morning. Thanks so much for this very helpful information.


  108. Amit on October 11, 2016

    Great Forum and post, we are heading to Chicago Passport agency tomorrow Oct 12 for an appointment for my Child’s passport which is expiring on Oct 19th and we are travelling on 20th. Will surely come back to share my experience for other’s benefit.


  109. Dandy on November 14, 2016

    I sent my passport renewals off last week, and forgot im traveling to canada this friday. (DUMB) I called to track and they said its not in the system yet, so they wont give me an appointment to come in.

    Has anyone managed to renew passport WITHOUT the old one in your possession and of course just show up and get it done without an appointment?


  110. Amit on November 15, 2016

    Update from my visit to Passport office on oct 12, it was seamless and all the steps as mentioned above are still the same.


  111. Dana Mack on December 8, 2016

    Wow! The Federal government comes through in the clutch. Today I was able to go to the Denver location of the Passport Agency and arrange for my expired passport to be renewed in time for me to make a flight tomorrow morning. I went early (about 90 minutes before the office opened) was first in line, had all my documents ready (expired passport, drivers license, passport application form, confirmed itinerary from the airline, new passport photo, and $170). I was helped at the Information window after going through security and then given a number for an appointment. I waited no more than 1 minute since I was the first person in the door. My passport will be ready this afternoon at 1pm. AMAZING! If I hadn’t found this blog, my Mexican vacation I planned to surprise my husband and kids with would have been completely ruined. You can do it too!


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