The U.S. Department of State is making it easier to get a passport for quick summer travel. The services are being sped up to allow students and families to go abroad. Passports are delivered within a four to six week time period, which can help travelers get to their destinations in a timely manner. However, the U.S. Department of State still recommends that people apply for passports as early as possible.
There are more than 8,000 locations where people can get these expedited passport applications. First-time passports, renewals, additional visa pages and data corrections all qualify for expedited service. Applicants must pay an additional $60 fee and allow two to three weeks for delivery.
For some people on tight schedules, hiring a third party to get a passport or visa in as short as 24 hours is becoming a popular option. This can cost hundreds of dollars, but can be an easy way to get overseas for a business trip or a sudden emergency. The businesses that provide these services must register with the U.S. Department of State, and then they can proceed to pick up and drop off passports whenever they need to. Others say that these services are too expensive, and they'd prefer to wait in one of 26 passport agencies across the U.S. that provides the $60 expenditure fee service.
"It basically comes down to what you think your time is worth," George Hobica, of Airfarewatchdog.com, told USA Today. "Standing in line at visa offices or passport offices can suck up hours. … For many people, it's just not worth taking a day or half day off from work."