September 17 is Passport Day in the USA

On Saturday, September 17, the U.S. Department of State will hold the third annual Passport Day in the USA event, offering appointment-free service at regional passport facilities around the country.

U.S. citizens who do not have travel plans within two weeks of Passport Day can visit any participating facility without an appointment to apply for a passport or visas or to request a passport card that can be used for travel between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Standard processing applicants typically receive a passport within four to six weeks and expedited passports usually arrive within two to three weeks. The charge for expedited processing is $60. Other services, such as adding pages to a passport, will also be offered on Passport Day.

Many passport facilities, including post offices, will be open for extended hours on September 17, with workers on hand to answer applicants’ questions and provide information about the U.S. passport program. In its Passport Day announcement, the State Department reminds prospective applicants that both adults and minors must apply for passports in person. A list of participating Passport Day locations is available at the travel.state.gov website.

This year’s Passport Day in the USA was originally scheduled for April 9, but was postponed due to uncertainty regarding a government shutdown.

About 13.9 million passports were issued in 2010, up from about 13.5 million in 2009, according to State Department figures.