How to Obtain a Same Day Passport

Apr 1, 2015 by

Funny, not funny story.

We planned a trip to Iceland for our 10 year wedding anniversary, our departure was planned for a Friday and on Tuesday night as we were pulling out our passports the Husband hollers that my passport is expired. I totally think he’s joking – well he wasn’t. I had my passport renewed for our wedding / honeymoon ten years prior so of course it was due for a renewal. I had been so busy with work that I was completely disorganized and didn’t realize that it was expiring. Of course our trip was fully booked and of course I needed to quickly figure out what I needed to do. Of course, of course, of course!

Well after doing couple of hours of research that night I figured out what I needed to do and hope for the best. I made an appointment for the US Department of State Passport Agency in Seattle, a 5 hour drive away, and prepared for what would be a very long day ahead. You can make appointments through their electronic system and thankfully they had an appointment available at 8:30am. I was going to be there! I called FedEx/Kinkos which was closing at 11pm and told them not to close without me as I needed a passport photo, I rushed there with 10 minutes to spare. I prepared all of my paperwork – and then some!  Took a nap, woke up at 3am to start on my journey, sleeping on the couch so I wouldn’t wake my Husband when I left and headed on my way. There is virtually no parking in that area of Seattle and when you do find parking it is expensive! I totally didn’t realize that I’d be there in time for their morning rush hour either but I made it, whew.  I provided my information and they told me that I would have my passport by 2:30pm.  It all worked out in the end, but it was definitely a worrisome experience thinking it may not work out.  Here are the steps I took in obtaining my Same Day Passport:

  1. I need to add a lecture in here, as a reminder to myself!  When booking an international flight, check your passport immediately. Sheesh.
  2. Find the nearest US Department of State Passport Agency, not just any old passport office will do. Some small town passport offices or locations could be a mailbox and they will mail it out.  The nation currently has 28 locations, depending where you live this may be a drive (don’t I know it!).
  3. Make an appointment!  This is very important, walk ins are not accepted. The appointment hotline is open 24 hours a day and is automated, you will receive a confirmation number – note the number as you will need this when you register upon arrival.
  4. Ensure all of your documents are prepared including: Your old passport, this will need to be surrendered and deactivated. Your respective passport forms, these are all available online and you can prepare them in advance of your appointment. Forms vary based on recipient age and need.  Bring a copy of your travel documents as proof of travel. Carry another form of ID, I also needed to show my state identification. You may need other items such as birth certificates, marriage certificates or other documents depending on your circumstance.
  5. Pay the expedited fee – $260 later and a return 5 hour drive home I had my passport and was able to make it to Iceland on my originally scheduled flight.

Whew.  This sadly was the start of the bad luck I encountered during my trip, I was due some bad luck so I think it was minimal compared to what could have been but I will save that for another story.  I overheard a gentleman stating he made it to the airport with his wife and they realized his passport was expired. She proceeded to Europe without him and he was going to follow in a couple of days, that error cost them over $2,000!

This was definitely an exhausting lesson learned! And now I get to apply for another passport as for our 10 year wedding anniversary as I decided to gift my husband and take his last name.  No, this isn’t an April fool’s joke either.


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