Did you know that you can actually get a passport the same day that you apply?

Yes, it’s possible.

My husband and I found out about the same day passport option on New Year’s Eve day several years ago when we decided to take a last-minute getaway to the Cayman Islands. Since it was our first time flying there we’d decided to check the airline to make sure we were prepared.  That’s when we first learned about the Six Month Validity Passport Rule.  

According to the rule, passports should be valid for at least six months after your date of departure when traveling internationally.  Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire six months or more after the final day of travel.  

But much to our dismay, our passports were set to expire in 3 months! We didn’t know what the heck we were going to do!  We made frantic calls to the nearest US passport agencies to see if we could get an appointment asap.  The only office that had available appointments was in Philadelphia PA (we live a few hours away in New Jersey).

We made an appointment through the automated appointment system and turned a simple road trip to Philly into an adventure. 

If you find yourself in need of a passport at the last minute like we did, knowing what documents you’ll need and exactly what to do can save you a lot of time.

Let me walk you through the process:

  • Find the nearest available U.S. Passport agency by calling the National Passport Information Center 24/7 at 1-877-487-2778 and make an appointment.
  • When you arrive you’ll need to sign in and show proof of your flight along with your expired or soon to expire passport, birth certificate and ID.  
  • Then, you’ll need to take a passport photo and pay the required fees. At the time we paid $215.00.  Processing takes several hours so they’ll give you a time to return to pick up your passport. You can find more information about applying for passports, expedited processing fees and more on the U.S. State Department’s Travel.State.Gov website.

While waiting for our passports to process, we decided to take a walking food tour. We went to different restaurants and tried several styles of the Philly Cheese Steaks. We talked to the owners and workers and learned the history of the restaurants and the city.  We also purchased souvenirs and took tons of pictures. What started out as a stressful morning, turned into an enjoyable day trip to Philly and saved our trip to the Caribbean!  When we returned to the office, our passports were ready and back to Jersey we went.

Do you have a passport story or helpful information about obtaining or renewing a passport that you would like to share?  Let’s Chat!  Comment below.  

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