Tips For Getting Your Passport

HXP Passport Tips (getting your passport in time)

All our passport tips we’ve learned over the years compiled into one place!

**Please note that these are our general suggestions of things that have worked in the past. Every situation and passport office is different, so these may not work every time**

Local Passport Offices and Post Offices

Local passport offices are typically great if you have a lot of time between when you apply and when you need your passport. Most local passport offices generally can get you a passport in 8-12 weeks regularly, and 3-5 weeks expedited. When applying at a local passport office, always ask how long passports have generally been taking as sometimes those time frames can vary from office to office. These can cost anywhere from $130-$250, depending on if you expedite or not.

To apply for a passport at one of these offices, you need:

  • Original proof of citizenship

  • An acceptable photo ID

  • A photocopy of both your citizenship document and photo ID

  • A passport photo (you can get these taken at Costco or Walgreens)

Same-Day Passport Offices

There are some passport offices throughout the US that can issue a passport in one day. These offices are public, government offices and usually require that you be within 14 days of travel in order to make an appointment. You can view those offices on this website under “Where are your passport agencies?” Oftentimes we can write a letter requesting an appointment outside that 14-day window because of the need to purchase group tickets/acquire visas in order to do humanitarian work. These generally cost $250+, you will also need two forms of government-issued photo IDs. If you are under 16 and are wanting to apply, both parents must be present at the appointment.


If you’ve already gone to a local passport office but you don’t think your passport will arrive in time, usually you can still make an appointment and get a passport at one of these offices then shred the one from the local passport office once it arrives.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Western Passport Center, Tucson AZ – This office is our favorite and is usually very quick, responsive, and willing to make an appointment outside of a 14-day travel window if we send them a passport expedition letter. In the summer, they usually become more strict about the 14-day window (even if we send them a passport expedition letter).

  • San Francisco Passport Agency, San Francisco CA – This agency is another great option. Not quite as reliable as the one in Tucson, but they’re typically pretty quick. They require a passport expedition letter to schedule appointments outside of the 14-day window. Summers are also busy for them, so they become more strict on that during the summer months.

  • Colorado Passport Agency, Aurora CO – Same as the San Francisco office. Still very reliable but can sometimes be picky.

  • Seattle Passport Agency, Seattle WA – Very hit-or-miss, similar to Colorado. Sometimes really good and quick, but other times can be a pain. Still a great option though. 

  • New York Passport Agency, New York NY – Great office! Can get very busy and backed up with appointments, especially in summer. Buty generally great.

Private Rush Passport Services

There are some private, non-governmental, online agencies that can get you a passport in 24 hours, but they cost more than the typical process.

Here are some that have worked for Builders in the past:

  • Rush My Passport – Pretty reliable and has great reviews. Can get you a passport in 24 hours as well. Here is a link to all the materials you’ll need, and here is a link to a helpful FAQ page they have. These can cost between $250-$600 depending on which service you choose.

  • Passport Depot – Can get you a passport in 24 hours. The materials you’ll need for this service are linked here. These can also cost around $250-$600.

*HXP does not work directly with either of these companies but have heard of Builder’s in the past having success, please do you own research before using

Calling Your Local Senator or Congress Representative

This is a final, last resort option we recommend if you’ve already paid for your passport, expedited it, and it’s not looking like it’ll come in time. If that’s the case, you can contact your senator or congressman (here is a helpful website to find your representative). You’ll need to call their office in DC and explain the urgency of your situation. Typically, an intern will pick up the phone and help you. If you tell them it’s for humanitarian work and that you’ve paid for expedited services but need it urgently for flights/visas, they can usually move your passport request to the top of your local passport office’s list so it will get processed faster. This generally helps your passport get processed 1-7 days from that point at no extra charge, but there is no guarantee.

Passport Renewals

All of the above also work for passport renewals. Passport renewals typically cost less than new passports, but can take the same amount of time as new passports. Once again, the timeline depends on which office or service you use.