How can I get my passport quickly?  Here’s what to do if you need to leave Georgia as soon as possible

If you are planning to leave the country soon and need a passport, you may have to wait a while.

The U.S. Department of State currently sees “unprecedented demand” for international travel in 2023.

“We encourage all Americans to check their passport expiration dates before making any final plans for international travel, and to take steps to renew their passports well in advance of international travel this year,” the department’s website said.

During the winter months, the State Department often received more than 500,000 applications per week, and in March the processing time was 10 to 13 weeks.

The State Department even forecast that this year could surpass the record 22 million passports issued in 2022.

If you need to travel urgently, it can be difficult to get your passport quickly, but there are a few ways to do it:

When you have a life or death emergency

You may be eligible if you need to travel abroad within three business days because your immediate family member is outside the United States:

  • Died,

  • Is dying (hospice care), or

  • Has a life-threatening illness or injury

Find out which family members are eligible here

The exception applies to immediate family members: parents, guardians, children, spouses, siblings or grandparents.

The State Department does not consider aunts, uncles, cousins, or other relatives in this emergency.

How to get your emergency travel passport

You must make an appointment to receive your passport. Before the appointment, you must have documentation of the emergency, e.g. a death certificate, morgue certificate or hospital letter (on hospital/clinic letterhead, signed by the doctor/healthcare professional explaining the medical condition of your loved one).

You will also need to complete a passport application, take a passport photo and ensure you have a valid government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license or ID card).

You can call 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment. More information about the procedure can be found online.

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When you need to travel urgently for non-urgent reasons

If you’re planning to leave the country quickly within the next nine weeks and it’s not an emergency, here’s what you need to do:

  • Request an appointment at a passport agency or passport center. If you have not submitted an application, it must be done within 14 calendar days of your international travel date. If you have applied but not received an answer, the appointment can be made within five calendar days.

  • Call 1-877-487-2778 to make an appointment and speak to someone in person. The closest acceptance centers are in Atlanta, Georgia and New Orleans, Louisiana. There is no guarantee that an appointment will be available within your time frame.

  • You must provide proof of travel

If you need to expedite your passport application

This option is for people planning to travel internationally in the next 13 weeks.

However, an expedited passport still takes 7 to 9 weeks to process and there is a $60 fee for all expedited passport applications.

Please note: shipping times are not included in processing times. It can take up to two weeks for applications to reach a passport agency or center in the mail, and up to two weeks for you to receive a completed passport in the mail after printing.

If you wish to leave the country for other reasons, you may have to wait up to 13 weeks for your passport to be processed.

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