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Need a Passport in a Hurry? A Series of New Passport 'Fairs' Could Help.

Travel News Airports + Flying
by Matador Creators Jun 5, 2024

Getting a passport in a hurry is always a bit stressful, but in the years post-COVID, the process was slower than ever. In 2022, there were plenty of reports of passport issuances and renewals taking up to 18 weeks, or 4.5 months. By December 2023, the US State Department announced that processing times were coming down, citing an average wait time of six to eight weeks for processing.

While that’s better, it’s still a bit slow, especially when you take into consideration the time it takes to mail your application to the agency and get your passport printed and returned to you, which the government estimates could take an additional month. Fortunately, the government just announced a slew of new “Passport Acceptance Fairs” — events where you can complete and submit your passport application on site. While it may not speed up the processing times, it will cut down on the mailing time. And the fact that the government is hosting so many is also probably a good sign that it’s trying to make it easier to get a passport in a hurry for US citizens.

Passport Acceptance Fairs will be held in June and July across the US, mostly at municipal buildings alike libraries and post offices. Some require appointments, while at others, you can just walk in. The Passport Acceptance Fairs are only for new applications, so if you need to renew your passport, you still need to do it by mail. (You used to be able to do it online, but no word if or when that program will return).

Attending a Passport Application Fair won’t save any money on application and passport fees (which total $165 for first-time adults and $135 for children, plus $60 to rush the process), but it’ll at least save you the cost of postage. And you won’t need to worry about your application getting lost in the mail.

What to bring to a Passport Acceptance Fair

passport in a hurry - application materials

Photo: AliaksaB/Shutterstock

You’ll want to come as prepared as possible to a fair. Employees will be available to answer questions and help with forms, but the government is quite strict about what documents you need. That includes:

  • Proof of citizenship (usually a birth certificate)
  • Proof of identity (like a drivers license or military ID)
  • A second photocopy of said proof of identity, front and back
  • A two-inch passport photo that meets strict requirements. You can have them taken at pharmacies like CVS and Rite-Aid.

You can also speed up the process by filling out the passport application form in advance. Remember that if you’re applying for a passport for a minor, you’ll need to meet additional strict requirements, including dual parent consent.

Summer 2024 Passport Acceptance Fair dates

    • June 5: Somerville, NJ
    • June 6: Manchester, NJ
    • June 7: Nutley, NJ
    • June 8: Exeter, CA; Tell City, IN; Fairfield, NJ; Greenville, SC;
    • June 11: Verona, NJ
    • June 12: Bridgewater, NJ; Toms River, NJ; Mahwah, NJ
    • June 13: Clermont, FL: Kissimmee, FL; Lakeland, FL; Orlando, FL, Sanford, FL; Garfield, NJ
    • June 14: Kissimmee, FL; Sanford FL; Orlando, FL, Wildwood, FL
    • June 15: Carrboro, NJ; Okeechobee, FL; Las Cruces, NM; Montpelier, VT
    • June 17: Brick, NJ
    • June 18:Bergenfield, NJ, Verona, NJ
    • June 22: Oroville, CA; Livingston, NJ; Milford, NH; Scottsdale, AZ
    • June 26: Bridgewater, NJ
    • June 27: Fairlawn, NJ
    • June 29: Franklin Park, IL
    • July 6: Pensacola, FL
    • July 27: Franklin Park, IL

Additional events will likely be added throughout the summer, so keep an eye on the official events page if you think you may be in need of a passport in a hurry — or better yet, just do the application now before you plan that international getaway.

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