The month of May has drawn to a close, so it’s time for a roundup of all the month’s passport news! The past month saw several airports join the Mobile Passport Control program and the opening of new Passport Acceptance Facilities. We’ll also review some upcoming Passport Days when you can apply for a passport outside of normal business hours.
Mobile Passport Control
These days, it seems like you can do just about everything from your smartphone. With one app, you can order groceries; with another, you can remotely turn on or off the air conditioning in your house… and with the Mobile Passport Control app, you can bypass the long immigration lines at the airport when you return to the US!
When the Mobile Passport Control app officially debuted last year, we wrote an article explaining how the system works. In a nutshell, you can download the app onto your iPhone or Android device, fill out some details about yourself and your trip, and then breeze through a “fast lane” designated for Mobile Passport Control app users. Last year, the app could only be used at five airports, but the program is rapidly expanding. Three new airports opened up Mobile Passport Control lanes in May: Orlando International Airport (MCO), Denver International Airport (DEN), and San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California.
The new additions to the program bring the number of US airports within the Mobile Passport Control program to 12. It’s expected to expand to 20 airports by the end of the year. For now, you can use the Mobile Passport Control app at:
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Newark International Airport (EWR)
- New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
New Passport Acceptance Facilities
If you need to get a first-time passport, a replacement for a lost, damaged, or stolen passport, or a passport for your child under age 16, your first stop is going to be a Passport Acceptance Facility. That’s where a Passport Acceptance Agent will review your application, administer an oath to you, and either send in your application to the National Passport Center for processing or seal it into an official envelope so you can have your passport expedited by a registered passport expediting company.
In the past month, several new Passport Acceptance Facilities opened around the country.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
A dedicated Passport Acceptance Facility has opened in the United States Post Office in downtown Colorado Springs, CO. The new facility, located at 201 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, offers passport services in a separate area, apart from the main counters for postal service. The center has dedicated employees and private rooms for review of applications. Passport photos are also available on site, and appointments are not required.
The new consolidated facility is the second in the state of Colorado (the first is in Aurora.) With the new facility able to assist so many travelers, five nearby post offices have now discontinued passport services. The general mail facility on Fountain Boulevard and the Cimarron Hills, Cheyenne Mountain, Templeton Gap, and Rockrimmon post offices no longer accept passport applications, and travelers are urged to visit the downtown facility instead.
Harris County, Texas
In Harris County, Texas, four new Passport Acceptance Facilities have opened outside of Houston. The Harris County District Clerk’s Office now offers limited passport acceptance services at the public libraries in the towns of Bear Creek, Clear Lake, Humble, and Spring. The passport services at the libraries are a pilot program, meant to make it more convenient for Harris County residents to apply for passports. At the moment, each library offers passport service only one day a month, but the District Clerk plans to hire five new employees so that the acceptance hours can be extended. Appointments aren’t needed for service at the libraries, but you will need to plan your visit in advance, to make sure you go in on a day that services are available!
The city of Syracuse, UT has begun to offer passport acceptance services at the City Hall located at 233 E. Washington. The new Passport Acceptance Facility is open Monday through Friday, from 9am to 4pm. Walk-in service is available, but travelers are urged to make an appointment in advance to minimize their wait times. The new facility also offers passport photos on-site for a $10 fee.
If these new Passport Acceptance Facilities aren’t convenient to you, don’t worry! Our interactive locator will help you determine which of the 7,000+ facilities nationwide is the best for you.
Upcoming Passport Days
Do you work full-time during normal business hours? Are you worried about being able to get to a Passport Acceptance Facility to apply for your passport? If you answered yes to both questions, a Passport Day is for you. Passport Days, also known as Passport Fairs, are times when Passport Acceptance Facilities open outside of normal business hours to serve travelers who would have difficulty getting to the facility otherwise. Travelers can typically get passport acceptance service on a first come, first-served basis during a passport fair.
Upcoming Passport Days include:
- Milford, CT: Saturday, June 4 from 2:30 to 5pm at the Milford Post Office, 300 Pepes Farm Road, Milford, CT
- New Port Richey, FL: Saturday, June 25 from 8am to noon at the New Port Richey Post Office, 6550 Main Street, New Port Richey, FL
- Oldsmar, FL: Saturday, June 18 from 10am to noon at the Oldsmar Post Office, 3905 Tampa Road, Oldsmar, FL
- Springfield, IL: Saturday, June 4 from 9am to noon at the Illinois National Bank at 3150 W. Wabash Avenue, Springfield, IL
- Springfield, IL: Saturday, June 18 from 9am to noon at the Illinois National Bank at 2450 N. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL