Types of Passport Offices
There are two types of passport offices in the United States: Passport Acceptance Facilities and Regional Passport Agencies. Passport Acceptance Facilities are local passport offices that can provide passport applications, review passport applications, and verify your identity and US citizenship as a preliminary step to getting your passport. When you are applying for a first time passport, a passport for a child, or a replacement for a lost or damaged passport, the Passport Acceptance Facility will seal your application into an official envelope in a process classed “executing the application.”
A Regional Passport Office (also called a Regional Passport Agency) is often located in a major city and is available by appointment only. Each facility has it’s own process and scheduling so you may need to plan in advance if you wish to visit a Regional Passport Office. Expect to wait in line if you need to get your passport at your local office. The benefit of a Regional Passport Office is the possibility to get your passport in an emergency rush. The next section will outline processing times at the passport offices.
Passport Office Processing Times
The local passport office can send your passport application for expedited passport service by mail, which will take 2-3 weeks to complete. If you need faster service, such as to get your passport expedited in 24 hours, ask the Passport Acceptance Agent to give you seal envelope so you can send it to a registered passport expeditor company. A Passport Expediting Service can get your passport processed with a range of options from 2 weeks to 24 hours.