I have a few international trips coming up and have had a completely-filled, non-expired passport (not really a bad thing, right?) for quite some time now. I had a hard time dealing with the thought of being grounded by sending my passport away for 6 weeks (or even 3 weeks for expedited-service) to get renewed, so I naturally chose to hold off for as long as I possibly could.
Besides, the lack of space for fresh ink in my passport didn’t seem to bother customs in Mexico or Caribbean islands during my recent visits… but now I am traveling to Central America and UAE in the coming weeks, and I didn’t want to run into any problems.
I knew it was always possible to get same-day passport service by visiting a regional passport agency given that there’s proof of international travel within 2 weeks.
Usually the standard procedure is that you have to call the automated system (1-877-487-2778) for the first available appointment. In my case, the first available appointment at two agencies (New York and Connecticut) was over 5 days away.
With a quick Google search, I learned that the Connecticut agency is pretty darn efficient (and friendly!), and will accommodate walk-ins without an appointment, given that one shows up prepared with the following:
- Proof of international travel
- Completed forms
- All required supporting documents (including one photo and a front and back photocopy of identification)
- A major Credit Card, Debit/Check card (not ATM cards), Check, Bank Draft, Cash (Exact Change), or Money Order to cover the application and expedited fees.
Though the New York office is essentially closer to me, I felt confident about my trip to Stamford. I arrived at 8:15 am to check in. When the doors opened at 8:30, there were about 20 people ahead of me, all with appointments… but they moved quickly. After the clerk verified my documents, I was given a number by 8:45 am and waited to be called.My number was called in 2 minutes, and I was honestly out the door in less than 5 minutes! The fee was $200 for the new passport book and passport card. I learned that normally they will ask you to return in a few days to pick up your passport (or they will mail it), but I kindly told the gentleman that was processing my application that I lived quite a drive away, and he responded that I could pick up my passport that same day at noon. Win!
What Happens With Global Entry?
My first concern was that I would have to re-apply for Global Entry now that I had a new passport, but that is not the case. To keep your Global Entry, all you have to do is log in and click “update documents” to update your passport number once inside your portal.
All and all, I must say that I was very impressed with the process of getting a passport on the same day. Kudos to the Connecticut Passport Agency… if only every government agency can operate the way they do (with a smile too!).
Have you gotten a passport on the same day before? What office did you go to and how was your experience?
P.S. – While waiting to pick up my passport, I met up with a friend and he told me that all of the cool kids are on Snapchat now (I’m AngelinaTravels on there FWIW). I made my first story yesterday but I am sooo lost trying to figure how to use it. I got as far as learning how to put text on a snapshot… someone help me? :)
In the mean time, let’s connect everywhere else…