What to Expect During Passport Agency Reopening

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People with face mask doing a line to the passport agency and the airport

Passport centers and agencies are beginning to reopen around the United States. As of August 3, six are currently in phase two of reopening, while twelve are in phase one. However, agencies are only accepting appointments for life-or-death emergencies. Customers can not walk in and get service. You can still submit an application for a passport book or card, but you should expect long delays. We’ve laid out the plans for passport agency reopening, so you know what to expect if you need to get a passport.

Phase One of Passport Agency Reopening

During phase one, some staff members will return to the office to begin processing applications. They will start with the oldest applications first and process them in the order they were received. However, life-or-death emergency situations will go to the front of the line. If you have a genuine emergency, you can make an in-person appointment for assistance. If you do enter the agency, you must wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing rules. For non-emergency situations, you can still submit an application. But, you are encouraged to wait until later in the passport agency reopening process.

Phase Two of Passport Agency Reopening

The majority of the passport center staff will return to work during phase two of the passport agency reopening. Passport processing will be the same as in phase one. However, with more staff in the office, they will be able to process more applications. In-person visits will continue to be by appointment only, and staff will still enforce face covering and social distancing regulations. The department recommends that customers continue to hold off on submitting applications unless it is a true emergency.

Phase Three of Passport Agency Reopening

The remainder of the staff will all return to the office at this stage of passport agency reopening. They will continue to process the oldest applications first and prioritize emergency situations. Customers should continue to make appointments for in-person service, wear face coverings, and follow social distancing guidelines. Once all the centers and agencies have reached phase three and are at normal volume, they will begin offering expedited service again.

What is a life-or-death emergency?

There are strict rules that determine what constitutes a life-or-death emergency. In order to make an appointment and receive in-person service, you must have a death or serious injury or illness in your immediate family. One that requires you to travel out of the country in the next 72 hours. You will need to provide proof of the emergency and upcoming travel. Additionally, you must have a complete passport application with the correct supporting documents.

What if I don’t have the right supporting documents?

If you need a passport but don’t have the correct documents to apply, we can help. We’ve developed a streamlined service that makes it easy to get important certificates fast. If you need a birth certificate or marriage certificate to get a passport, all you have to do is fill out our short, simple application. We’ll do all the paperwork and prepare your application package. You’ll drop in the mail, then sit back and wait for your important documents to come to you. We also use our extensive database to make sure that your application meets your state and local standards and will be processed as fast as possible. Start your application now and make sure you have everything you need when your passport agency reopens.