– The Washington Post By Natalie B. Compton
No one wants to wait for anything in 2019. TV shows come out in full seasons for binge-watching on streaming apps. You can get drones delivered in hours. Yet in a world where you can get just about anything quickly, certain bureaucratic tasks take a relative eternity. Like getting a passport.
Fortunately for procrastinators everywhere, FedEx Office has decided to speed things up. Thanks to a new partnership with RushMyPassport, travelers in the United States can now get their American passports processed in as little as 24 hours.
“This just launched recently, and we’ve seen a significant volume in customers coming in for the service,” says Kim Dixon, executive vice president and chief operating officer at FedEx Office. “Interestingly, it is a mix of both consumer needs as well as business needs.”
While other passport expediting services do already exist, the new partnership makes dealing with passport woes a little more convenient. That means when you realize that your trip to Belize is just days away and you’re out of pages, you don’t have to start weeping. You can visit one of FedEx Office’s 2,000 locations instead, or solve your problems online.
“We’ve had issues with folks who didn’t know the timing for [passport processing by] the government is taking longer,” says Dixon. “It’s extended beyond what it used to be. That’s a challenge for people. There’s only 26 passport offices throughout the United States. That’s not convenient.”
For the online option, the first step is to head to the FedEx Office website and fill out an application. You can apply to get your passport renewed; report a lost, stolen or damaged passport; have your name changed; apply for a second passport; or get one for a child.
Taking care of things in person is a better option if you need to get your passport photograph taken. Any FedEx Office location offers photo services, which saves you a panicked visit to Walgreens for an awkward snapshot. After the photo, customers are guided to a computer area of the store and shown how to complete the transaction online.
You’ll have to pay a government fee of $170, then rates skyrocket from there based on how quickly you need the goods. There’s a range of prices depending on your timetable. Same-day service will cost you $449, while the cheapest and slowest option, eight to 10 days, costs $119. Then there are shipping costs. FedEx standard overnight is $29.95, FedEx priority overnight is $39.95, and FedEx priority overnight including a Saturday is $54.95.
Once you’ve submitted your application, you can keep track of the action thanks to the service’s full tracking visibility. Note that just because you are processing it in one business day, doesn’t mean you’re getting your passport back in one business day. Your passport still has to be shipped to you in most cases.
“For example, by choosing the 24-hour service option on Monday, FedEx will receive your application and begin processing Tuesday morning,” the FedEx website reads. “By Tuesday afternoon, your passport will be shipped to you for Wednesday delivery. You may be eligible to pick up your passport Tuesday afternoon or have it delivered the same day in select cities.”
Discovering you have a passport problem right before a trip can be a nightmare. But rest easy knowing that if you have an extra $500 or $600 available, FedEx Office is there to help.