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I am in the states and will travel very soon. I may want to renew my USA passport within one week. I am getting the run around from the official State Dept tele number. Some businesses/websites offer expedited passport renewal for an extra $250. Are they reliable? Has anyone had experience with particular companies that offer passport renewal services?

(The US State Department site suggests checking any such business with the local Better Business Bureau. I did that for one such service and there were no complaints.)

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    What does "very soon" mean? You may be able to renew at a passport agency. The NY office will issue a passport in 8 business days, or sooner if you're traveling before that. To find an agency near you, and its conditions for applications, visit this page: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/…. Then you can at least weigh the certainty of dealing directly with the government, along with the cost of a trip to the office, against the difference in fees and the uncertain credibility of the private expediter. – phoog Jun 23 '15 at 23:09
  • Here is the reason. To use the expedited process one needs an appointent to go to a regional office. That appoinment can only be obtained from an automated tele number (as the page you linked to says). The automated number tells me the first available appointments are after the date of my scheduled departure. If I wait a few days until my departure date is within 7 days, I will be able to speak to an "appointment specialist" who may be able to squeeze me in, but no promises. – Yehuda_NYC Jun 23 '15 at 23:20
  • @Yehuda_NYC Have you tried appointments with other passport agencies? Phila, Boston, Washington? – Karlson Jun 24 '15 at 2:04
  • @Karlson Yes. I tried the two passport agencies within driving distance. – Yehuda_NYC Jun 24 '15 at 12:30
  • @Yehuda_NYC what company did you use and what documents did you have to show them ? – eramm Jan 26 '16 at 17:51
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Here is the situation:

The Department of State does have some companies that are registered with them that are allowed to submit the passport application on behalf of you.

But as Department of State says:

Customers utilizing courier companies who may call themselves "passport expeditors" do not receive their passport any faster than those applying directly at a passport agency. Courier companies are private companies, some of which are registered at our passport agencies and are allowed to submit passport applications on behalf of customers.

So you can try any of them that are registered but basically what you're paying for is their appointment time.

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    And for the convenience of not having to go to the passport office. – phoog Jun 24 '15 at 6:04
  • That one remains to be seen... – Karlson Jun 24 '15 at 9:57
  • @Karlson Please explain your last comment more fully. It seems important but I do not understand it. – Yehuda_NYC Jun 24 '15 at 12:29
  • My comment to phoog or the last sentence in the answer? – Karlson Jun 24 '15 at 12:31
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    The passport expediting company I used did, in fact, renew my passport in 3 days, for $250. Before using them I checked with the Better Business Bureau and there were no reports against them. It seems they have a nice niche in the market. They arrange in advance to get special access to the passport office, and the sell that special access to people who need it. As a US citizen I am not pleased that the State Department gives them special access to the passport office. But as a traveler, it was helpful. – Yehuda_NYC Jun 30 '15 at 12:24

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