I'd like to travel from California to British Columbia in 3 weeks. I lost my passport.

I'm aware that in general, passport offices will issue a last-minute rush passport if you can prove that you have already purchased travel in the very near future. But I was planning to travel via under-the-table means rather than plane, train, or bus. Under-the-table means hitchhiking/craigslist.

In order to qualify for a last-minute passport, what kind of "travel purchase" do I need to have made? Could I, say, just buy a greyhound ticket from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC?

  • 2
    Assuming you're a US Citizen?
    – Mark Mayo
    May 25, 2012 at 16:42
  • buy a refundable ticket, get your passport, refund the ticket. If you don't have room on your cc for a refundable ticket for a few weeks, you probably can't afford the rush fees. May 25, 2012 at 18:10
  • What do you mean by "travel under-the-table", still requiring a passport?
    – mouviciel
    May 25, 2012 at 18:27
  • Presume they mean hitch-hiking or with friends, rather than a specific flight, bus or train number. Eg last week I visited Seattle from Vancouver - there I went by bus, and on the form you had to enter the bus number etc. Coming back I was in a friend's car, so no official number.
    – Mark Mayo
    May 25, 2012 at 18:55
  • 3
    Wouldn't it be better to call the State Department and ask directly, rather than buying tickets based on the speculation of Internet strangers? May 26, 2012 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


This answer assumes that you are a US Citizen.

The current processing time for a new/replacement passport is 2-3 weeks for expedited service. I just applied for a passport with expedited service and overnight delivery both ways and I received my passport exactly one week after it was mailed at the post office (week of May 13th). So, you should still have time if you apply first thing next week.

According to the State Department, you can call the National Passport Information Center if you are running out of time and haven't received your new passport yet.

If you still want to rush your application, this site indicates that for Canada/Mexico, airfare may not be necessary as proof of travel. Alternate acceptable forms could be a hotel reservation. So, it's possible the bus ticket might work, but I can't confirm.


Emergency passport can be issued within 2 to 3 hours in any US consulate outside the United States. If you lose the passport inside the U.S. you can have a priority process that will take about 8 days - showing travel documents, hotel reservation and purpose of the trip (documented) will make it. But to be honest over the last few years they try to stop people from using that channel.

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