So you just booked your first international flight since the pandemic started, and then you realize your passport is expired – how can you renew your passport urgently in Los Angeles? Mail in renewals are apparently very delayed. To be on the safe side you should add a few weeks to the estimated dates for mail in passport services. According to travel.state.gov the mail in times are as follows:
Routine: Takes up to 14 weeks from the day an application is submitted
Expedited: Costs an extra $60. Takes up to 10 weeks from the day an application is submitted
Agency or Center: limited number of appointments; must have international travel in the next 72 hours (3 business days)
These times are reportedly taking even longer than expected. The U.S. State Department is recommending that travelers start the process at least six months before traveling abroad
So now it is time for the hack. You can get your passport renewed more quickly (Fast renewal) by going to a passport agency office 72 hours before your international flight. You can call this number 1-877-487-2778 to make an appointment 2 weeks before your flight. If you dont make an appointment, then you will have to wait in long lines (arriving at 2am) and there is no guarantee you will even be issued a new passport. In fact, it seems they are no longer even allowing walk-ins. The appointment is essential.
Sound scary? It is. Especially if you have a lot of money and plans invested in your trip which is a few months out.
If you don’t want to wait months before trying the fast appointment service here is the hack we propose:
Book an inexpensive international flight 2 weeks from now. Please note, we recommend you actually take this trip, think of it as a bonus mini vacation. We do not condone tricking the fast passport system.
For example, you can book a round trip ticket to Guadalajara from Los Angeles for around $150, or a one-way for around $90. Once you have your ticket for an international flight which is 2 weeks away, you can call:
If you don’t get one right away, call back the next day at 5am LA time. Better yet, have a few people in your household call at the same time until someone gets through.
Once you have your appointment, according to travel.state.gov you will just need to bring:
Preparing for your Appointment: Collect all of your application materials before you arrive for your appointment. Bring the information you got in the confirmation email from the National Passport Information Center when you scheduled your appointment.
Use our online form filler to fill out your form and print it before you arrive for your appointment. You can also print a PDF of your form and complete it by hand in black ink before you arrive. Both of these options reduce the amount of time you spend in our lobby on the day of your appointment.
Arriving to your Appointment: We have fewer chairs and more signage in our waiting rooms to enable social distancing. We require appointments, and we currently do not offer walk-in services. You cannot transfer your appointment to another person.
There are also services that can help you to renew an expired passport urgently, but sometimes the reviews are mixed.
After you get your passport you can get ready for your trip with some private classes.