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Cruise TipsRush My Passport Review, How I Got My Passport Renewed In One...

Rush My Passport Review, How I Got My Passport Renewed In One Week

Do you need a passport renewed at last minute and don’t live near an in-person passport agency? This recently happened to me, and here is how I got my passport renewed in one week using a service called Rush My Passport.

passport renewal

As someone who travels a lot for work and pleasure, I had been dreading the time when my passport got within six months of expiration. Passport processing times for the U.S. Department of State had gotten out of control this year with a record demand for passports. Since many countries will not allow you in if there’s less than six months left on your passport, it basically becomes just a photo ID at that point. The cruise line I was taking (to The Bahamas) required a passport with at least six months left before expiration.

When I needed to get my passport renewed, processing times were 10 to 13 weeks for routine service, with expedited service at seven to nine weeks. This only includes processing times, not the time it takes to mail your passport out and for it to arrive in your mailbox. Thankfully, these processing times have come down over the past few weeks.

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However, I only had a two to three week window between trips to get my passport renewed, or I’d have to cancel some work trips until I received a new one. This is when I came across a website called Rush My Passport.

If you have last-minute travel, you can get an expedited passport at an agency, if you can get an appointment. Since I don’t live anywhere near an agency, I had to weigh the costs of using Rush My Passport vs traveling to an agency. I’ll have more on that later.

Rush My Passport offers passport renewals in three to five days using their Emergency Service, but it comes at a cost. They charge $799 for Emergency Service and $499 for Priority Service (10 business days). This is on top of the government fee of $209.53.

I started to fill out the form for Emergency Service but stopped and questioned whether it was worth an extra $800 and if it was really legit. I mean, passports were taking two months to renew using expedited service and they were telling me they could get it to me in a week.

They sent me the following email right away with a discount code for 10% off to finish the application.

“It looks like you tried to place an order for an expedited passport. Our records show that your order is currently incomplete. You can resume your session by clicking here and receiving 10% off select services which will be applied at checkout.”

Since I needed my passport renewed, I finished filling out the form and saved $80 with the discount at 1:00 pm on Tuesday.

I went over to CVS and got fresh passport photos before heading home and filling out the passport renewal forms. It then tells you that you need to call in so an agent can go over everything you need to mail in. I tried to call but was never given the option to talk to an agent. I left a message twice but never heard back.

After an hour, I left a comment on Rush My Passport’s Facebook page and told them I needed to finish my application and that no one has called me back. Within five minutes, my phone was ringing with an agent who went over everything I needed to mail in (printed application, current passport, travel itinerary, photos, check for the U.S. State Department etc.).

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Rush My Passport sent me an overnight FedEx prepaid shipping label so I drove over to Office Max at 5:30 pm and dropped off my envelope.

At 9:30 am the next day, I received an update that my package had arrived in Florida at Rush My Passport’s offices and they would begin working on my passport renewal.

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A couple hours later, I received an update that my photos I had taken at CVS were not going to meet the stringent Passport Agency protocol. It said “The background of the passport photo was not white and would be rejected at the agency.”  CVS used a white screen behind me but you could barely see some the lines on it. I assume it’s from being constantly pulled down and worn over time.

Since messaging them on Facebook seemed like the quickest way to get a hold of them, I sent them a message, and right away they asked me where I had them done. I told them I had them done at CVS and the photos passed their requirements.

They said they would take a second look at the photos to double-check. After a couple minutes, they told me they would try to submit the photos and would let me know if the agency had an issue with them. They then told me they made a change on their end and they could submit the photo as is.

Exactly one week later, I received an update saying my renewed passport had been shipped out and that I would receive it the next day. Their Emergency Service stated three to five business days and it was exactly five days, even with the photo issue that delayed it a bit.

While it came with a hefty fee, I was able to get my passport renewed quickly, much faster than mailing it in to the U.S. State Department. The fee does include overnight shipping when mailing out your passport and overnight shipping back to you.

Since I paid $720 for their service, it ended up costing me around $670 (since overnight shipping was included) more than I would have paid just going to the government myself.

The closest in-person agency to me is in Chicago, a 10 hour roundtrip drive. When I started to factor in the cost of a hotel stay, parking, fuel, and two days of lost work, it made sense for me to just use Rush My Passport.

Rush My Passport does offer four different expediting options. However, I would only use them for Emergency Service and if you needed a passport at the last minute. A couple of their options don’t speed up the time you get a passport, but they do guide you through the process.

I noticed that reviews were all over the place for Rush My Passport. People either seemed to be extremely happy and rated them five stars, or complained and gave them one star. However, I noticed that those who gave them five stars are those who used the Emergency Service, and the one star reviews were mostly those who choose the options where they don’t speed up your passport.

Just incase anyone is wondering, this is not a paid review. I paid full price and Rush My Passport did not know that I was going to write about my experience using them.

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Overall, I was happy with the service I received from Rush My Passport. They can really save your trip if you need a passport in less than two weeks.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises, and flown nearly one million miles. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, Drudge Report, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
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