State Department Only Accepting In-Person Passport Applications for "Life or Death" Emergencies

In keeping with public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the State Department has temporarily suspended in-person passport applications. The only exception is for cases of qualified "life-or-death" emergencies, where a passport is needed for international travel within 72 hours. Per their website:

While you can still apply in person for a U.S. passport at some acceptance facilities and renew through the mail, you should expect significant delays receiving your passport and your citizenship evidence documents. Please consider waiting to apply until we resume normal operations. We suspended expedited service on March 19 and are not offering this service to any applicants.

What If I Applied Before March 20?

If you applied and requested expedited service on or before March 19, 2020, we made every effort to meet our commitment of 2-3 weeks door-to-door service. However, due to limited staff, we are still working on a small portion of incomplete expedited applications submitted on or before March 19. You may experience additional delays.

If you applied and requested routine service on or before March 19, 2020, you should expect significant delays receiving your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.

If you received a letter from us requesting additional documents or information to process your passport application, you may mail your response to the address in the letter. We are able to receive mail at this time. Expect significant processing delays.

What Qualifies as a Life-or-Death Emergency?

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (e.g., parent, child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc.) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 days). You must provide:

  • A passport application with supporting documents
  • Proof of the life-or-death emergency such as a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional. Documents must be in English or translated in English.
  • Proof of international travel (e.g. reservation, ticket, itinerary) specific to the emergency

    To make an appointment at a passport agency or center for a life-or-death emergency, you must call our National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 (1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY) on Monday- Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, except federal holidays. Call 202-647-4000 outside of these hours to make an appointment.

Our passport agencies in Atlanta, Connecticut, New Orleans, New York, and San Juan are closed to the public until further notice.

Can I Apply in Person Now?

Many passport application acceptance facilities, which include libraries, clerks of court, and post offices, are not accepting U.S. passport applications at this time. As of March 25, 2020, post offices which are still accepting applications are requiring customers to make an online appointment to apply in person for a U.S. passport. If you need to apply in person for your U.S. passport, please contact the facility directly to confirm the status of its operations.

Can I Renew Now?

You may also be eligible to renew your U.S. passport by mail. If you are eligible to renew, you can complete the process by yourself and should not go to an acceptance facility. Follow the instructions on Form DS-82 and send your application and supporting documents to one of the addresses marked for routine service. Do not send the application to the expedited service address and do not include the $60 expedite fee. Expect significant processing delays.

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