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Getting an Expedited Passport in New York City…Not So Bad, It Turns Out

I needed to renew my passport, and because of some upcoming travel I needed to actually go to the US Passport office in Manhattan on Hudson Street at Houston.

If you go online to read about this experience, you may go in expecting a scene like Ellis Island in 1897, with huddled masses yearning to renew their passports. Stories abound of getting in line at 6am or arriving at 8am and not being seen for 2 hours.

You can also make an appointment by calling an automated number (Internet hasn’t yet reached 1897 Ellis Island), though if you were to believe the Internet (terrible idea, generally), the appointment won’t get you seen any faster.

I was doing a renewal, and not a same-day renewal, nor getting a new passport, so perhaps the online tales applied to those situations.

Me? I sauntered in at 1015am, walked up to the window, gave them my $170, proof of my upcoming trip, old passport, 2 photos, and application and in approximately 90 seconds they told me it would be ready the next day. Ta da!

I believe the moral of the story is not to believe what you read online (unless in writing it), and that if you need to renew your passport in NYC, it’s the easiest government-related experience I’ve had.

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  1. Getting a passport has improved considerably in recent years. I was dreading getting a new one for my 6 month old a while back, but we just went to the city clerk’s office at city hall and were done in 10 minutes. Great that it no longer requires a trip to the post office.

  2. Actually this passport office has 4.5 stars on Yelp, so really you just have to know where to go to read helpful things online.

    The longer waits you may have read about are for if you need to do something that requires more than just a plain renewal or addition of pages, e.g. get a passport for the first time, change your name, etc. For that you you need to take a number and wait upstairs, which takes more time.

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