Fast emergency U.S. passport needed for travel soon.
September 8, 2007 12:32 PM Subscribe
I post this on behalf of a friend in need of passport help. Here he is:
I need a U.S. passport in less than a week's time. I have been summoned to a foreign country on short notice, and it's crucial that I'm there when needed. I need to leave no later than September 17th.
The recent post-9/11 changes in security related to foreign travel have completely gummed up the system. Applying by mail takes 4-6 weeks. The National Passport Information Center (travel.state.gov) is no help whatsoever. The current backlog on new/replacement "expedited" passports is 3-4 weeks. I'm told my only hope is to schedule an interview with the NPIC office, since I'm traveling within the next 14 days. However, trying to schedule an appointment puts me into phone-menu hell, with a friendly voice telling me to call back during non-high-volume call times and then unceremoniously disconnecting me. Not to mention the fact that getting an interview is no guarantee of getting a passport in under a week.
I'd love to contract the services of a third party, but searching "passport scam" put me into a genuine funk. U.S. passport scams appear to be only slightly less prevalent than Nigerian 411 scams.
Someone tried, unsuccessfully, to humor me by informing me that a "Passport Reduction Backlog Act" (S.966) was passed this summer. I'm left, while flipping through a prolonged outrage/anger/despair cycle, to ponder the supreme irony of the spectacle of our Government creating more government so we can reap the benefits of less government. But it's too little, too late for me.
I'm an American citizen with no security issues. I'm praying for some good advice. A friend suggested asking MeFi.